These easy, vegan and gluten-free lentil meatballs are amazing served with tomato sauce, pasta and fresh basil.

3 lentil meatballs with tomato sauce topped with fresh basil in a bowl.

Features

  • dietary needs: vegan and gluten-free
  • nutrition features: high in protein and fiber, low in fat
  • healthy comfort food: serve with your favourite pasta and tomato sauce for a healthy and comforting meal
  • easy to make: cook the mushrooms and lentils, blend everything up, roll, bake and enjoy!

Ingredient Notes

Visual of all ingredients needed for making vegan lentil meatballs. Ingredients labelled with text overlay.
  • lentils – use brown or green
  • mushrooms – use baby bella, white or cremini, I recommend using mushrooms even if you’re not a big fan, you can’t really taste them but they add a “meaty” flavour to the final meatballs
  • oat flour – make your own from rolled oats if you don’t have any on hand
  • flax – needed for binding, be sure to use ground flax!

Complete ingredient list with amounts is located in the recipe card below.


Step by Step Instructions

Before You Start: Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, make some by blending a heaping 1/3 cup rolled oats.

Step 1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions or bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the lentils, cover, reduce to a light simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender.


Step 2. Add the olive oil and mushrooms to a skillet and cook over low to medium heat until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and are starting to turn golden brown.

Stir them often to prevent burning. This may take up to 15 minutes.

Chopped mushrooms cooking in a skillet on a cook top.

Step 3. Add everything, except for the oat flour, to a food processor. Once the mushrooms and lentils are done cooking, add those to the food processor as well.

Step 4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the oat flour very well. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.

Step 5. Roll the batter into meatballs a little larger than golf balls. You should get 12-15 meatballs. Place on the prepared baking tray and give them a light mist of cooking oil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray after 10 minutes, until they’re firm and golden brown.

Baked lentil meatballs on a a baking tray.

Serve the meatballs with tomato sauce and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Large skillet of lentil meatballs and tomato sauce.

FAQs


What if I don’t have oat flour?

No problem! Pop some rolled or quick oats into a blender or the food processor before you start and blend into a fine flour. You’ll need a little more than 1/4 cup to make 1/4 cup of oat flour.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

The meatballs are naturally gluten-free, just be sure to use gluten-free certified oats if needed.

Serving

  • Serve with your favourite tomato-based sauce such as marinara or bolognese and/or any variety of pasta. I’d recommend the classic spaghetti and meatballs!
  • Fresh basil and vegan parmesan make great toppings.
  • For a low-carb option, serve with tomato sauce and zucchini noodles.
  • Pile on a toasted bun with marinara sauce and parmesan to make a meatball sub.
Overhead view of 3 lentil meatballs in a bowl with basil and tomato sauce.

Storing

  • Fridge: Let them cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-6 days.
  • Freezer: Let cool then store in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Reheat in a pan on the stovetop, in the oven or in the microwave until heated to your preference. Can be enjoyed cold too, try adding them to a salad!

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3 lentil meatballs with tomato sauce topped with fresh basil in a bowl.

Lentil Meatballs

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 14 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Amercian
  • Diet: Vegan

Hearty, “meaty” vegan meatballs made with lentils and mushrooms! Enjoy these delicious plant-based meatballs with pasta and your favourite tomato sauce such as marinara or bolognese.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils (190 g)
  • 8 oz baby bella or cremini mushrooms, diced small (125 g)
  • ¼ cup oat flour (30 g)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax (14 g)
  • 5 tbsp warm water (75 mL)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (28 g)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (10 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (15 g)
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and cook lentils according to package directions. Drain. If you don’t have instructions, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the lentils, cover and simmer lightly for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add olive oil to a saucepan and cook the diced mushrooms over low to medium heaat until they have released all moisture and turn golden (about 15 minutes). Stir often to prevent burning.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients except for the oat flour to a food processor. 
  5. Once mushrooms and lentils are cooked, add to food processor as well. Pulse several times until it resembles ground meat. 
  6. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the oat flour very well. Let rest for 10 minutes for flour to absorb moisture.
  7. Roll into balls a bit larger than a golf ball and spread out on baking sheet. You should get 12-15 meatballs. Mist with a light coating of olive oil cooking spray or use an oil mister to spray with a light mist of any cooking oil.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray after 10 minutes, until they are firm and golden brown.
  9. Enjoy with your favourite tomato-based sauce and/or pasta of choice.

Notes

Serving: Serve with tomato sauce, pasta or zucchini or carrot noodles and fresh basil. Try them on a toasted submarine with marinara sauce or bolognese sauce and vegan parmesan. Enjoy warm or cold on salads.

Storing: Cooked meatballs can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, stovetop in a pan or in the oven until heated to your preference.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 meatballs
  • Calories: 77
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 170 mg
  • Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g

Keywords: vegan meatballs, lentil meatball recipe