Vegan Lentil Meatballs



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Vegan Meatballs

Vegan Lentil Meatballs

  • Author: Challenge 22
  • Active Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: main dish
  • Cuisine: Italian


Pamper your taste buds with a nice serving of these delicious Vegan Meatballs. You will never guess they are made out of tofu and lentils. And the flavorsome, spiced tomato is the perfect pair for them. They get even better after a few hours in the fridge, because they get to soak up even more of the gorgeous flavors from the sauce. Although we’re not promising you’ll be able to wait that long to eat these beauties! They’re so tasty that you might well end up snacking on them directly from the pan.

This is comfort food at its finest, and these meat-free meatballs are ideal for when you want to treat yourself to something special, or trying to impress guests. Although the recipe is a bit complex, it’s so worth a little extra effort to get such a divine, flavor-packed, satisfying dish. If you do want to cut some corners, blend all the ingredients together at once in a heavy-duty food processor.


For the meatballs:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup red lentils which have been soaked in water for 2-5 hours (or 200 g)
2 tbsp flaxseed
1 packet of tofu (about 300 g)
1 handful of walnuts
1 bunch of coriander or parsley (or both)
1 cup fine oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cups olive oil (or 55 g)
Italian herbs mix
BBQ spice mix
Salt and ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce:
1 medium chopped onion
2-3 coarsely chopped garlic cloves
2-3 medium chopped tomatoes
10 cherry tomatoes (or 1 regular tomato)
2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


For the meatballs:

  1. Fry the onion in a pan with oil and a little salt until golden.
  2. Turn off the heat, add the garlic to the pan, and mix.
  3. Drain the lentils, blend them in a food processor along with the flaxseed until it reaches a crumbly texture, then transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Blend the tofu in the food processor until it becomes a paste-like texture and add to the bowl.
  5. Blend the walnuts with the parsley and coriander until they’re finely ground, and add to the bowl.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl: the onion and garlic from the pan, oatmeal, baking soda, olive oil, and spices.
  7. Mix and knead well by hand until a uniform dough is obtained.
  8. Use the dough to form balls with a diameter of 3-4 cm.
  9. Heat some oil in a pan and sear the meatballs on all sides.

For the tomato sauce:

  1. Fry the onion in a large frying pan for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add all the tomatoes and let them cook until they’ve completely disintegrated.
  4. Add the tomato paste with 2-3 tbsp of water. Add the salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Carefully add the meatballs, cook for another 2 minutes and turn off the heat.
  6. We recommended letting the meatballs sit in the sauce for a few hours so that they absorb the flavors (assuming you can resist).


Serve them on top of pasta, boiled potatoes, or on a bed of rice.

Adding baking soda isn’t necessary but it makes the meatballs fluffier (you can also use baking powder).

The purpose of lightly frying the meatballs is to prevent them from falling apart in the tomato sauce. You can even bake the meatballs instead of frying.

Instead of meatballs, you can also make small burger patties from the mixture, grill them and eat them in a bun.

Keywords: tofu, lentils, meatballs

For more recipes and tips from experienced mentors and certified dietitians, join Challenge 22 for free!

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