Lentil Meatballs (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

These Lentil Meatballs are smothered in cashew gravy. Serve these at your holiday table and your guests (even the meat eaters!) will be blown away!

Easy Lentil Meatballs in a cast iron skillet

I made this Lentil Meatball recipe today and I was very pleased with the results, I was looking for an easy lentil meatballs recipe that would be packed with flavor yet fancy enough to be served even at the holiday table and enjoyed by everyone including meat-eaters. 

I knew I found a winner of vegan meatballs when I serve them and my husband couldn’t stop saying how much he loves them and that they are definitely a keeper! They remind me of Ikea Swedish Meatballs.

I love making vegan meatballs because they can easily feed a crowd, they are perfect for potlucks, and you can easily make the right amount for them by estimating number of people you are serving. My Vegan Tofu Meatball recipe is also a huge hit!

 

Health Benefits Of Lentils

Lentils are healthy and rich in nutrients and should be included as part of any diet. Want to gain muscles while on a vegan diet? Then you should eat more lentils!

They’re high in fiber, protein, and folate. The fact is they can help you live longer, and they’re pretty much the perfect food. The little legumes have 250g of spermidine.

1 cup of cooked lentils contains:

  • 226 calories
  • 39 grams carbohydrates
  • 18 grams of protein
  • 16 grams of fiber
  • 3.6 grams of sugar
  • 0.8 grams of fat

Ingredients for Lentil Meatballs

  • Lentils– You can use brown or black lentils for this recipe.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Herbs- We used garlic, parsley, thyme, paprika, Italian seasoning, and cayenne.
  • Vegetable broth– Or water if you don’t have broth
  • Oat flour
  • Walnuts
  • Ground flaxseeds
  • Yeast flakes
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • Olive oil
  • Cashews
  • Arrowroot powder

FOR THE FULL LIST OF  INGREDIENTS, SCROLL TO SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END. BUT BEFORE YOU SCROLL CHECK IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT IS INCLUDED IN THE BLURB.

How To Make Lentil Meatballs

I wanted a dish that was very tasty so I adapted the filling from my Jamaican Lentil Patties recipes.

  1. To make these vegan lentil meatballs, first sort and wash dried lentils. Saute onion, garlic, herbs, add lentils, along with water or vegetable broth, and cook until tender and liquid has evaporated.
  2. While the lentil is cooking, make oat flour, followed by finely chopped walnuts in a food processor, then stir them in the lentil mixture along with ground flaxseeds, yeast flakes, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
  3. Form into a meatball shape and place onto a prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. While lentil meatballs are baking prepare the cashew gravy.
ingredients for making lentil meatballs on a cutting board

How To Make The Cashew Gravy

  1. Rinse cashews and add all the ingredients except the herbs in a high-speed blender, and process until creamy.
  2. Pour gravy into a saucepan, add herbs/seasonings and cook over medium heat until bubbly, while stirring with a whisk.

Expert Tips

  • For the gravy, start with 2 tablespoons of the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, then add the extra tablespoon if needed.
  • To make oat flour,  I place rolled oats in a blender and process until smooth. I store it in an airtight container in my refrigerator and I love to use it to make gluten-free pancakes as well.
  • The gravy is thick so you might want to add extra water to make it thinner.
  • I added my gravy when I’m plating my dish, just before serving, so that the meatballs aren’t sitting for long in the gravy. It is delicious served with rice or mashed potatoes, green beans.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Substitute your favorite marinara sauce for the creamy cashew gravy.
  • Feel free to add about 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour of your choice, rice, oat flour or sorghum flour should work fine for this recipe.
  • Substitute cashews with sunflower seeds for a nut-free creamy gravy.

Storing Tips

Refrigerator

After baking the lentil meatballs, cool them completely. They will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Freezer

Place the lentil meatballs in a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 1 month. Store the gravy in a separate container. It will also freeze for up to 1 month!

Reheat

To serve, remove the lentil balls from the freezer and place them in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. 

