green lentil meatballs

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: Approximately 20 meatballs


For the Green Lentil Meatballs:

  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Green Lentil Meatballs:

  1. Cook Lentils:
    • In a medium saucepan, combine green lentils and vegetable broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain any excess liquid.
  2. Prepare Meatball Mixture:
    • In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan (if using), chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Form Meatballs:
    • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
    • Form the lentil mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked through, turning them halfway through for even browning.

Tomato Sauce:

  1. Prepare Sauce:
    • In a saucepan, combine crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


  1. Serve:
    • Pour the tomato sauce over the green lentil meatballs before serving.
    • Optionally, serve over cooked pasta, rice, or with a side of vegetables.
  2. Garnish (Optional):
    • Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs if desired.
  3. Enjoy:
    • Serve these flavorful green lentil meatballs as a nutritious and satisfying meatless alternative!

Note: Feel free to customize the seasonings and adjust the consistency of the lentil mixture with more breadcrumbs if needed. These meatballs can be frozen for later use.

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