Need vegan recipes for eggplant! How about these delicious gluten free meatball recipe! YA veggie-loaded meatball perfect as a vegan appetizer or healthy dinner! Not only are they super yummy but they have a great texture that would please any crowd (not just us vegans!).Jump to Recipe
I actually first made these a super long time ago before I decided to eat a plant based whole food diet. After my first son was born we hosted the families from our birthing group, to reconnect and meet each other’s babies. Well, one of the women was a vegetarian and I had NO idea what to make for her. I wanted to serve a bunch of easy finger food type appetizers (since we were all nursing mamas). And I came across a meatball recipe that used eggplant on Pinterest!
It was so good that I just keep on making it over the years! However, this gluten free recipe has evolved a bit since that time. It is now egg-free, gluten-free and vegan. Actually I think the only thing I kept were the eggplant, hahaha!
Some secret ingredients to making the best gluten free meatball recipe
It may surprise you to see that there are more veggies in this recipe then beans or legumes. Actually, who would have thought this would be a vegan recipe for eggplant! Not only eggplant but there are tomatoes, chickpea and oat flour too.
Generally, vegan meatball recipes rely mostly on black beans or lentils as the main ingredient. But we we need a vegan and gluten free recipe, so we have to use alternative flours. This usually results in a meatball that is soft on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside. Personally, I don’t mind this texture one bit but here come my kids again to push me out of my comfort zone! They want a gluten free meatball that has a consistent texture all the way through! Gosh….
So to accomplish this, this recipe uses eggplant, chickpea and oat flour as the main ingredients. There are some lentils in this recipe but it is very little when compared to the other main ingredients. Chickpea flour is a hearty protein rich flour and oat flour is great to soak up any moisture! So you still get a protein rich meatball without all the mushyness… is that even a word?
How to make this gluten free eggplant meatball recipe
You may be tempted to just throw the eggplant, onions, garlic and tomatoes right in the food processor instead of roasting them first, but you would be missing out on some serious flavour! I encourage you to take the time to roast the veggies first. Not only does it provide some killer flavours, but it also dries out the veggies so the meatballs are not mushy on the inside.
You could always do this step ahead of time if you prefer. The veggies roast pretty quickly (in about 15 minutes) so it is not a game-changer step to skip!
One more thing to note is that depending on the size of your eggplant you may get a drier, or wetter meatball batter then myself. That is why I gave you a range for the amount of chickpea flour you may need to use. The batter should be wet but not so wet that it sticks to your hands when you roll them into meatballs.
Check out the photo to see what the batter should look like!
Do yourself a favour and batch make these
Do yourself a favour and make a double batch of these! This recipe can be included in your meal prep for the week. It keeps well in the fridge or can be frozen. If you do decide to freeze them then just thaw it in the fridge before you warm them up. You can cook them all the way through and then freeze with no issues.
I love these freezer bags if you are looking for a zerowaste option.
From finger food recipe to a healthy gluten free vegan meal
The best thing about these eggplant meatballs is that they are amazing in so many ways. They make a great vegan appetizer or hearty family meal.
You could serve them over some hummus as I did here. Or in a sandwich, dipped in pizza sauce, in spaghetti, or served with rice and veggies. So many different ways you could enjoy them!
These eggplant meatballs are the perfect meal to make if you are looking for easy vegan recipes for eggplant!
I hope you enjoyed this eggplant meatball recipe! If you are looking for more healthy gluten free vegan meal prep recipes, or easy party hosting ideas check out these recipes:
- Easy crowd-pleasing lasagna
- 5 minute Caeser salad dressing with chickpea croutons
- 15 minute no-bake bliss balls
Anyhoo, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this easy family recipe!
Until next time, tchau
- 2 small eggplants
- 15 mini tomatoes
- ½ onion roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown lentils or 1 can
- 2 cups oat flour
- 1 ½ cups chickpea flour or more depending on eggplant size
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virin
- 1 tbsp cumin ground
- 2 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. To a large baking pan add the eggplant, onions, garlic, tomatoes, spices and olive oil. Use your hands or a large spoon to mix (saving you a bowl to wash). Then place into the oven for 15 minutes.
- Once the veggies are roasted add them to the food processor (you should get about 3 cups worth). Then add in the remaining ingredients. Process until you get a batter.
- Using a large tablespoon roll out each meatball with your hands. Then place onto the same baking pan as the veggies. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 425 for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- You can store them in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If frozen let them thaw in the fridge before warming them up.