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Eggplant Meatballs Recipe


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     Eggplant Meatballs

Category   Entrees - Maindishes
Sub Category   None
Preptime   1-1.5

1 medium size eggplant peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 pint baby bella mushrooms (chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup cashews (pulsed in a food processor or crushed)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs (any kind will work)
1 large egg (lightly whisked)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbsp minced cilantro (you can use dried cilantro or cilantro paste but cut it to 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano

ROAST THE VEGGIES Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the diced eggplant to a medium-size mixing bowl, drizzle on one tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread the eggplant out evenly on half of the baking sheet. Add the sliced mushrooms to the same mixing bowl you tossed the eggplant in and drizzle them with one tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the one tablespoon of dried thyme and pepper and toss. Do not add salt to the mushrooms or they won’t brown as well in the oven. Lay the mushrooms out evenly on the other half of the baking sheet that the eggplant is on and bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven. Once the veggies are finished cooking, set them aside to cool for a few minutes.
MAKE THE MEATLESS MEATBALL MIXTURE After the veggies are cooled, add them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are minced and resemble ground meat. Pour the mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl. If you do not have a food processor, then you can still make these meatballs, but they may be a little chunkier. Just use a potato masher to mash them instead of a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. I just used my hands, but you can use a rubber spatula to mix everything up. Cover and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
FORM AND BAKE THE MEATBALLS Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. Using an ice cream scoop or just your hands, form about 15-20 even sized balls with the mixture and place them evenly onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the 400F degree oven for 20-25 minutes until they are nice and golden brown.
SERVE To serve- Toss the meatballs in your favorite tomato sauce and let them cook for a few minutes in the sauce. Plate, top with some fresh basil and grated parmesan and ENJOY!

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