Lentils are a staple in my diet. They are very versatile and can be used in salads, curries and patties amongst other things. Most of the time I buy them in bulk… besides that it is cheaper, it involves less packaging which is better for the environment. The shop assistant is always amazed and asks: “Are you sure you want all these? What are you going to do with all these lentils?” 😀
Lentils are a good source of protein and can easily substitute meat in various dishes. I have made these ‘meatballs’ multiple times because they are easy and quick, healthy and delicious too.
I like to compare the recipe below to that of a classic meatball. The lentil ‘meatballs’ are great as a snack or can be served over a plate of pasta with a simple tomato sauce.
However, if you want something different, you can flavour the lentil balls with other spices/herbs. I do sometimes use this recipe as a base and instead of the Italian herbs, I use garam masala powder, crushed coriander seeds, minced ginger and turmeric powder for an Indian twist. I would serve these with a chunky curry sauce and homemade naan bread.
For more lentil recipes, check the link here.
Bon apetit! 🙂
Red Lentil 'Meatballs'
Hearty balls of lentils to accompany a simple tomato pasta dish
- 200g dried red lentils
- 475g vegetable stock
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp flour*
- 1 egg*
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Rinse and drain the lentils. Place in a medium saucepan and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. It is fine for the lentils to be slightly overcooked as they will help to mixture to bind. Drain any excess liquid and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a food processor, place the cooked lentils, shredded carrot, minced garlic, dried basil and oregano, smoked paprika and chopped parsley. Pulse until everything is combined.
- Add the egg and season with salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times.
- Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
- Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll in into a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, carefully place the lentil ‘meatballs’ and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Serve with a tomato sauce over spaghetti or your choice of pasta.
*Oat flour can be used for a gluten free recipe
*A flax egg can be used instead for a vegan recipe