Hearty eggplant is one of the best vegetable substitutes to make these luscious, meatless “meatballs”. Whether you serve them as a meatless main course piled on top of zoodles or pasta, or served as an appetizer, these eggplant meatballs are delish!
There’s a restaurant in my neighborhood that recently closed down and the eggplant meatballs are the one item on the menu I’ll miss the most. Rather than getting upset, I set out to recreate them in my kitchen and I think I succeeded! I shared them with my neighbor and my cousin and they both raved and wanted the recipe. These are great for vegetarians or if you’re like me, just looking to incorporate more plant based foods into my diet.
To speed this up, I simmered the “meatballs” in DeLallo’s Basil Pomodoro sauce. Coming from a girl who won’t use sauce from a jar, DeLallo does it right and is the only one I would use if I wasn’t making it from scratch. If you want to make your own sauce, you can use my quick marinara recipe here instead.
- cooking spray
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 lbs unpeeled eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
- kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 (25.25 ounce jar) DeLallo Pomodoro sauce
- part skim ricotta cheese, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oven to 375°F. 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 to taste and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times.
- Transfer to a bowl and add bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese, parsley, garlic and chopped basil into the eggplant. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.
- Form the eggplant mixture into 24 balls about 1 1/8 oz each, rolling tightly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until firm and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Heat the sauce in a large deep skillet to warm the sauce. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish the meatballs with basil leaves and serve with ricotta cheese if desired.
Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 4 meatballs
- Amount Per Serving:
- Smart Points: 6
- Points +: 6
- Calories: 222.5
- Total Fat: 7.5g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5g
- Cholesterol: 41mg
- Sodium: 1066mg
- Carbohydrates: 31g
- Fiber: 6g
- Sugar: 6g
- Protein: 10.5g
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DeLallo. I only share products I use in my own kitchen. I created this recipe and received compensation so you can get the recipe for free. Enjoy!