It’s been a while since I had time to experiment and write but I am back with full force and my favorite broccoli meatballs (or veggie balls). I have been able to cook almost every single day since the 4th of January due to the lockdown we are under. I work from home in the mornings and lunches lately, which gives me a wide afternoon for experimentation and doing my Master’s thesis. It’s one of the times where I actually feel healthiest in my life and I kind of think I owe that to the fact that I have so much time to cook healthy, homemade meals.
These vegan broccoli meatballs!
These meatballs were one of the first things I made when I finally had time to cook and they have been a hit with everybody. You know it’s good when your grandmother likes it! I think the combination of broccoli and red + green lentils is what gives it this pleasant meaty (but not too meaty) flavor. I have been so looking forward to sharing this recipe with more people.
Lately, I make a weekly meal plan every Sunday which I hope to soon share with you and having the meal plan every week and being able to prepare in advance has really helped me think of cooking more as something fun rather than tedious and time consuming (which is how I used to often feel about it when I was busier).
If you prepare and make sure to set time aside for cooking, it can actually be something rather fun and relaxing and that’s what we are aiming for here.
The cool thing about these meatballs is that they can be prepared the day before as they taste just as good the day after. In fact, I feel like their taste was a bit stronger the day after, possibly due to all the ingredients mixing well with one another.
Let me just say this – I have tried many vegan meatball recipes, and many of them have come out so bland that all the effort and time I put seemed wasted. There are the first meatballs I made that I know I will be going back to over and over again.
Update: I have been making them consistently once every 2 weeks for the past year – we love them at home.
Vegan Broccoli Meatballs
- 1 head broccoli (and stem!) around 250g/ 0.5lbs/ 9oz
- 250 g red lentils 0.5lbs/ 9oz
- 150 g green lentils 0.3lbs/ 5oz
- 1 big onion red or white (I prefer red)
- 150 g breadcrumbs 0.36lbs/ 5oz
- 100 g fine oats * 0.33lbs/ 3.5oz
- 1 cup fresh parsley optional
- oil of choice – for frying I used olive oil
- 2 cubes veggie bouillon
- 1 tbsp garlic powder or two cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- Cook all the lentils until ready. Set aside.
- Grate or just process all the vegetables and parsley in a food processor and then mix them together.
- Add the vegetables to the cooked lentils and mix all together well.
- Dissolve the 2 cubes bouillon into a little bit of water and slowly add the dissolved bouillon to the mixture, mixing all of it well again.
- Add the breadcrumbs, oats, garlic and paprika to the mix, mixing each in well into the mixture.
- Mix with your hands to form a dough. If too dry, add a bit of water.
- Before you make the meatballs taste the dough to see if it is missing something.
- Add more salt or any desired spice to the mix and create the taste you prefer.
- Then shape small balls out of the dough and fry them on a frying pan in a little bit of oil
- The frying is very quick, you just need to see them get a bit red on each side. (I prefer mine very red, almost burned).
- Serve with potatoes on the side or whatever you like
- best if you make the oats into oat flour if you have a processor but works also with regular fine oats
- Keep in fridge for 3-4 days. You can also probably go for a week but they taste best for up to 3-4 days.
- Make sure you mix well all of it consistently as you add new ingredients.
- This can work as a great burger patty as well.
Nutrition info for the meatballs
A lot of meatballs (32 to be exact)
This is quite a huge meal. It really depends on how big you shape them, but I ended up with 32 meatballs… It is safe to say that we had meatballs to eat for a whole of 2 days. Could have been for longer if they weren’t so tasty.
So many options
You can use this recipe to make burger patties – just combine with some lettuce and tomato and you got yourself a decent burger.
On top of that, I had them for breakfast on top of my bread with some butter and they make a fine topping as well. I can imagine them working well in sandwiches or pita bread too.
Hope you enjoy these awesome veggie balls! If you are looking for more, check out some other vegan main dish recipes here:
Trying Naturli’s butternut squash and sage vegan ravioli – my take on making ravioli a bit more interesting. Try it out.
Creamy vegan chicken sauce – 15 minute recipe for weekdays. Savory and satisfying replacement to creamy chicken sauce.
Easy and budget-friendly vegan potato pizza. Great way to use up those leftover potatoes or make something quick for a savory weekday meal.