These lentil meatballs are perfectly tender on the inside, firm on the outside, and loaded with so much flavor! Enjoy these easy vegan meatballs with a big bowl of spaghetti for the ultimate comfort food meal!
These lentil meatballs have so much flavor and they have the best texture! The inside is perfectly tender and moist but the outside is firm but not dry. Instead of meat, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and eggs, vegan meatballs are made with a hearty combo of legumes, oats, nutritional yeast, a vegan egg to hold everything together, veggies, and lots of seasonings for flavor!
These delicious meatballs won't fall apart on you and they have the perfect consistency. Serve the meatballs with your favorite noodles and tomato sauce for the ultimate vegan comfort food dinner!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- French Lentils - You can use brown or green lentils, just not red. You can use (1) 14 oz can of drained lentils in place of the cooked lentils if necessary.
- Raw Hulled Sunflower Seeds - Walnuts can be used instead of sunflower seeds.
- Cremini Mushrooms - Button or portobello mushrooms can also be used.
- Tomato Paste (This is my favorite brand because it's in a glass jar, it's organic, and has no added salt.)
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- Nutritional Yeast - This adds a tangy, cheesy flavor.
- Flax Egg - This helps to hold it all together.
- Dried Seasonings - The seasonings add so much flavor! Fresh basil can be used instead of dried.
How to Make Vegan Meatballs
Step #1 - Start by cooking the lentils and quinoa together in 1 pot.
Step #2 - Make the flax egg.
Step #3 - Pour the lentils and quinoa into a large food processor. Add the mushrooms, onion, oats, sunflower seeds, tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, dried seasonings, garlic cloves, and the flax egg.
Step #4 - Pulse the filling on high for 1-2 minutes or until all the ingredients are broken down into small chunks and combined. The mixture will be sticky but that's normal.
Step #5 - Use a large spoon to scoop the filling out of the food processor into your hand and then use your palms to roll the filling into golf ball-sized vegan meatballs. The filling will make 14-15 large vegan meatballs.
Step #6 - Bake the meatballs. Serve with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (or vegan parm) over pasta.
If you have leftover meatballs and are tired of spaghetti, you can use the leftovers to make a vegan meatball sub or you could toss the meatballs in BBQ sauce for an easy vegan appetizer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Try to roll the filling into golf ball-sized meatballs that are 1 ½ inches wide by 1 ½ inches high.
I've found it at most regular grocery stores lately, but if you can't find it locally you can buy vegan Worcestershire sauce, here.
The filling is so versatile! You can also use it to make veggie burgers or vegan meatloaf.
- Use ground flaxseed (not whole flaxseeds) to make the flax egg.
- Give the flax egg enough time to thicken before adding it to the mixture. I usually put it in the fridge to help it along while I'm making the rest of the recipe.
- The blended mixture may seem wet, but that's good! A wet batter makes moist meatballs. If it were too dry, then the meatballs would be dry after you baked them.
- If you accidentally blend the meatball filling too much and it's totally turned to mush, just add more oats to the mixture until you can shape it into solid balls.
Want More Vegan Lentil Recipes?
Vegan Lentil Quinoa MeatBalls
- Food Processor
- Medium-Sized Pot
- Large Baking Tray
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed & drained
- ¾ cup uncooked french lentils rinsed & drained
- 5 oz cremini mushrooms (about 5 large mushrooms)
- 1 cup red onion diced (one small onion)
- 1 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats (or gluten-free bread crumbs)
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp water
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds or walnuts
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
- 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp sea salt add more to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Start by boiling 3 cups of water in a medium-sized pot. When the water boils, season it with salt and add ¾ cup of rinsed and drained uncooked french lentils. Reduce the heat to medium and set a timer for 24 minutes.
- When there are 12 minutes left on the timer, add ¼ cup of uncooked quinoa to the pan with the lentils and give it a stir to combine. Let the lentils and quinoa continue cooking together until there is no water left in the pot. It should take a total of 23-24 minutes to cook the lentils and quinoa.
- Let the cooked lentil quinoa mixture cool for a few minutes. While it’s cooling, add 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed and 3 tbsp of water to a small bowl. Mix it together and put it in the fridge to thicken for 10 minutes.
- Pour the lentils and quinoa into a large food processor. Add the roughly chopped cremini mushrooms, diced red onion, oats, sunflower seeds, tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, dried basil, dried parsley, salt, pepper, and the flax egg.
- Pulse the filling on high for 1-2 minutes or until all the ingredients are combined and broken down into small chunks. The mixture will be sticky but that’s normal.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- While the oven is heating up, line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Use a large spoon to scoop the filling out of the food processor into your hand and then use your palms to roll the filling into golf ball sized meatballs. The filling will make 14-15 large vegan meatballs.
- Arrange the meatballs on the tray and bake them for 15-18 minutes or until browned on the outside. Serve with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (or vegan parm) over your favorite pasta.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or you can freeze them for a future meal.