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eggplant meatballs

Meatless eggplant meatballs are an amazing way to get more vegetables into your diet. You won't miss the meat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marie@FeelingFoodish

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:

  • 28 oz can of crushed or diced tomato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

For the eggplant meatballs (see note):

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (500 g) eggplant, large dice (about 1 medium-large sized eggplant)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 1 can white beans (butter, cannelloni, or navy)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

To serve:

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Tomato sauce from above

Instructions

For the sauce:

  • In a medium sized saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onion. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion becomes soft (about 3 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and keep heating for another minute or so
  • Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes
  • Set aside.
  • In the meantime, make the eggplant meatballs

For the meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Use 1 tablespoon of oil to baking pan and place in the oven to preheat
  • In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil, and add eggplant
  • Cook eggplant over medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and then transfer to a food processor
  • Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to now empty pan and add the onion. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the garlic and keep cooking for about another minute.
  • In the meantime, rinse and drain the beans and add them to the food processor along with the parsley.
  • Pulse the ingredients until combined but not pureed.
  • Add the onion, garlic mixture, the breadcrumbs and the seasonings to the food processor with the eggplant mixture and pulse again.
  • Form the mixture into 12 equally size balls
  • Remove preheated pan from oven and arrange the meatballs on the tray
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until firm and well browned.

To serve

  • Serve with tomato sauce, or place in baking dish, top with cheeses and sauce and broil on low unti the cheese is melted (about 3 minutes)

Notes

You can make the mixture one night and then roll and cook them another night if you are short on time