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baked lentil "meatballs" // cait's plate

baked lentil “meatballs”

  • Author: Cait
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 15-20 meatballs, depending on size rolled 1x
  • Category: Main Course


these tender baked lentil “meatballs” utilize pre-steamed lentils so they come together in a matter of minutes making for an easy meatless dinner or lunch the whole family will love.


  • 1 1/2 cups steamed lentils (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 shallot, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 23 cloves garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 34 tablespoons favorite marinara sauce
  • 1/41/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (start with 1/4 cup, if mixture is wet once all combined, add more, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you can form a ball)
  • 1/41/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Optional for serving: pasta, carrot & zucchini noodles, marinara sauce, fresh parmesan and minced fresh basil for serving 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat and place minced shallot and onion in, sautéing for ~2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned.
  3. Add sautéed garlic and shallots to a food processor along with carrot and process until minced.
  4. Add lentils, egg, oregano, marinara, breadcrumbs, cheese, a sprinkle of salt & pepper and process until well combined.  If needed, add additional breadcrumbs (enough so that you can form a ball)
  5. Using a cookie scoop (my favorite meatball making trick!), scoop out ~2 tablespoons of the lentil mixture, rolling gently into a ball and place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until you have used up the entire lentil mixture.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until lentil meatballs are browned and firm to a gentle touch.
  7. Allow to cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes (this helps them set up) before serving.
  8. Serve over your favorite pasta or with some carrot & zucchini noodles. Top with your favorite marinara sauce, a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil.


  • Lentil meatballs will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge and will freeze well for up to 2 months.

Keywords: meatballs, lentil, vegetarian, meatless, dinner

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