4.42 from 41 votes
Vegan Italian Meatballs
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Vegan Meatballs, Italian-style, made with savory mushrooms and bulky lentils. Baked or fried until crispy on the outside. A classic Italian plant-based dinner.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 9 golf-ball sized balls
Calories per Serving: 121 kcal
Author: Pasta-based
  • 1 cup cooked brown/green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil *
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 1 flax egg **
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs vegan
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper (each)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (for frying, skip if baking)
  1. To cook dry lentils (skip this step if using canned lentils): Cook 1/2 cup (54 g) dry lentils on stovetop, using 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. About 15-20 minutes. Drain if needed and measure out 1 cup (192 g) cooked lentils for the recipe.

  2. *Make a flax egg by mixing together 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken. 

  3. Meanwhile, chop yellow onion, garlic and cremini mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, add chopped veggies to pan and sauté until soft. About 5 minutes.

  4. Once vegetables are soft and lentils are cooked, add to food processor along with breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, flax egg, and salt + pepper.  Pulse ingredients until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down sides as needed. You'll want the mixture to be well-combined, very mushy and sticky.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

  2. Roll each ball between your hands to form golf-ball sized balls. Place evenly spaced on a lightly greased baking sheet. 

  3. Bake in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. Rotate each ball and reshape if needed every 10 minutes. (The longer you leave them in the oven, the crispier the outside will become).

  1. If frying, heat 1/4 cup (54 g) olive oil on medium-heat in a large skillet. Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized balls and add to hot oil - be careful because it can splash. Carefully turn balls as they start to brown on each side. 

  2. As each ball gets browned, place them on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb some excess oil.

  3. Serve warm or freeze for later.***

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Italian Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 ball)
Calories 121 Calories from Fat 71
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.9g12%
Saturated Fat 1.1g7%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 18mg1%
Carbohydrates 9.8g3%
Fiber 1.7g7%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 3.4g7%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Vitamin C 5.3mg6%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.