If you’ve recently become a vegetarian or pescetarian & you’ve been craving meatballs, never fear: Meatless Meatballs are here! My favorite meatballs before I became a pescetarian were ones my mother would make or the turkey ones from Trader Joe’s. These meatballs are still top-notch & are packed with flavor & umami. The texture is similar, but not exact to meat, but the best part is they hold together pretty well when simmering in marinara! Great party snacks or a main entrée on a plate of spaghetti, surprise your palette & friends with this delightfully vegetarian meatball.Print
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups Italian eggplant, chopped (about 1 small eggplant)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp freshly ground peppercorns
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano or parmesan or both
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1. In a large frying pan, melt butter on medium high heat. Toss in mushrooms & brown them for about 2-3 minutes.
- 2. Add onions & sautée until onions become translucent. Add eggplant & continue to sautée until eggplant has browned & softened. Add garlic & mix evenly, slowly stirring in the red wine. Sautée until wine has been completely soaked into the mushroom mixture.
- 3. Add parsley, oregano, & pepper. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Remove from heat & set aside in a bowl in the freezer to cool down. Do not freeze mixture!! Just allow it to cool down.
- 4. Once cooled, add oats, bread crumbs, cheese & one egg. Gently mix the egg with the eggplant & mushroom mixture, wetting as much of the mixture as possible. When thoroughly mixed, add the last egg & mix in thoroughly. Place in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
- 5. Preheat oven to 425º F. With a melon baller or a small spoon, scoop out little dollops of the mixture & roll into a ball. Place meatballs on a parchment paper or foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy on outside.
- 6. Remove from heat & serve or toss in marinara sauce for 20 minutes.
- If you don’t have any bread crumbs, make your own! Grab 3 slices of whole wheat bread, toast it well done, & grate it with a cheese grater. Be sure to grate the bread over a large bowl because the crumbs will fly everywhere. You can also toss it in a food processor to speed it along.