These amazing meatless meatballs are made with eggplant, white beans and breadcrumbs to hold them together – if I was a vegan, I would have no problem eating this for dinner every night! They almost remind me of eggplant parmesan, in the form of a meatball.
I've had my eye on this recipes since I got a copy of Mark Bittman's VB6 Cookbook, and it did not disappoint! I love finding new ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet, and I try to eat meatless two to three times a week, so Mark's concept of eating vegan by day and flexitarian by night is quite appealing to me. And this week, I'm giving away 3 signed copies of the VB6 Cookbook on Skinny Bits. Click here for a chance to win your signed copy of the VB6 Cookbook.
Mark suggests serving this on a whole wheat roll, over pasta, rice or vegetables, but I thought I would make some zoodles (zucchini noodles) for a veggie play on spaghetti and meatballs. To make the zucchini noodles, you'll need a spiralizer (I use the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer) or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade. I use 1 medium zucchini per person and saute each zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and garlic for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes tops. To see a more detailed zucchini noodle recipe, click here for my Zucchini Noodles with Lemon and Shrimp.
These meatballs are perfect for all types of diets; vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, clean eating, and gluten-free if you swap the crumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
Slightly Adapted from Mark Bittman's VB6 Cookbook
Servings: 4 • Size: 3 meatballs with 1/2 cup sauce • Points +: 6 pts • Smart Points: 8
Calories: 260 • Fat: 7 g • Carb: 43 g • Fiber: 9 g • Protein: 8 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 307 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg
- cooking spray
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb unpeeled eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup cooked white beans (or drained, rinsed canned)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs or panko (use gf crumbs for gluten free)
- pinch red chili flakes (optional)
- 2 cups quick marinara sauce
Heat the oven to 375°. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the skillet with the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the food processor along with the drained beans and parsley and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.
Combine the mixture with the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes if using. Taste for salt then roll into 12 meatballs, about 2-inches in diameter. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake until firm and browned, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the marinara sauce and serve with the meatballs over pasta, zucchini noodles or on a whole wheat roll.