Eggplant Meatballs

Eggplant Meatballs

These hearty eggplant meatballs are the perfect finger food to serve to babies and toddlers, and they’re a healthy dinner menu item for moms and dads too. Serve to the family for a hearty meatless Monday meal or as a unique, vegetarian-friendly appetizer for dinners guests.

Eggplant is the meatiest of vegetables and is the perfect base for meat-less meatballs since it has a similar chewy, bite. This nightshade not only lends well to a vegetarian diet but is a great addition to any diet since it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B vitamins, folate and vitamin C. Eggplant is also rich in minerals, boasting a large quantity of potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

A few years ago I decided to adopt a more vegetarian-based diet. Although I don’t miss the taste nor texture of meat, I still crave those hearty, filling meals that were once my faves-in this case, meatballs!

I’ve made many variations of meatless meatballs in the past, including quinoa and lentil based ones, however, these are the most similar in texture and consistency to traditional ones.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

Once cooked, these tender meatballs are surprisingly flavorful making it easy to forget that you may normally be eating beef. Not only are these great for vegetarians, but for meat-eaters (who are willing to give vegetarian meals a chance!).

These scrumptious, two-bite eggplant meatballs are a great addition to a hearty plate of pasta, simply smothered in warm, homemade tomato sauce, or stuffed into a meatball sandwich and smothered in melted cheese. Or, you can just eat them by themselves!

Eggplant "Meatballs"

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Eggplant Meatballs

2015-07-23
: about 24
: 20-25 min
: 5 min

These hearty eggplant meatballs are the perfect finger food to serve to babies and toddlers, and they’re a healthy dinner menu item for moms and dads too. Serve to the family for a hearty meatless Monday meal or as a unique, vegetarian-friendly appetizer for dinners guests. Eggplant is the meatiest of vegetables and is the perfect …

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Eggplant Meatballs
5
5
1
43
Ingredients
    1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 small eggplants, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tbs. capers, drained and finely minced
  • 2-3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbs. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4-5 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium plum tomato, finely diced
  • 2 cups oil of choice (canola or safflower works best)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Directions

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and sautee for 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Add the eggplant, capers, and tomatoes and saute for another 10-15 minutes or until the eggplant are fork tender.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

Add the eggplant to a large food processor with the herbs, Parmesan, and 1 cup of breadcrumbs and puree until combined. The eggplant cane be purees until super smooth or left slightly chunky to give the meatballs a bit more texture.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

The mixture should be dry enough to roll into balls without sticking too much to your hands. If it is too wet, mix in more breadcrumbs until you get the desired consistency. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

There are two ways to prepare these, baked or fried however, they taste best and maintain the ideal texture if fried. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. To ensure the oil is hot enough, stick a toothpick into the oil-if bubbles form around the toothpick, it’s reached the ideal temperature.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

Add the eggplant to the frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until crispy on the outside. Transfer immediately to a large plate lined with paper towel to soak up the excess oil.

Eggplant "Meatballs"

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