The real question is why would you want meatless lentil balls to pass as meatballs? They are lentil balls but the name isn’t very catchy.
Nutritionist Becky Taee likes a challenge and wanted Noni Needs to taste her latest recipe: meatless meatballs.
How did they go down? Listen to find out.
Adapted from https://tasty.co/recipe/lentil-meatballs Serves 4
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely diced
400g tin of green lentils (drained)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 – 25g pack flat leaf parsley, chopped
35g grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Smoked paprika and chilli flake (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C Fan) and heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a
large sauté pan or shallow casserole over medium heat.
2. Fry onion and a pinch of salt until soft, then add garlic, Italian
seasoning and black pepper, cooking until fragrant and lightly golden and remove from heat.
3. Tip 1/2 the onion and garlic mixture into a food processor along
with lentils, paprika (if using), egg, 1 tbsp of olive oil, tomato paste, parsley, Parmesan, bread crumbs, and pulse to a coarse consistency.
4. Put tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes (if using) in the pan with the
remaining onion and garlic and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Use a spoon to scoop out about 1 – 2 tbsp of mixture and, using
damp hands, carefully form into balls.
6. Arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, drizzle with
remaining oil and bake until golden about 10-20 minutes, turning carefully half way.
7. Serve with tomato sauce and cous cous or your favourite pasta.
- I used chive in place of parsley, can also use coriander or fresh herb of your choice
- In place of dried Italian Herbs, use whatever is on hand eg parsley, basil, mixed herbs
- When processing lentil mixture, keep a chunky texture… not too smooth!
- For kids (and grown ups) who aren’t tomato-lovers, simmer sauce longer for a smoother consistency