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Lentil Quinoa "Meatballs"

Updated: May 30, 2022

These lentil quinoa meatballs won't last long once they're taken out of the oven. They're perfectly crispy on the outside and moist and soft on the inside. They make a great appetizer and pair so well with Creamy {Vegan} Cucumber Raita, your favorite tomato sauce, or a basil pesto. You could also make a “meatball sandwich” with them in a whole grain wrap with hummus and veggies. Another idea is to have a high fiber, lower calorie "spaghetti and meatballs" using spaghetti squash and the Lentil Quinoa Meatballs. Or, simply, enjoy straight out of the oven as a snack! Let me know if you try them and how you use them below in the comments.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: Makes approximately 30 "mini" meatballs


  • 1-2 Tbsp oil or vegetable broth for sauteeing

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 

  • 1 cup grated yellow squash (or zucchini)

  • 1 cup chopped spinach

  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds 

  • 1 cup cooked brown or green lentils* 

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa*

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper 

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

*Note that the one cup of lentils and one cup of quinoa should already be cooked when you're measuring them. Meal prep tip: Make the quinoa and lentils the day before so that they're ready to go. If you have leftover after measuring one cup of each for this recipe, use them both in a grain bowl (like this Cruciferous Bowl).

How to make

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet w parchment paper. 

2. In a medium stovetop pan heat 1-2 tbsp of oil or veggie broth and the onions on medium until translucent.

3. Add garlic and squash and cook 1-2 minutes. 

4. Stir in spinach until wilted. Set aside mixture.

5. In a food processor, grind sunflower seeds until coarsely ground. 

6. Add the onion squash mixture, 1/2 cup lentils, oregano, basil, nutritional yeast, and olives to the blended sunflower seeds. Blend until mixture is fully blended and comes together. 

7. Scoop into a bowl. Mix in the other 1/2 cup lentils, quinoa, salt, pepper and red pepper. 

8. Scoop the mixture with a spoon into your hands and roll to form a “meatball.”

9. Place onto baking sheet. You’ll get about 30 small meatballs. 

10. Bake for 15 minutes, flip then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. 

Nutrition Information

Per serving (6 servings): 221 calories, 31 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 10 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 157 milligrams sodium

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