This hearty Eggplant Meatball recipe makes it easy to add more nutritious veggies into your life, without sacrificing on taste. Made gluten-free, and optionally dairy-free, this eggplant meatball dish is a cross between eggplant parm and traditional meatballs. They’re simple to make and perfect for meatless Mondays!
Healthy Eggplant Meatballs
These Eggplant Meatballs are the real deal! They’re hearty, with just the right “meaty” texture. They aren’t a true 1-1 substitute for beef meatballs, but instead, they’re a really delicious alternative that tastes a little reminiscent of eggplant parmesan! Made with real whole foods, and just a few simple ingredients, they make a great healthy meal on a weeknight! Plus, they’re also gluten-free and optionally dairy-free so they can be loved by everyone!
Eggplant Meatball Ingredients
- Almond Flour
- EVOO + Spices
Can’t have nuts but still want to make this? Instead of almond flour, use gluten-free or traditional panko breadcrumbs.
We haven’t tested this without eggs, but there is a good chance that flax eggs will work.
How to Make Eggplant Meatballs
The first step in making the meatballs is to cook the peeled and diced eggplant! You can either steam it, or you can boil it. You want it to be just fork tender. After it’s cooked you can squeeze out the eggplant in a clean kitchen towel or press out the eggplant in a strainer to remove excess liquid.
The next step is to combine the eggplant with all the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix it up well. The mixture is soft, but can easily be shaped. If you are having trouble achieving the shape, add in 1 tablespoon more of almond flour at a time until you can easily make a meatball shape with it. Once it is the right consistency, you can use a cookie scoop or a spoon, to scoop out about 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture and gently form it into a ball.
Next, it’s time to bake! While it’s baking, you can make a super simple tomato sauce. If you are pressed for time, you can also serve this with a good-quality store-bought marinara, too.
Once the meatballs are tender and firm to touch, they’re done! Gently toss together the meatballs and the sauce, and serve over noodles of choice.
How to Serve Eggplant Meatballs
There are so many ways to serve these veggie meatballs! For a light and plant-forward dinner, serve with spiralized vegetables such as zucchini noodles! Or you can serve them with your pasta-of-choice.
Go a little non-conventional and serve over a salad, or with rice or even on their own with the sauce!
Watch the video here:
If you like this eggplant recipe, check out these others:
- Healthy Eggplant Parm Bites
- Eggplant Lasagna Rollatini
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
- Tomato, Eggplant, and Chickpea Stew
This hearty Eggplant Meatballs make it easy to squeeze in more nutritious veggies into your life, without sacrificing on taste. Made gluten-free, and optionally dairy-free, this eggplant meatball dish is a cross between eggplant parm and traditional meatballs. They're simple to make and perfect for meatless Mondays!
- 1 medium-size eggplant (about 1-½ pounds), peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 - 4 tablespoons almond flour
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For Easy Tomato Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
- Add eggplant to a medium pot of boiling water and cook until a fork can easily pierce the eggplant, about 8-10 minutes. Drain eggplant well. Either squeeze out the eggplant in a clean kitchen towel or press out the eggplant in a strainer to remove excess liquid.
- Transfer eggplant to a bowl and add in the garlic, almond flour, parmesan cheese (if using), egg, olive oil and spices. Mix well.
- Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out about 2 tablespoons of mixture and gently form into a bowl. The mixture is soft, but can easily be shaped. If you are having trouble achieving the shape, add in 1 tablespoon more of almond flour at a time until you can easily make a meatball shape with it.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until tender and firm to touch.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: heat oil and garlic in a medium pot. Add in onion and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add in remaining sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Gently toss together the meatballs and the sauce, and serve over noodles of choice.
- Recipe originally published in 2014, and republished in 2020.
July 29, 2020
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