They are hearty and delicious, perfect for supper by the fire. And this recipe makes enough to tuck some in the freezer for another day.
I’ve made a million meat-free meatballs, and usually I’m disappointed. Often they get mushy. Sometimes the flavor is way off, and other times they are just hard little balls sitting in whatever sauce they are served with.
A “meat” ball?
I’ve used lentils, black beans, rice, mushrooms, quinoa, nuts, and a few things I’d rather forget about. There was always something just a little off, and most likely that something was my own expectations. I wanted to serve the meat eaters in the family something they would actually like and not just tolerate.
But a meatless ball or burger or meatloaf is not going to have exactly the same texture and flavor as something made with an animal product. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t have a pleasant texture and be delightful to eat!
Lentil, Mushroom, and Chickpea Meatballs
Makes 24 balls
- 3/4 cup dried French lentils
- 10 g. dried mushrooms, diced
- 8 oz. crimini or button mushrooms, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup garbanzo beans, mashed
- 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. sweet or hot paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Bell’s seasoning
- 2 tbsp. ground flax seed
- 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. tamari, reduced sodium
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, place lentils, dried mushrooms, and a cup of water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
Uncover and continue cooking for a few minutes until the lentils are cooked and all the water absorbed.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, and continue cooking, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Place everything on a baking sheet to cool completely.
Once cooled, using a small ice-cream cookie scoop (mine holds about an eighth cup), form 24 balls and pace on an oiled baking sheet.
Put in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Drizzle or spritz with a little more olive oil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nice and crispy. The crisp will stop them from absorbing too much sauce and getting soggy.
Serve any way you like meatballs! Delicious with a tomato based pasta sauce, or serve individually with barbeque sauce and toothpicks for a party. I always make them for my large holiday party along with other vegetarian options, but its not just the vegetarians who eat them!
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