Lentil Oat “Meatballs” Shhh… they’ll never know!

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Dr. Kristi Funk Course: Dinner, LunchCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Medium
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Our good friend Chrissy’s turkey meatballs were a family favorite, but after going completely plant-based, she spent years working on a vegan meatball recipe that would come close. This is the one and these meatballs are absolutely delicious. Your kids and friends will devour them and ask for more until every plate is empty. Even your vegan critics out there may never know that they just had a perfectly plant-based meal!


  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils

  • 2 cups veggie broth

  • 1/4 cup whole grain breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots

  • 1/2 cup diced yellow or sweet onion

  • 1 3/4 ts tomato paste

  • 1 ts dried oregano

  • 1 ts dried basil

  • 3/4 ts salt

  • 1 ts crushed fennel seeds

  • 1-2 ts minced garlic

  • 1 egg replacement equaling 1 egg (a flax egg or Bob’s redmill egg replacer is fine)


  • Rinse lentils and pick out any ones that look weird, then put in a pot with 2 cups veggie broth. Rapidly simmer for a few minutes then gently simmer for 30 minutes. If you need to add more liquid so they don’t dry out definitely do. Start checking them about 20 minutes to make sure they don’t get mushy. Remove from heat when tender but not at all mushy and put in a separate bowl.
  • While the lentils are simmering, heat a skillet and add broth or water sauté by adding a tiny bit of broth or water until it is sizzling then add the onions and garlic and cook until they are clear and golden. Be sure to add only bits of broth to the bottom of the pan. We are not boiling these —- it should mimic cooking in oil. Should take about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the carrots and cook those until they are soft which should take about three minutes.
  • Place the oats and breadcrumbs in a food processor and pulse to break up the oats to about the consistency of the breadcrumbs.
  • Add the cooked lentils, onions, carrots, tomato paste, oregano, crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper and pulse again a few times until the mixture is starting to combine well.
  • Add the egg replacement and again pulse until they’re combined, but aren’t getting too sticky.
  • Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425° and line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Roll the meatballs into balls that are about 1 inch around. If you have kids have them do it. There’s no raw animal meat in them and kids love rolling them.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until browned and flip them over and cook for about 10 more minutes until they’re slightly crispy.
  • Serve over some whole-grain pasta with your favorite sauce or make a meatball sandwich on a nice whole-grain roll.


  • It’s important to note that these will not have the firmness or “real” meatballs made from meat. If you have a meatball sandwich it may be a little bit messy, but who cares? It will be delicious and so healthy. Make sure your sauce game is strong too because it lends to these being even more exciting.
  • All recipes from the Cancer-Kicking! Kitchen are always 100% plant-based and delicious. Check our Ingredient Spotlight feature to learn what makes each ingredient special, and use our Purity Scale to see just how healthy and plant-pure your recipe is.

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