Lentil Mushroom Meatballs Recipe (2024)

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Yesterday I was browsing through my pins on Pinterest and I came upon a corn recipe.

Corn. It looked so good. So fresh. Yellow. Delicious. I wanted to cry a little. I could almost taste it, but the almost part made it even worse--almost, but not really.

We're on the cusp of winter, which means that summer is six months away. It is not going to be corn season anytime soon. No, it's winter--winter, the time to eat… well, I guess the same things we've been eating since fall? More sweet potatoes? More winter squash? Mushrooms and broccoli and all those things that might have a season, but don't really have a season because we buy them year-round?


Lentil Mushroom Meatballs have been on my recipe to-do list since last spring, but somehow they seem appropriate for winter. If a big bowl of spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and meatballs could have a season, it would be winter, right?

These meatballs took a lot of trial and error. The first time I made them, I used French lentils. The meatballs were almost perfect, but needed a little adjustment in the seasoning department. So the second time, I used brown lentils. Disaster! The meatballs were mushy in the center, although the seasoning was right this time.



Lesson? The lentils need to be undercooked. I didn't want to call for French lentils in the recipe since they're not available at all supermarkets. So in order to use brown lentils, I cooked them for a shorter amount of time than you normally would. After cooking, they get pulsed with mushrooms in the food processor until the mixture is coarsely chopped. This mixture is then browned in a skillet before forming the meatballs. (Does this sound complicated? I swear, it's not!)

I also baked the meatballs instead of frying them, so in order to help them keep their shape, I put them in mini muffin tins. Oh sure, they get a little flat on the bottom, but don't they look like perfect little meatballs on top?


Chris loves the frozen soy meatballs and I think I've finally come up with a good alternative--well, at least, according to him, I have. They're savory and delicious and made with real, whole ingredients like lentils, mushrooms, and oats. Although they are perfect in a big bowl of spaghetti, they'd also make fantastic meatball subs or sliders.

I guess winter isn't so bad, huh? Maybe I can wait that six months for corn...

Recipe

Lentil Mushroom Meatballs Recipe (6)

Lentil Mushroom Meatballs

Baked meatless meatballs made with oats, mushrooms, and lentils. The perfect addition to a bowl full of spaghetti!

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Prep Time: 40 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegetarian

Keyword: Lentil Mushroom Meatballs, meatless meatballs

Servings: 12 meatballs

Calories: 92kcal

Author: Oh My Veggies

Ingredients

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • Combine lentils, bay leaf, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. (Yes, the lentils will be undercooked--don't cook them for the time indicated on the package!) Remove from heat, drain, and cool slightly. Discard bay leaf.

  • Add mushrooms and lentils to food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), stirring constantly. Stir in mushroom-lentil mixture. Cook for about 4 minutes or until browned, stirring constantly.

  • Add red wine to skillet and cook until evaporated. Stir in broth, soy sauce, oats, and Italian seasoning. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Once mixture is cool enough to work with, shape it into 12 uniformly-sized meatballs. Place each in a mini-muffin tin that's been coated in oil or cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Nutrition

Serving: 3-4 meatballsCalories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 112mgPotassium: 203mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, including our new Vegan Thanksgiving and Vegan Christmas cookbooks!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    Great idea making them in a muffin tin. I never would have thought of that, but it's a great way to keep them held together!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I use my muffin tins constantly, but hardly ever for actual muffins. 😛 They are handy!

      Reply

  2. Anele @ Success Along the Weigh says

    We must've been on the same wavelength, I saw frozen corn but I couldn't help myself, I got it. I know it's not the same as fresh but TJ's roasted corn tastes just like summer!

    Reply

  3. Maria Tadic says

    Im gonna have to try these - my husband is a meatball enthusiast. I just made eggplant meatballs the other night and they were pretty good. But I've been wanting to try them out with mushrooms .... looks like lentil mushroom meatballs it is!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I want to try making ones out of eggplant! I've seen those at the store, but I've never had them myself...

      Reply

        • Kiersten says

          Thanks for the link! 🙂

          Reply

  4. Kaitlin says

    You are GENIUS! This recipe looks fantastic. I always have lots of lentils on hand, and will be trying this for sure. I was just raving about your wild mushroom gravy to people yesterday. Got me craving a big bowl of mashed potatoes again too 😉

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I actually had these meatballs with that mushroom gravy! I tested them several times before posting them and putting the gravy on them was probably my favorite way to serve them, but it definitely wouldn't photograph as well a bowl of spaghetti. 😉

      Reply

      • Kaitlin says

        AH! That's awesome! Sounds like I'm going to need a quadruple batch of gravy to go with some mashed potatoes and these meatballs soon 😉

        Reply

  5. Aggie says

    Oh wow, this is amazing. As much as I try to cut back on eating meat, I have a hard time giving up my grandpa's meatballs. These lentil mushroom meatballs look irresistible. This is something I definitely want to try. YUM!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      Well, they might not be your grandpa's recipe, but they definitely are good! 🙂

      Reply

  6. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says

    Oh dang it! You lured me in with lentils and spaghetti and threw those mushrooms in. I'm guessing this is the one you told me about. Doggone it, still looks good though!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      Yup, this is the one. 😀 But don't worry, next week I have cookies and pancakes scheduled--no mushrooms in sight!

