Red Lentil ‘Meatballs’

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'

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the egg and season with salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times.
  4. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll in into a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

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