As much as don’t think I could ever be a vegetarian, I sometimes get sick and tired of eating chicken every which way, and wanted to try something a little more interesting then my weekly chicken meatballs. I had some lentils in the house so I started looking for a recipe.  I came across a lentil one from the Meatball Shop.
     Just one cup of lentils provides 18 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, only 1 gram of fat and 230 calories.  They are loaded with folate, phosphorus and potassium as well.  I always tweak a few things in a recipe depending on what I have in the house, and also try to sneak in some more veggies and whole grains if I can,  and this recipe is no exception.  I had them for dinner, for lunch and for snacks and served them over a mashed cauliflower.  Hope you enjoy as much as we did…


Lentil Veggie Meatballs

Madeline Basler


  • 2 cups cooked and cooled lentils
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large red pepper and one zucchini chopped small
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed 1/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds


  • 1.: Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil to a large frying pan and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
  • Add the veggies and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 more minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow cooling to room temperature.
  • When cool, add the lentils to the vegetable mixture.
  • 2.: Add the eggs, Romano, flaxseed, breadcrumbs, parsley and almonds to the cooled vegetables and lentils and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.
  • Form meatballs.
  • 3.: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Drizzle 1-tablespoon of oil on a pan and roast veggie balls until golden brown and toasted. Serve with pesto or marinara, over whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti squash or pureed cauliflower!


Recipe provided by Madeline Basler, RDN, CDN
Real You Nutrition
Adapted from The Meatball Shop