You can transfer the gravy from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before serving to defrost. Heat up the cashew gravy and pour over the reheated lentil meatballs and serve. 

What To Serve With Vegan Lentil Meatballs

Serve alongside rice or mashed potatoes, green beans which are all delicious with the gravy!

If you are still searching for recipe ideas for the holidays, don’t worry we have you covered! Here are 25 Delicious Vegan Recipes for the Holidays.

Recipe FAQs

How long will lentil meatballs keep in the fridge?

They will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

What kind of lentils are best for lentil meatballs?

You can use brown or black lentils for lentil meatballs.

How do you make oat flour?

Place rolled oats in a blender and process until smooth. I store it in an airtight container in my refrigerator and I love to use it to make gluten-free pancakes as well.

Check Out More Lentil Recipe Ideas:

Very close up photo showing lentil meatballs in gravy in a saucepan

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Lentil meatballs (vegan,Gluten-free)

These Lentil Meatballs are smothered in cashew gravy. Serve these at your holiday table and your guests (even the meat eaters!) will be blown away!
4.97 from 126 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lentil meatballs (vegan,gluten-free)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 324kcal

Ingredients

Lentil Meatballs

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Creamy Cashew Gravy

  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked for 1 hour then drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos Start with 2 tablespoon and taste, then add the extra if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Instructions

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, parsley, paprika, and lentils to coat.
  • Add water and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook until lentils are tender and water has completely evaporated about 30 minutes. (Make sure lentils are dry and not soggy)
  • Transfer lentil mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Using a food processor, process/pulse walnuts until finely chopped. Stir walnuts into lentils along with the *oat flour, flaxseeds, yeast flakes, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and salt.
  • Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Prepare baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.
  • Scoop mixture, using about 1-2 tablespoons. Form into balls and placing them on prepared sheets in a single layer until mixture is all gone. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and crispy on the outside.

To Prepare Cashew Gravy

  • Combine cashews, water, yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic, arrowroot, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
  • Pour sauce into a saucepan and add thyme, Italian seasonings, paprika. Heat on medium-high, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until sauce thickens.
  • Place meat balls in serving plate. Pour gravy on top and garnish with chopped parsley.

Nutrition

Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 516mg | Potassium: 476mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg

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370 Comments

  1. Thank you, Michelle. My “special someone” enjoys eating plant based but misses what he (British) calls a “proper meal” meaning a main and two sides. I fixed your meatballs and gravy with mashed potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. A major hit!! We both loved the flavors and textures and he loved having a proper Sunday dinner. This will be a regular for us.

    1. Your very welcome & thank you for trying out my dish! Makes me happy to hear you both got to enjoy yourselves! 😊

  2. 5 stars
    These meatballs are amazing, I made them with a different vegan gravy and the meat eaters in my family were definitely satisfied. They are on my go to recipe list. Thanks.

  3. Good Morning – recipe sounds great. I’m in Toronto, Canada and Thanksgiving is coming this weekend. Can the meatballs and gravy be prepared ahead of time (frozen?)

  4. Meatballs were very dry . Had to add water so I was able to form the meatball and it would stock together. I used 3 tbsps oat flour as you stated. What was I doing wrong?

    1. It could have been the onions & walnuts. if u chopped them by hand i recommend to put them through a blender so they are finely minced before combining all ingredients. if there’s a few big pieces of onion or walnuts in the mix it could cause it to fall apart while forming the balls. Also, if it’s dry you might have over cooked the balls. I recommend just sauteing them for a good 5min or till just small amount of brown on both sides that way it retains more of the broth juices in the mix.

  5. This is an excellent recipe. I didn’t read the instructions properly and cooked my lentils separately. Your way would be much easier. So when I mixed everything together I think they were slightly dry. I added enough water (couple tbsp?) to get them to hold. I used my cookie 2 tbsp scoop from amazon to measure and that was helpful. Thanks for an amazing easy recipe. Even easier if I had followed your directions lol

    1. it happens haha. im glad it still turned out great even with the extra effort you had to go through.

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