Eggplant Meatballs

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!

Eggplant Meatballs

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!

A bowl with ingredients for eggplant meatballs.

Eggplant Meatball Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Almond Flour
  • Egg
  • EVOO + Spices

Substitutes

Can’t have nuts but still want to make this? Instead of almond flour, use gluten-free or traditional panko breadcrumbs.

Eggs

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.

Unbaked eggplant meatballs on a sheet tray.

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!

Eggplant Meatballs on a plate with marinara sauce.

Watch the video here:



If you like this eggplant recipe, check out these others:

Print

Eggplant Meatballs

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!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For Meatballs

  • 1 medium-size eggplant (about 1½ pounds), peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 24 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

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer eggplant to a bowl and add in the garlic, almond flour, parmesan cheese (if using), egg, olive oil and spices. Mix well.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until tender and firm to touch.
  6. 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.
  7. Gently toss together the meatballs and the sauce, and serve over noodles of choice.

Notes

  1. Recipe originally published in 2014, and republished in 2020.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 223
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 845mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Cholesterol: 97mg

22 comments
July 29, 2020

You Might Also Like

Join The Discussion

22 Responses

  1. These were fabulous!! Mine held together much better than I had expected. I actually thought they tasted quite like meat too. Thank you for creating and sharing this recipe!

  2. Was wondering if you think putting the eggplant in a good processor before making the balls would help it to form better?

  3. I made these last night and they were fabulous! I was worried that they were too moist because I had to spoon my “meatballs” onto my cookie sheet but they held together well after they were baked. Quick question: have you tried freezing them? I was thinking about making a bigger batch and freezing them if they held up well. Thanks!

    1. Kate – Did you try freezing them? Have just picked a few eggplant from my garden, and this would be a great way to use them. Thanks.

  4. Just made these tonight they are soooooo good! I left out the almond meal and used just Parmesan cheese to bind it. It was like egg plant parmigiana. Seriously good stuff. Served it with Rao’s special blend pasta sauce that only has 2 carbs and zoodles. Thank you for this!

  5. Wondering if you could substitute something in for the egg. My son is allergic to eggs but he would love this!

  6. I just made these for the first time. I used a large eggplant and sadly ran out of almond meal flour so I added some gluten free bread crumbs. They were absolutely DELISH. I cannot wait to make them again & again & again. I’m about to start my dietetic internship at Georgia Southern University and you better believe I will be taking this recipe with me!

  7. These are so good and pretty easy to make! Mine actually held together better than expected– delicious either way

    5.0 rating

  8. These turned out amazing! I followed the recipe exactly – used 4 T almond flour. Are these with some Raos sauce and quinoa. So so good! Will definitely be making these again! (Maybe weekly)

    5.0 rating

    1. Hi Marina! It addresses this in both the post and the directions. The recipe calls for peeled and diced eggplant 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to Make a Parchment Paper Sling

How to Make a Parchment Paper Sling

Want to know the secret to perfectly cut brownies or bars? We’re showing you How to Make a Parchment Paper
7 Tips for Having the Best Beach Day Ever

7 Tips for Having the Best Beach Day Ever

Nothing says “summer” quite like going to the beach — whether you’re packing up the family for a week in
How a Nutritionist Decodes a Nutrition Facts Label

How a Nutritionist Decodes a Nutrition Facts Label

A nutrition label can be a useful tool to evaluate how healthy (or not) a food can be, but it

Subscribe to Lexis Clean Living

Join our email list to get instant updates and weekly summaries of our top content and special exclusive offers along with our free clean eating kickstart guide!

This website may at times receive a small affiliate commission for products that we shared with you in our posts. Although we may receive a commission for linking certain products, there’s no additional costs to you and all of our opinion and suggestions are 100% our own and unbiased. That’s our promise to you!


Yields
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time



Author: Lexi

Ingredients

Directions

Recipe Notes


logo
AdBlocker Detected
Some elements of this website will not work correctly while your adblocker is enabled. Please disable your adblocker and reload the page.