Better Meatless Meatballs

 

Better Meatless Meatballs

"I've had teenagers say they love these Eggplant 'meatballs' better than meatballs." We agree! Thanks, Tracee Yablon Brenner RDN CHHC Culinary Direct for TriadToWellness.com - Looking for more tips to win over your teen or pre-teen with better nutrition? Grab the Better Pre/Teen Nutrition Guide.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Keyword: eggplant, meatballs, vegetarian
Servings: 20

Ingredients

Ingredients

    Eggplant mixture:

    • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 1/4 pounds eggplant unpeeled and cut into 1" cubes
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
    • red pepper flakes optional

    Cashew Pesto:

    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight or boiled for 20 minutes until soft
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt

    Instructions

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Place 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent about 3 minutes. Add garlic until lightly browned, remaining olive oil, and eggplant, and brown on both sides. Add water, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until eggplant is soft. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat proof bowl, and set aside.
    • In a food processor, add garlic, cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and water. Process until smooth. Add basil, lemon juice, and olive oil while processing. Mix until smooth and set aside.
    • In the bowl, mash eggplant into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add the cashew pesto and mix well. Lastly, add the breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes and stir until well combined.
    • Roll eggplant meatless balls in about 2-inch diameter approximately 1 1/2 tablespoon of mixture.
    • Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake until browned (about 25 minutes) turning once so the eggplant pesto "meatballs” are browned on both sides.
    • Serve over zucchini noodles or your choice of pasta with tomato sauce.