Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
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
- 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.
Slightly Adapted from Mark Bittman’s VB6 Cookbook
Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 3 meatballs with 1/2 cup sauce
- Amount Per Serving:
- Freestyle Points: 7
- Points +: 6
- Calories: 260 calories
- Total Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 307mg
- Carbohydrates: 43g
- Fiber: 9g
- Sugar: 1g
- Protein: 8g