Vegetarian BBQ Meatballs

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These lentil meatballs are loaded with flavor and so easy to make. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Delicoius, savory, garlicky meatballs…just like the meatballs you grew up eating, but completely meatless. They are golden on the outside and has an amazinf meaty texture. To top it off and take the deliciousness to a whole new level, the garlic and cheesy flavors combine with mediterranean spices and BBQ sauce. It’s so good you won’t believe it.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of anything Italian. And that’s why I knew I had to come up with a meatless meatballs recipe that would rival regular meatballs. When I came up with this recipe I was really surprised at how amazing and meatlike it is. It’s packed with plantbased protein and healthy nutrients. Of course, I couldn’t wait to test it on the meatlovers in my family and hear their verdict. The way I look at it is; if it’s good enough make meatlovers crave more, then it’s passed the test. And let me tell you, these plantbased meatballs passed the test with flying colors.
Everyone wanted more and everyone was asking for the recipe.

Why lentils

Lentils are such a great plantbased protein source. They are loaded with healthy nutrients and so versatile. They provide an ideal meaty texture and also works as a binder that keeps all the ingredients together.
I like to use the brown or green lentils because they have more of the traditional meat like look. But you can use whatever type of lentils you prefer. I also like using the small beluga lentils, but really any kind of lentils will do the job.

What’s great about this recipe:

  • Simple ingredients and easy to cook
  • Plant-based nutrients – packed with vegetarian protein and balanced carbohydrates
  • Meal prep friendly – can be frozen and reheated when needed
  • Budget friendly – All the ingredients are affordable and easyly available at most stores
  • It’s so delicious – the texture is amazing and is complimented by the amazing taste

Vegan version

These meatless meatballs are so easy to adapt to a vegan diet. Just substitute the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast – or optionally, you can leave it out entirely. I like to add a bit of the cheesy flavor to my meatballs, but they are also amazing just as is.
Alternatively, you can switch out the cheese with vegan cheese.

Gluten free version

Making these Vegetarian BBQ Meatballs gluten free is so simple. Just use gluten free rolled oats, or substitute with ½ cup rice flour. Substituting with rice flour may change the consistency a little, so it might be necessary to adjust the amount, adding a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
They need to be firm enough that the meatballs hold their shape and don’t fall apart when you cook them.

Cooking thhese Vegetarian BBQ Meatballs

Cooking the meatballs can be done in several ways. I like to go for the low fat and easy way of just baking them in the oven for 20 minutes and turning them halfway through. It makes them nice and crispy and it’s a super easy option.
If you’re in more of a hurry, you can cook the meatballs in a large pan in some olive oil.

How to make these Vegetarian BBQ Meatballs:

Meatballs

  • Cook the lentils as instructed on the package. Once the lentils are cooked until they are tender (not mushy) drain away the water.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Pour the cooked lentils into a food processor and add all the rest of the ingredients. Blend until everything is mixed.
  • Roll the mixture into 1-2 inch meatballs
  • Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and brush or spray with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Sauce

  • Heat a sauté pan with olive oil and add the onions. Cook the onions at nedium high heat for 5 minutes while stirring. Add the minced garlic and let it cook for a few more minutes.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer and add the fresh basil.
  • Once the meatballs are cooked, gently place them in a pan and pour the sauce on top.

Vegetarian BBQ Meatballs

These lentil meatballs are loaded with flavor and so easy to make. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Delicious, savory, garlicky meatballs…just like the meatballs you grew up eating, but completely meatless.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword plantbased, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • ¾ cup Brown Lentils
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats Optionally Gluten free oats
  • 2 tbsp Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce
  • 1 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • ¼ cup Grated Cheese Optionally vegan cheese
  • 3 tbsp Grated Parmesan Optionally vegan
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of Pepper

Simple Italian Sauce

  • 2 cans Chopped Tomatoes
  • ½ Onion Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 tbsp Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil Roughly chopped

Instructions

Meatballs

  • Cook the lentils as instructed on the package. Once the lentils are cooked until they are tender (not mushy) drain away the water.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Pour the cooked lentils into a food processor and add all the rest of the ingredients. Blend until everything is mixed.
  • Roll the mixture into 1-2 inch meatballs
    Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and brush or spray with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Sauce

  • Heat a sauté pan with olive oil and add the onions. Cook the onions at medium high heat for 5 minutes while stirring. Add the minced garlic and let it cook for a few more minutes.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer and add the fresh basil.
  • Once the meatballs are cooked, gently place them in a pan and pour the sauce on top.

Try serving with my easy bread recipe

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