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Eggplant Meatballs

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves: 5

Category: Main Dishes - Vegan

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Rated by: 17 members

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Meatballs made with eggplant? What a great idea! Serve them on a bed of zucchini noodles or with your favorite bean pasta.

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1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup low sodium or no-salt-added vegetable broth, or more as needed
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium unpeeled eggplant, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 (15 ounce) can low sodium or no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup unfortified nutritional yeast
1 cup whole wheat panko or breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
pinch red chili flakes, or to taste
2 cups low sodium or no-salt-added pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk the chia seeds and water together in a small bowl and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth in a medium skillet and saute the onion and garlic for five minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the eggplant and continue cooking for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until eggplant is soft, stirring occasionally and adding additional vegetable broth as needed to prevent burning.

Place the eggplant mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in the chia mixture, chickpeas and parsley.
Place in a food processor and pulse until chopped but not pureed. Return to the bowl and stir in nutritional yeast, panko, oregano, basil and red chili flakes. Mix well, then roll into balls.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serve topped with pasta sauce.

Makes about 30 eggplant balls.

Note: Delicious served on top of sauteed zucchini "noodles".

Calories 286; Protein 13 g; Carbohydrates 47 g; Sugars 12 g; Total Fat 5.1 g; Saturated Fat 0.8 g; Cholesterol 2.1 mg; Sodium 209 mg; Fiber 12.2 g; Beta-Carotene 600 ug; Vitamin C 10 mg; Calcium 135 mg; Iron 4.4 mg; Folate 162 ug; Magnesium 85 mg; Potassium 786 mg; Zinc 2.9 mg; Selenium 10.2 ug

Comments (7):



06/05/2018 08:26 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

This looks good.  What could I substitute for chick peas in this recipe?  I am not supposed to eat beans, including chickpeas. Thoughts?  Thanks...

fourkus44 replies:

06/07/2018 10:26 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I'm sorry, I posted my comment before I read that you can't eat any beans at all!  What about extra-firm tofu or cooked rice?



06/07/2018 10:25 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I think using white beans might work.  This recipe looks good, but do we really use unpeeled eggplant?

Elaine Garces

06/12/2018 12:49 PM

Rated this recipe:

This recipe is so good! Perfect taste and texture. Sweet with just enough spice from the chili flakes. Glad I doubled the recipe! I had on hand/used 1 3/4 lb organic eggplant (Internet search: 1 "medium" eggplant = 1 lb; I always use organic fruits/veg, zested or unpeeled). I used rolled oats instead of bread crumbs and fresh parsley, basil and oregano from my garden. I got 60 meatballs; shape holds perfectly well. I served them with lightly wilted spinach, Azuki bean pasta, and a great red sauce. I reheated some for lunch today and found that the taste/texture was even better. The meatballs still did not fall apart, however, when I broke some up I got a great bolognse!! I think this recipe is a great base! Next time I'll mix in some mushrooms and spinach. You can't go wrong! THANK YOU!!


06/13/2018 06:39 PM

Rated this recipe:

Thumbs up for eggplant meatballs over zoodles!


06/17/2018 07:24 PM

Rated this recipe:

Wow, these are SO delicious! Made exactly according to recipe, as I always do on the first try. Wouldn't change a thing! Served over zoodles, absolutely great. Had HUGE reservtions about not peeling the eggplant, as I normally hate the skin on. Works great in this recipe, though.

Dale R.

08/14/2018 06:11 PM

Rated this recipe:

I love this recipe. I made the recipe as is for only one person. It freezes well. I froze the extra “meatballs” in freezer bags with 6 per bag. Also froze my homemade marinara sauce in 1/2 cup servings. Along with a salad it made an easy work night dinner with some fresh spiralized zucchini. It tasted as good as the day I made it. I gave it 5 stars but they didn’t show up.

This comment was last edited on 08/14/2018 06:13 PM


03/11/2019 07:46 AM

Rated this recipe:

Loved the idea of this recipe for meatballs. They were excellent. Made these exactly as recipe states the day before my dinner party. Reheated in the oven and served along side eggplant roll ups, pasta and homemade red sauce. Even my SAD guests thought they were excellent. Will be making a larger batch and freezing in serving size packages, thanks to Dale R’s review.