Lentil meatballs with burst tomato pasta

lentil-meatballsIt’s that time of year when you are eating tomatoes as fast as you can pick them.  I’m not complaining!  I ate them twice today – once for breakfast – roasted plum tomatoes with olive oil and herbs with mushrooms on toast.

This breakfast just wouldn’t work as well with supermarket tomatoes!

Roasted plum tomatoes and mushrooms on toast – supermarket bought tomatoes just won’t work!

Dinner tonight was a new recipe – lentil meatballs with burst tomato pasta.  I prepared the meatballs in the morning, and made enough for four servings… half of them have been popped into the freezer once they were cooked to enjoy on another occasion.  They would make perfect vegetarian snacks, as they are light and crispy when cooked.  Very filling too, especially when served with wholewheat pasta.

I’ve entered these as two separate recipes, so that you can enjoy the meatballs with other sauces.  In case you are wondering why some of the quantities are so “odd” it’s because I was converting an on-line recipe from US “cups”!

Lentil mixture after pulsing
Lentil meatballs formed and ready to go into the oven

Lentil Meatballs

Preparation Time:             25 mins
Cooking Time:                    25 mins

Serves:                                  4
Calories per serving:      306.0


Dried Lentils, Green or Brown    –         136g
Water, Mineral Or Tap                   –   100ml
Olive Oil, Extra Virgin                    –   2 Tsps/10ml
Red onions                                         –   42g
Garlic clove                                        –   1 Clove/3g
Raw carrots, grated                         –   42g
Pecan Nuts                                         –   38g
Walnuts                                               –   38g
Panko Breadcrumbs                         –   27g
Mixed Herbs                                        –   1 Tsp/5g
Salt                                                         –   ½ Tsp/2.5g
Freshly ground black pepper         –   ½ Tsp/1g
1 x medium free range egg              –   1 Egg/58g


Preparation: Peel and finely dice the onion and the garlic clove. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot. Crush the walnuts and the pecans. Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, 23 to 25 minutes. If lentils are not tender and water has been absorbed, add more water and continue to cook. Drain off any excess water.

Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat and add the red onion. Cook until onion is translucent and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic clove and the grated carrots, cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the cooked and drained lentils, onion mixture, nuts, panko breadcrumbs, herbs, salt, and pepper.

Pulse a few times to start combining the mixture…

Crack the egg in and pulse a few more times until the mixture is combined but the lentils are still holding shape. Set aside and let rest while the oven preheats to 200 degrees.

Take the lentil mixture and roll into 12 balls, roughly the size of a golfball. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and brush with 2 tsps of olive oil.

Bake meatballs until browning and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 12 meatballs, 3 per serving (they are VERY filling!) They have a lovely crisp bite, so could be eaten as a vegetarian snack.

Perfect served with another of my recipes – burst tomatoes and basil pasta. Toss everything together to serve.

Nutrition Data Per Serving
Calories (kcal)                  306.0
Protein (g)                        13.4
Sugars (g)                         1.7
Fibre (g)                           4.8
Fruit & Veg                       0.7
Carbohydrate (g)              25.4
Fat (g)                              17.2

Burst tomato pasta

Preparation Time:          5 mins
Cooking Time:                20 mins
Serves:                               2
Calories per serving:     289.3


Olive Oil, Olive                                                                         –  2 Tsps/10ml
Garlic Raw                                                                                  –  2 Cloves/6g
Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry Weight   –  100g
Cheese, Edam                                                                           –  30g
Basil, Fresh                                                                                –  1 Tbsp/5g
Tomatoes, Cherry                                                                    –  400g


Preparation: Heat oven to 200 degrees. Peel and finely dice the garlic cloves. Grate the Edam cheese and shred the basil leaves.

Combine cherry tomatoes with olive oil and 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Place in the oven and let cook until tomatoes have released their juices and ‘burst’, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package and drain. When ready to assemble, combine the pasta with the burst tomatoes, grated cheese, and basil and serve.

Nutrition Data Per Serving
Calories (kcal)           289.3
Protein (g)                   11.9
Sugars (g)                  8.1
Fibre (g)                      6.1
Fruit & Veg                  2.7
Carbohydrate (g)       37.7
Fat (g)                          10.1

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