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Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

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These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, made with eggplant, white beans and breadcrumbs to hold them together.

These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

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. This eggplant recipe is great whether you’re a vegan or just want to incorporate more plant based foods into your diet. More eggplant recipes I love are Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan, Eggplant Spinach Rollatini and Baked Eggplant Sticks.

These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!

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.

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 so I try to eat meatless two or three times a week. That’s why 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 vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!

These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!

These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!

More Vegan Recipes:

Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

4.60 from 10 votes
3
Cals:260
Protein:8
Carbs:43
Fat:7
These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
These vegan eggplant meatballs are amazing meatless meatballs, 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!
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Total: 1 hr 20 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 3 meatballs with 1/2 cup sauce

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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. 

Last Step:

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Notes

Slightly Adapted from Mark Bittman's VB6 Cookbook

Nutrition

Serving: 3 meatballs with 1/2 cup sauce, Calories: 260 kcal, Carbohydrates: 43 g, Protein: 8 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 9.5 g, Sodium: 307 mg, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 1 g

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136 comments on “Vegan Eggplant Meatballs”

  1. Avatar photo
    Tracey Stephens

    Mine turned out quite wet. Added a little garbanzo bean flour, but still very wet. Maybe my egg plant was too large. I also pureed my mixture so they aren’t pretty like yours…more a dull grey color. Taste ok. Maybe I’ll add a lot more bread crumbs next time for an egg plant that size.

  2. Will any white bean do, are navy beans okay? Years ago I used to make eggplant meatballs, I made up a recipe and can’t remember what it was, but it was good, definitely making these. 

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  5. I’ve never been a big fan of eggplant, but I made these anyway. And oh my goodness, these are unbelievably delicious. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  6. I am going to try this soon. I follow the VB6 diet and I love adding new recipes to my repertoire. Thanks!

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  8. Just wanted to give our update after making this recipe. So good! I didn’t have the sogginess/softness issue others had. We let these sit at room temp for at least an hour after rolling into meatballs to let them firm up. Only substitution: we replaced the breadcrumbs with 1/2 cup rolled oats.

  9. I was very excited to try this recipe, but unfortunately my eggplant was bad! I still wanted to try it out so I replaced the eggplant with shredded zucchini. I also used chickpeas instead of white beans. I baked them for about 40 mins and the insides were still pretty soft, but the taste was great! I’m definitely going to make them again using eggplant. Great recipe!

  10. I just made them according to the cooking directions, but I found that they were very soft/mushy inside. Should I have baked them for more than 30 minutes or have used less beans? Suggestions welcome! Otherwise, I loved them!

  11. As others have commented, these were firm on the outside, but really mushy on the inside. I even sauteed the meatballs thinking it would cook the inside, but indeed it did not help.

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    1. Yep. I also got over 2 dozen LARGE golfball sized meatballs. To get twelve they would have been the size of tennis balls.

  14. I tweaked a bit and made it more like an Italian meatball by adding fresh basil and grated Locatelli cheese.
    Delish.

  15. Avatar photo
    Valerie Loeffler

    Hi I just made these and the “meatballs”  kind of just melted flat in the oven. Is there something I did wrong?

    1. Not sure what went wrong, did you leave something out? Did you form them small as the recipe suggested?

      1. Avatar photo
        Valerie Loeffler

        Yep did everything according to the recipe and they turned into pancakes..and they were very mushy. 🙁

  16. this recipe looks amazing! unfortunately, my oven isn't working.. do you think it would be possible to make this in a crockpot?
    '

  17. Avatar photo
    Carol Heidelmark

    These are delicious. I haven't had a meatball in 20 years since I gave up meat. I followed the recipe to a T but I think next time I'll change up the seasoning – maybe adding some oregano and basil. Another winner! Thank you Gina

  18. This was absolutely the worst eggplant meatball recipe. The beans keep these from getting any sort of firmness.
    I was so disgusted with the way these turned out I threw half of them away.
    There are much better eggplant meatball recipes that don't rely on beans.