      Reply

  7. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up says

    I have been playing around with lentil meatballs for a while. I like the soy ones, but hate eating so much soy. This recipe looks great and the muffin pan idea is great. Ill take a bowl now.. 🙂

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      Yeah, I try to avoid the frozen meat subs that are made with soy, but my husband still loves them. Now that I've come up with a meatball recipe that he likes more than those frozen ones, I just need to figure out how to do riblets. 😉

      Reply

  8. Emily says

    Kiersten these meatballs look great, I definitely have to try them!
    How do you think they would hold up to being frozen and reheated?
    I don't have a lot of experience freezing mushrooms! Any advice? Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I haven't tried freezing these, although the next time I make them, I'm probably going to double the recipe so I can do that. But I don't think it would be a problem--I think the worst case scenario would be that they're a little bit softer after being reheated.

      Reply

  9. Jackie @ The Beeroness says

    This looks great! I'm not a huge fan of regular meatballs, they tend to be dry and lack flavor. These look so much better.

    Reply

  10. Caitlin says

    I'll occasionally eat the faux meat products (LOVE Tj's breakfast veggie sausage patties and the occasional chik'n pattie), but haven't been able to get on board with the fake meat balls. Excited to try these!!!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      Yeah, I'm the same way. There are a few that I will eat, but for the most part, they kind of squick me out. 🙂

      Reply

  11. Natalie says

    These look and sound delicious, can't wait to give them a try!

    Reply

  12. Angie@Angie's Recipes says

    I must try this too! They look really tempting, esp. when covered with the sauce!

    Reply

  13. Mushrooms Canada says

    Thanks for going through that trial and error and getting the testing out of the way for us! I'm so excited to dive right into these beautiful meatballs that I don't think I would have your patience! Thanks for sharing yet another fabulous mushroom recipe!

    -Shannon

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I really wanted them to work out, so I wasn't about to give up! 😉

      Reply

  14. marla says

    Such a genius meatball creation I must try!!

    Reply

  15. Nancy/SpicieFoodie says

    I recently saw a recipe for lentil meatballs. They have been on my list to try. Yours look scrumptious and so elegant too! Thanks for sharing and for the push to give it a try.

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      You should definitely give them a try--they are so good!

      Reply

  16. Bridget @ The Road Not Processed says

    Wow, thank you for this. I never liked meatballs even when I did eat meat, but these are completely different and look wonderful. A new style to incorporate my lentils that I eat everyday!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      Yes, these are much better than meat meatballs! 😀 They're a lot lighter and less greasy.

      Reply

  17. Sandra's Easy Cooking says

    Absolutely amazing!!!! Got to try this soon!!!!!

    Reply

  18. Jenn @therebelchick says

    I could probably be a vegetarian if I could afford to hire you as my personal chef. You are such an amazing cook!! I actually really love lentils and make a soup with them all of the time, so I would probably really like these!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      Ha! Maybe I should start a second career cooking for other people. 😉

      Reply

  19. mjskit says

    This is the first time I've seen lentil meatballs! I was wondering how they held together in the frying process, but I see that you bake them. Very clever! These look like a great veggie meatball with lots of good protein!

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I suspect that they could hold up to some gentle frying, but baking is definitely easier. 🙂

      Reply

  20. SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) says

    Yummy!!! We had veggie meatballs yesterday 🙂

    Reply

  21. Rachel says

    Great idea to put them in a muffin tin. But I am drooling over that sauce. It looks so good.

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      It's jarred sauce--ha! 😀

      Reply

      • Rachel says

        NO!

        That pedestal you were standing on? It just blew up.

        Reply

        • Kiersten says

          Ha! You really expect me to make homemade meatballs AND sauce?! Psshh.

          Reply

  22. Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom says

    This sounds really interesting. I usually avoid making meatballs but these look good!

    Reply

  23. shelly (cookies and cups) says

    I need to try these! They really sound amazing 🙂

    Reply

  24. Ashley - Baker by Nature says

    What an awesome idea for vegetarian meatballs - trying this!

    Reply

  25. Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving says

    This looks like the perfect winter dish. I am getting sick of squash and potatoes for reals and I can't wait for summer.

    Reply

    • Kiersten says

      I know! I am feeling completely uninspired lately. I'm ready for a new crop of veggies...

      Reply

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Lentil Mushroom Meatballs Recipe (2024)

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