These healthy Lentil-Walnut Vegetarian Meatballs are the perfect meat-free meal. Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite tomato sauce for a hearty main.
Hiiii! I’ve got ANOTHER veg main for you all today (BOOYAHH – take THAT New Year’s resolution). I’ve been spending a lot of my free time this month cooking up homemade meals (hellooo, irresistible chili and addictive tacos), listening to inspirational podcasts while getting my steps in (gotta please that Fitbit), and snuggling under the covers on the couch with my boxer pup and a feel-good novel. What have you been up to to curb the winter blues?
Since I read really embarrassing culinary mystery novels (did I just admit that???), let’s change the subject and talk about all the inspiration podcasts I’ve been digging lately. Here are five of my new (and old) favorites:
Making Oprah – I binged this podcast! It’s only 3 episodes but each episode is over an hour long and 100% worth the listen. To be honest, I was never an Oprah fan growing up (my mother is a working mom so she wasn’t home when it was on during the day) but Oprah’s story of how she went from being an unknown overweight black woman to the first black woman to become a billionaire (!!) is truly remarkable.
Dear Sugar – If you haven’t heard of this show before, two famous writers read listener’s questions out loud and then talk through solutions. At times dark, hilarious, and always enlightening, this podcast is my go-to when I want feel like I’m sitting next to friends while enjoying a deep conversation.
One Part Podcast – Jessica feels like that cool friend who is always introducing you to even cooler people every time you hang out. She interviews (mostly) woman doing amazing things in the world of food, fashion, music, and wellness.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job – This one is still new (only two episodes in) but I’ve been loving it so far. I think I just really have a soft spot for strong woman doing what they love and telling other people to do the same.
The Food Blogger Pro podcast – A must for all food bloggers out there. Every time I listen to an episode, I learn something new about the field that I didn’t know anything about or have any idea on how to implement.
What are some of your favorite “pick-me-podcasts?” I’ve been going through like 3 episodes a day so I’m always on the hunt for news ones!
And now that we’ve cured the winter blues (or any type of blues you may have right now since… it’s a weird world out there right now), time to talk about this healthy lentil-walnut vegetarian meatballs recipe! In addition to giving you an excuse to eat all the carb-y pasta for dinner, what I love about this recipe is that it’s not only packed full of protein-rich lentils and walnuts but also stuffed to the brim with vegetables! What more could you possibly want?
What’s Needed for Vegetarian Meatballs?
You don’t need many ingredients to make these easy walnut meatballs. Here’s what goes into the meatless meatballs:
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Dried oregano
- Tomato paste
- Chopped walnuts
How to Make Vegetarian Meatballs
These walnut-lentil meatballs are much easier to make than you’d think! Here are the basic steps:
- Cook the lentils until soft but not falling apart, then remove from heat and drain. Let cool.
- Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in some olive oil and let cook until they begin to brown.
- Add in the garlic, oregano, and a little bit of salt, followed by the tomato paste.
- Remove from heat and add in walnuts and cooled lentils. Fold in Parmesan, egg, and breadcrumbs.
- Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Roll the mixture into balls and place on greased baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the batter.
- Bake until the meatballs start to brown on top.
Can I Prep These in Advance?
Yes! If needed, these lentil-walnut vegetarian meatballs can be partially prepared the day before. Just follow the steps until you refrigerate and refrigerate overnight instead of just 15 minutes. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed right before serving.
Tips for Making Meatless Meatballs
I ate these walnut balls as a main course, so I rolled them into gold ball-sized balls. If you’ll be serving them as an appetizer, make the veggie meatballs smaller.
If you’re vegetarian, be sure to look for vegetarian Parmesan at your grocery store. Not all Parm is 100% vegetarian, so read the labels closely.
I’ve never tried freezing these vegetarian meatballs before, but I bet you could totally freeze them once they’ve been baked. If you give this a try, leave me a comment!
Want More Vegetarian Italian Recipes?
- Vegetarian Polenta Pizza Stuffed Peppers
- Walnut Ricotta Lemon Pasta
- Vegetarian Baked Ziti with Chorizo-Spiced Chickpeas
- Cauliflower Parmesan
- Butternut Squash Minestrone
These Lentil-Walnut Vegetarian Meatballs are the perfect meatless meal. Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite tomato sauce for a hearty main.
- 1 cups lentils
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large red onion , diced small
- 1 celery sticks , chopped small
- 2 carrots , chopped small
- 1 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Place the lentils in a saucepan with 6 cups of water. Let the water come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft but not falling apart. Remove from heat and drain. Let cool.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and let cook for about 10 minutes (or until they begin to brown). Next, add in the garlic, oregano, and a little bit of salt. Let cook for another minute. Add tomato paste, stir, and cook for 3 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add in walnuts and cooled lentils. Fold in Parmesan, egg, and breadcrumbs.
Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9x13-inch pan. Using clean hands, roll the mixture into golf ball size balls and place on greased baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the batter.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the meatballs start to brown on top.
Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce.
- Make the meatless meatballs smaller if you want to use them as appetizers.