Roasted Eggplant “Meatballs”(No meat!)

Roasted Eggplant "Meatballs" by 2sistersrecipes.com

Roasted Eggplant “Meatballs” are easily made with 2 eggplants, grated cheese, fresh basil, cooked quinoa, eggs, and some bread crumbs. Then the eggplant mixture is made into 18 meatballs and baked until golden. Incredibly flavorful and moist, these vegetarian eggplant “meatballs” will surprise everyone who tries them. Perfect as an appetizer or a side.

What is an eggplant meatball?

An eggplant “meatball” is an Italian recipe for making vegetarian balls that will resemble a classic meatball.

They are filled with roasted eggplant instead of ground meat, along with some additional delicious ingredients.

Serve them alone or smothered with our mom’s quick marinara sauce and they are FANTASTIC!

These turned out to be SO moist and SO delicious tasting – makes them the “BEST-TASTING” eggplant meatballs ever!

A blue pot with tomato sauce, wooden spoon and eggplant meatballs. by 2sistersrecipes.com

Why are these Eggplant “Meatballs” so popular?

  • Perfect for vegetarians.
  • They are loaded with flavor – protein – and fiber!
  • They bake quickly in the oven for 25 minutes and are ready to serve.
  • You can make them ahead, cover and keep them chilled until ready to bake.
  • Ideal for serving with your favorite pasta, or alone as an appetizer.
  • This recipe will yield 15 to 18 eggplant “meatballs” or more, depending on the size you make them.

These vegetarian meatballs are so good, you’ll want to make them again and again!

If you prefer, you can even serve them (without tomato sauce) as an appetizer, or a side, and watch them disappear! πŸ˜‰

Baked eggplant meatballs on a white serving platter, and one photo with a hand showing a bite into one meatball. by 2sistersrecipes.com

How to make Meatless Eggplant Meatballs?

With just a few easy steps, here’s how to make our eggplant meatballs. But first, let’s go over the ingredients for our recipe.

Ingredients Needed for this recipe: (your shopping list)

  • 2 eggplants – cubed or diced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

For the Meatball Mixture:

  • 1/2 cup of “cooked” quinoa
  • 1 cup of plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves-minced
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. of fresh or dried oregano
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 2 to 3 cups of prepared marinara sauce, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS: Easy to follow: Step-by-Step…

With this recipe, you will need to roast the eggplants first and cook up some quinoa at the same time. Then the rest is easy!

(*Full recipe card below!)

Chop & Roast The Eggplants:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232C). Cut the eggplants into cubes. Scatter them onto a large baking sheet and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle them with some salt.

Chopping the eggplant into cubes and scattered on baking sheet with olive oil drizzled over them. by 2sistesrecipes.com

2. Place the eggplant into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then use a spatula to flip over the eggplant and continue to roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is fork tender.

Next, Cook The Quinoa:

3. In the meantime, cook up some quinoa in a small pot of boiling water. When quinoa is fully cooked, drain and measure only 1/2 cup and place it into a medium-sized mixing bowl. QUICK NOTE: Reserve the remaining quinoa for a soup or a quinoa salad.

4. When the eggplants are done, transfer them to your food processor or mini food chopper and pulse until the eggplant is finely chopped. Do this in small batches if you need to. Then transfer the eggplant to the mixing bowl with the cooked quinoa.

One photo with roasted cubed eggplants on a baking sheet, the other spooned into a small food processor. by 2sistersrecipes.com

5. Next, LOWER the Temperature of the oven to 400 degrees F (204C).

Make The MEATBALLS:

6. In the same mixing bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Roll the eggplant mixture into meatballs, about 1.5 to 2-inch balls, and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Eggplant mixture in a silver bowl, and a hand with a formed meatball. by 2sistersrecipes.com
A baking sheet with uncooked eggplant meatballs and the other with baked meatballs. by 2sistersrecipes.com

7. Bake at 400 degrees, for 25 minutes. Remove and serve them warm with some grated Parmesan cheese scattered on top and freshly chopped basil as a garnish. Or serve topped with your favorite tomato sauce.

