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+ servings

Italian Style Lentil Balls

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword gluten free, glutenfree, meatballs, vegan
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Planted and Picked


  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup carrot very finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 flax egg


  • Place lentils, bay leaf, rosemary and vegetable broth in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer and covering for approximately 40 minutes or until lentils are tender and broth is absorbed. Remove the bay leaf and discard and set lentils aside, uncovered.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375°F after lentils have been cooking for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the flax egg using a mixture of 1 tbsp of ground flax and 3 tbsp of water for a single flax egg as per original recipe. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium pan and sauté onion with salt on medium for 5 to 7 minutes until onion is translucent, and slightly browned.
  • Add carrots and garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until carrots are tender. If necessary, you may add a tablespoon of water at a time to prevent sticking, but we did not find this necessary in a well-seasoned cast iron pan.
  • Add oregano, basil, garlic powder and onion powder and continue to sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • Place the rolled oats in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, being sure to maintain some texture to the oats. While a food processor is preferred, you can alternatively use a blender in the same manner.
  • Place the lentil and vegetable mixtures in the food processor with the oats, chopped parsley, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and pulse a few times until mixture is combined, but not mushy. 
  • Place the mixture into a large bowl and add the flax egg, mixing to combine.
  • Use a soup spoon, collect enough mixture to roll into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter or 30g each. This size should yield about 24 lentil balls.
  • Bake on a wire cooling rack set atop a baking sheet (for even heating) at 375°F for 20 minutes.