Vegetarian “meatless” meatballs made with hearty eggplant, flavor packed mushrooms, garlic and cilantro, formed into these crazy good balls of delicious joy that you MUST try! Vegetarian, kid-friendly and perfect for spaghetti and meatball dinners!
If you love meatballs as much as I do but want an easy vegetarian meatball recipe then this is the perfect recipe for you. These Eggplant Meatballs are baked, no frying in oil, made in only a few easy steps, made from whole food ingredients and are absolutely the BEST “meatless” meatballs I have ever had! Are you excited???? I am! They don’t fall apart, resemble traditional meatballs and get this….they are loaded with veggies like eggplant and mushrooms. YIPPEE!!!
These were so good I had to stop myself from eating too many, ha ha!
Things to love about these Eggplant Meatballs
- Firm on the outside but tender on the inside
- Hearty and full of good for you veggies like eggplant and mushrooms
- Oh so tasty!
- Easy “meatless” meatball recipe with only a few steps
What’s not to love?
What are eggplant meatballs made of?
These vegetarian meatballs are made of only a few plant-based ingredients:
- Eggplant (obviously)
- Cashews – pulsed in a food processor
- Parmesan cheese
- Herbs – cilantro, basil, oregano
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
Can you freeze eggplant meatballs?
Yes you can! They can be frozen either raw or after they are cooked.
To freeze these meatballs raw or cooked: You will need to place them into a freezer-friendly airtight container and separate them with wax paper so they do not stick together. They should freeze for about 2-3 months.
To cook them from frozen: Simply remove them from the freezer, let them thaw on the counter for 30 minutes then cook them per the recipe cooking instructions.
To cook them from cooked-frozen state: Let them thaw on the counter for 20 minutes. Cook them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 F degrees for 15 minutes. Add them to a pan with your favorite red sauce, cook for a few more minutes in the sauce, serve and ENJOY!
I am literally bursting with excitement over these! I know, I am weird but I just adore healthy, easy recipes that are simply DELICIOUS!
How to make Eggplant Meatballs
First: Roast the eggplant and mushrooms to get them nice and soft and bring out their vibrant flavors.
Then just pulse the cooked eggplant and mushrooms in a food processor and combine with the rest of the ingredients and mix until fully combined.
Roll the mixture into even size balls and bake on a sheet pan in a 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
That’s it! Then you can cook them in your favorite tomato sauce and top them with some more fresh herbs and you are ready for a “meatless” meatball feast.
What to eat with vegetarian meatballs
There are so many ways to enjoy these meatballs.
Vegetarian meatball subs – Just add a few meatballs to some toasted buns and top with tomato sauce and cheese. So good!
On pizza – Slice them in half and add them as a pizza topping for a vegetarian meatballs pizza! Yum!!!!
- 1 medium size eggplant diced - 2 cups
- 1 pint Baby Bella mushrooms diced - 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup cashews pulsed in a food processor
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon worcesterchire sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 egg lightly whisked
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the diced eggplant to a medium size mixing bowl, drizzle on 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread the eggplant out evenly on half of the baking sheet.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the same mixing bowl you tossed the eggplant in and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the 1 tablespoon of dried thyme and pepper and toss. Do not add salt to the mushrooms or they won't brown as well in the oven.
- Lay the mushrooms out evenly on the other half of the baking sheet that the eggplant is on and bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Once the veggies are done, set them aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Once the veggies are cooled add them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are minced and resemble ground meat. Pour the mixture into a medium size mixing bowl. If you do not have a food processor then you can still make these meatballs but they may be a little chunkier. Just use a potato masher to mash them instead of a food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. I just used my hands but you can use a rubber spatula to mix everything up.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
- Using an ice cream scoop or just your hands, form about 15-20 even size balls with the mixture and place them evenly onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the 400F degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Toss in your favorite tomato sauce, let them cook for a few minutes in the sauce. Plate, top with some fresh basil and grated parmesan and ENJOY!
- I used just one medium size mixing bowl and one baking sheet to make these.
- I used a regular size eggplant that yielded about 2 cups once it was peeled and diced.
- To make these vegan you can sub the egg with flax egg and sub the parmesan with vegan parmesan cheese.
- You can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days! To reheat just warm them in a pan on the stovetop with your favorite tomato sauce or in the microwave.
- See post for freezing instructions.
- You can enjoy these meatballs in so many ways - see the post for my serving suggestions.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 3
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 26mg Sodium: 233mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 3g Protein: 12g