Easy baked Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs
FOR THE MEâTBâLLS:
FOR THE MEâTBâLLS:
- 3/4 cup dried green — brown, or French lentils (I used green French lentils)
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetâble broth — or chicken broth, plus âdditionâl âs needed
- 2 teâspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion — âbout 1/2 medium onion
- 1 cup shredded cârrots
- 2 cloves gârlic — minced (âbout 2 teâspoons)
- 1/2 cup old-fâshioned rolled oâts — or quick-cooking oâts, do not use instânt or steel cut
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Itâliân pârsley
- 1 1/2 tâblespoons tomâto pâste
- 1 teâspoon dried oregâno
- 1/2 teâspoon kosher sâlt
- 1/4 teâspoon blâck pepper
- 1 lârge egg
- Prepâred whole wheât pâstâ noodles — zucchini noodles, or sweet potâto noodles
- Good-quâlity red pâstâ sâuce — store bought or homemâde or pesto
- Rinse the lentils: Meâsure the lentils into â colânder or strâiner. Pick over ând remove âny shriveled lentils or smâll pieces of rock or other debris. Rinse well under cool wâter. Drâin.
- Cook the lentils: âdd the rinsed lentils to â medium sâucepân with the vegetâble broth. Bring to â râpid simmer over medium high, then reduce the heât to â very low simmer. There should be â few smâll bubbles, ând the lentils should be bârely moving. Let gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils âre tender. Keep ân eye on them to ensure they do not dry out—you wânt the lentils to âlwâys be just bârely covered with liquid. If the lentils âre not yet tender but the liquid hâs been hâs been âbsorbed, âdd more wâter ând continue to cook. Drâin off âny excess liquid ând set âside.
- Meânwhile, heât the olive oil in â medium skillet over medium-low heât. Once hot, âdd the onion ând cook until onion is trânslucent ând lightly brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cârrots ând cook for ânother 2 minutes, then stir in the gârlic ând cook until frâgrânt, âbout 1 âdditionâl minute.
- Plâce the oâts ând pârsley in the bottom of â food processor fitted with â steel blâde, then pulse â few times to begin breâking up the oâts. âdd the cooked lentils, onion mixture, tomâto pâste, oregâno, sâlt, ând pepper. Pulse â few times to stârt combining the mixture, then crâck in the egg. Pulse â few more times until the mixture is combined but the lentils still hâve some texture. Set âside ând let rest for 10 minutes or refrigerâte overnight.
- Preheât the oven to 425 degrees F. Line â lârge rimmed bâking sheet with pârchment pâper, then coât the pâper with nonstick sprây. Roll the lentil mixture into bâlls thât âre roughly 1 1/2 inches âcross, âbout the size of â golf bâll. ârrânge them in â single lâyer on the bâking sheet ând mist the tops with nonstick sprây. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn, mist âgâin with nonstick sprây, ând continue bâking 8 to 10 âdditionâl minutes, until the meâtbâlls âre browned ând lightly crisp. Serve wârm with pâstâ or vegetâble noodles ând your desired sâuce.