Yields: 15 to 18 eggplant meatballs (depending on the size)

A blue pot with tomato sauce, wooden spoon and eggplant meatballs. by 2sistersrecipes.com

Options to serve eggplant “meatballs”…

Quick NOTES and TIPS…

  • You can use “gluten-free” bread crumbs. They will work well.
  • For easy cleanup? Use parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  • Cook up some quinoa ahead, and measure only 1/2 cup. Save the rest (leftover) for a soup, or toss them into a salad.
  • This recipe will yield about 15 to 18 eggplant meatballs, or more depending on the size you make them.
  • We prefer to include the skin of the eggplant to give the balls additional texture.

To Store, Reheat, and Freeze Eggplant Meatballs:

  • Easy To Store: Place the balls in a single row and store them in an airtight sealed container. Transfer them to the refrigerator and keep them chilled. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a Skillet or in The Oven: Reheat them in a skillet with your favorite tomato sauce, until heated through. Or in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F, for about 15 minutes.
  • You Can Freeze Them: If you make them ahead, you can refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to 1 month. Best to store them in a single layer in a sealed container.

Roasted Eggplant "Meatballs" by 2sistersrecipes.com

Additional Delicious Vegetarian Recipes…

Yield: 15 to 18 meatballs

Roasted Eggplant "Meatballs"

Roasted Eggplant "Meatballs" are amazingly moist and incredibly flavorful! These vegetarian eggplant meatballs are easy to make and bake and will surprise everyone who tries them. Serve them as an appetizer, a side dish, or smothered with your favorite tomato sauce!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants - about 1-inch cubed or diced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE MIXTURE:

  • 1/2 cup of "cooked" quinoa
  • 1 cup of plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. of fresh or dried oregano
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups of marinara sauce, for serving

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232C).

    2. Cut the eggplants into small cubes, about 1 inch. Scatter them onto a large baking sheet and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over them. Then sprinkle them with some salt.

    3. Place the eggplant into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then use a spatula to flip over the eggplant and continue to roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the eggplants are soft and fork tender.

    4. In the meantime, cook up some quinoa in a small pot of boiling water. When quinoa is fully cooked, drain and measure only 1/2 cup and place it into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

    5. When the eggplants are done, transfer them to your food processor or mini food chopper and pulse until the eggplant is finely chopped. Do this in small batches if you need to. Then transfer the eggplant to the mixing bowl with the cooked quinoa.

    6. Next, LOWER the Temperature of the oven to 400 degrees F (204C).

    7. In the same mixing bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and stir the mixture until well combined. Roll the eggplant mixture into meatballs, about 1.5 to 2-inch balls, and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

    8. Bake at 400 degrees, for 25 minutes. Remove and serve them warm with some heated marinara sauce, grated Parmesan cheese scattered on top, and freshly chopped basil as a garnish. Serve warm. Perfect as an appetizer or a side.

    Yields: 15 to 18 eggplant "meatballs"

Notes

Keep in mind, the nutritional value of the eggplant meatballs does not include the marinara tomato sauce.

Vitamin D 4mcg 22%

Calcium 223mg 17%

Iron 2mg 12%

Potassium 462mg 10%

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

7 to 9 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving (2 meatballs)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 11.8gCarbohydrates: 29.4gFiber: 7.3gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g

Any questions? …ask away!

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Thanks for stopping by…

Happy and Healthy Cooking!

xo anna and liz

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4 Comments

  1. This sounds so delicious, but I don’t have quiona. I have farro, rice or buckwheat. Do you think I could use one of the above? Looking forward to your response. Thanks again. I’m an eggplant addict.

    1. Hi Joan,…that’s a great question! I would substitute cooked quinoa with “cooked rice.” White rice is the easiest substitute for cooked quinoa, and it will help bind the eggplant meatballs well. This is a great recipe, enjoy! πŸ™‚