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Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”

Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”

Prep

15 mins

cook

45 mins

serves

8

Although Italians rein supreme when it comes to spaghetti, and well, everything pasta related, I like to think that we have done a rather good job at taking inspiration from the ones who do it best. Spaghetti is one of those recipes that can never go wrong. A warm plate of pasta with a savory sauce using fresh ingredients is almost always a fan favorite. And because it is such a simple dish at its core, there is so much room for your kitchen creativity to run free! Whether it’s playing around with the herbs and spices of the sauce, adding new veggies, or merely chopping them in a new fashion, seeing your ingredients like a blank canvas and through an artistic lense will have you coming up with tasty, innovative recipes! 

In today’s recipe for example, we will be putting our plant-based spin on meatballs using hearty, protein-filled lentils! How’s that for kitchen creativity? For anyone interested in reducing the amount of meat in their diet or who is just curious about what all this trendy vegan talk is about, putting a spin on a classic recipe is the perfect way to transition your taste buds into liking the dish. You already know and love it, but this time it’s going to have a unique twist that encourages a meatless meal to try out. And before you say, “well how are they meatballs if they don’t have any meat,” keep your mind open to the idea that lentils, albeit small in size, are incredibly filling and when rolled out and seasoned similarly, you’ll find they are just as good or even better than traditional meatballs! 

Lentil love

Lentils are part of the legume family and are little, round seeds that actually come from a pod. Coming in all sorts of colors like black, brown, green, red, or even yellow, these are a go-to protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Not only are they low in fat, but they are also very low in price, making them a pantry necessity! Throw them into soups, sprout them, or use them as a meat alternative like we’re doing in today’s vegan meatball recipe. Lentils are versatile, filling, and come with an array of nutritional benefits! 

Benefits of eating lentils

  • Protein-rich

Just one cup serving of lentils provides you with about 18 grams of protein. And considering the recommended daily amount of protein is around 45-55 grams, that’s pretty impressive! They are sure to keep you full and fueled throughout the day.

  • Full of fiber

Getting an adequate amount of fiber daily is critical for ensuring a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps to keep your insides running smoothly and on a regular, consistent basis. It can also help reduce blood sugar spikes, assist in weight loss, and may even reduce the risk of colon cancer. Eating one small cup of lentils offers almost 20% of your daily fiber needs, so eat up!

  • Polyphenol-packed

Polyphenols are micronutrients found in plants that fight against potentially harmful substances lurking in the body. The powerful antioxidants also help fight against cellular aging and can trigger your immune system to ward off infections. 

Different Ways To Use Lentils

As mentioned above, one thing I love about lentils is how versatile they are to cook with. You can eat them plain with seasonings as a side dish, you can make soup and stews out of them, the list goes on! From lentil burgers to easy vegan meatballs, finding different creative ideas on how to incorporate them into your diet will have you wanting to eat more of them! Not to mention they are a great source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and potassium too. Just keep in mind the standard 2 parts water to one part lentils when cooking them, and they should come out perfect every time! 

Now let’s get into this tasty vegan spaghetti and meatballs recipe! Even the pickiest of eaters will love this one because it is just so familiar in its taste and presentation. I mean it’s spaghetti after all, it’s pretty hard to go wrong! This recipe uses whole wheat pasta to boost the nutritional value of the dish, and the sauce uses our favorite italian herbs. Try it out for a meatless Monday, or if you have a plant-based crowd to please! The lentil meatballs look just like the real thing, only they are lighter and packed with many more healthy benefits than their meat counterparts. 

Be sure to tag us @FarmboxDirect and use the hashtags #FarmboxDirect and #FarmboxLiving so that we can see how the final results turn out! 

Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”
Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”

Ingredients

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti

2 tbsp olive oil

salt

Sauce:

2 15 oz can diced tomatoes, salted

3 tbsp fresh basil leaves

Meatballs:

1 cup green lentils

1 ½ cup vegetable broth

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup yellow onion, finely diced

½ cup fresh parsley, packed

1 tbsp dried basil

½ tbsp oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, add lentils and vegetable broth to cover the lentils. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender but still maintain some bite. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the spaghetti in salted water according to package directions and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add oats, parsley, basil, and oregano and pulse to combine. Add cooked lentils, and onion, and continue blending until combined.
    • Note: you want the lentils to mostly maintain their structure, but also blend slightly, so that the meatballs hold together. Test by pressing the mixture in your hand, it should hold together and maintain shape, continue blending until then.
  4. Press the blended mixture by hand into individual meatballs using about ⅓ cup of the mixture per ball.
  5. Preheat a large saucepan with olive oil to medium heat. Place the meatballs on the hot skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes per side. 
  6. Add the canned tomatoes and basil and simmer the meatballs for about 4-5 minutes to heat the sauce through and wilt the basil.
  7. Serve the sauce and meatballs over the cooked spaghetti and enjoy!
Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”

 

Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”

Spaghetti & Vegan Lentil “Meatballs”

Ashley Tyrner
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Servings: 8
Author: Ashley Tyrner

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Sauce

  • 2-15 oz diced tomatoes salted
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves

"Meatballs"

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1.5 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley packed
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic mined

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, add lentils and vegetable broth to cover the lentils. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender but still maintain some bite. Set aside.
  • Prepare the spaghetti in salted water according to package directions and set aside.
  • In a food processor, add oats, parsley, basil, and oregano and pulse to combine. Add cooked lentils, and onion, and continue blending until combined.
    Note: you want the lentils to mostly maintain their structure, but also blend slightly, so that the meatballs hold together. Test by pressing the mixture in your hand, it should hold together and maintain shape, continue blending until then.
  • Press the blended mixture by hand into individual meatballs using about ⅓ cup of the mixture per ball.
  • Preheat a large saucepan with olive oil to medium heat. Place the meatballs on the hot skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes per side. 
  • Add the canned tomatoes and basil and simmer the meatballs for about 4-5 minutes to heat the sauce through and wilt the basil.
  • Serve the sauce and meatballs over the cooked spaghetti and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Share your creation and tag us @farmboxdirect and #farmboxdirect!

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