Recipes · Vegetarian Recipes

Eggplant “Meat”balls

Next in our Meatball Series is Eggplant “Meat”balls, served over pasta and a Marinara Sauce. Takes Spaghetti & Meatballs to a whole new level. This vegetarian recipe is simple and makes a great meal for the whole family, even carnivores.

Eggplant Meatballs ready for baking


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
  • Salt & pepper to taste (while sauteing)
  • 1 onion or shallot, chopped
  • One tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 teaspoon each Italian spices – Oregano, Basil, Thyme
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch red chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups any Marinara/tomato/red sauce
  • Chopped basil or chopped parsley for garnish
  • Parmesan Cheese as desired for topping
Eggplant "Meat"balls

Instructions for Eggplant “Meat”balls

  1. Pre-Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Sauté the diced eggplant. Then, add water as needed to pan to avoid sticking to pan
  5. Sprinkle eggplant with the Italian herbs, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and return to the heat.
  8. Sauté onion & garlic, until they’re soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Add the drained, rinsed beans and parsley to the food processor with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.
  10. In a bowl, toss the eggplant/bean mixture with the onion and garlic,
  11. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan Cheese and red chili flakes
  12. Roll the mixture into about a dozen “Meat”balls about 2 inches round
  13. Transfer them to the prepared pan.
  14. Turn meatballs halfway through cooking about 10 minutes
  15. Bake until they are firm and well browned, 20-25 minutes.
  16. While the meatballs bake in oven, warm the tomato sauce.
  17. If serving pasta with the eggplant meatballs, cook pasta according to package directions, in a pan of boiling, salted water.
  18. Serve the meatballs with the tomato sauce, over pasta
  19. Top with basil if desired and Parmesan cheese (optional)
  20. Garlic Bread makes a great accompaniment
Eggplant "Meat"balls with Red Sauce

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If you like these Eggplant “Meat”balls, try our recipe for Korean BBQ Meatballs

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