Lentil Balls Recipe


Prep: 50 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Servings: 24 balls


  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce (pasta sauce or marinara works)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs or oats
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, mixed with 6 tablespoons water (flax egg)
  • Olive oil for baking
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce, may need more (for spooning on the lentil balls)
  • Optional: add chili flakes for extra spice


  1. Cook Lentils: Rinse lentils and combine them in a pot with vegetable broth or water and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender but not too mushy. Drain any excess liquid and remove the bay leaf.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: While lentils are cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a pan (may sub for water) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper, cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Prepare Lentil Mixture: In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils, sautéed vegetables, breadcrumbs, parsley, and flax egg. Mash the mixture together until it's well combined but still has some texture. You can use a fork, potato masher, or your hands. If the mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs or oats; if it's too dry, add a little water.
  4. Form Lentil Balls: Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, form it into balls, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  5. Cook Lentil Balls: For baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the lentil balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them lightly with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes, until they're firm and golden brown. 5 minutes before the desired cook time, remove the lentil balls from the oven and add 1 teaspoon of the tomato sauce on top of each ball and return them to the oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve: Serve the lentil balls hot with your choice of dipping sauce, on top of a salad, or as part of a main dish with pasta or rice.
  7. Serving Suggestions: Serve with a yogurt-based dip or a spicy tomato sauce for an appetizing starter. Include in a wrap with lots of fresh vegetables and a tahini sauce for a hearty meal. Add to a bowl of your favorite pasta with marinara sauce for a comforting dinner.

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Link to recipe: www.bobbieleelicious.com/recipe/lentil-balls-recipe-easy-and-healthy-vegetarian-appetizer