Lentil Meatballs (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


These flavorful Lentil Meatballs Vegan, Gluten-Free are smothered in a creamy cashew gravy will surely be a big hit at your Thanksgiving table!

Lentil Neatballs

I made this recipe today and I was very pleased with the results, I was looking for a recipe to served this holiday that would be enjoyed by everyone including meat-eaters.

My husband couldn’t stop saying how much he loves them and that they are definitely a keeper! I love making meatballs because they can easily feed a crowd.

They are perfect for potlucks, and you can easily estimate the amount of people you will be serving by the amount of meatballs you make. You may also want to try my Vegan Tofu Meatball recipe, it is a huge hit on here!

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

I was going to add a gluten-free flour to bind the meatballs and prevent them from breaking up, but to my surprise, the balls were quite sturdy without flour.

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.

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.

If you are still searching for recipe ideas for the holiday, don’t worry we have you covered! Here are 25 DELICIOUS VEGAN RECIPES FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

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For: 20 meatballs


    To Prepare Lentil Meatballs
    1. Heat oil in a saucepan on medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, parsley, paprika, and lentils to coat.
    2. 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)
    3. Transfer lentil mixture to a large bowl, Stir in walnuts, oat flour, flax seeds, yeast flakes, Bragg's liquid aminos and sea salt. Using a fork mash mixture until sticking together.
    4. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.
    5. Scoop mixture, using about a tablespoon. Form into balls and placing them on prepared sheets until mixture is all gone.
    6. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and crispy on the outside.
    To Prepare The Cashew Gravy
    1. Combine cashews, water, yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic, arrowroot, Bragg's liquid aminos in a high speed blender and process until smooth.
    2. Pour sauce into a saucepan and add thyme, Italian seasonings, paprika. Heat on medium high, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until sauce thickens.
    3. Place meat balls in serving plate. Pour gravy on top and garnish with chopped parsley.

    Recipe notes

    *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.

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    1. I made these tonight and they were so delicious! Especially that sauce, mmmm!
      The only thing I might change for next time is maybe to grind up the walnuts because there were some big bits in the lentils which made it extra crunchy. My non-vegan mother said the meatballs were a bit dry but I didn’t mind it at all. Also I don’t see in the steps listed when to add in the oat flour?
      Thanks again for such a delicious recipe!

      • Michelle Blackwood

        Bella I’m happy you enjoyed it, yes the walnut size is a personal preference, I’m happy you will make the recipe your own. Next time, let the lentil balls sit in the sauce for awhile before serving your mom. Thanks you for your feedback, I will check the instructions and edit if necessary.

      • Michelle Blackwood

        Thank you Jessica, it is one of my popular recipes. I haven’t tried it with red lentils and would love to know how they turn out if you do. If I were to use red lentils I would definitely increase the oatmeal to where the batter can be formed to a ball and adjust the seasoning likewise.

    2. Sarah Faulconer

      Loved these! I made it the same day I saw the recipe. I will make again and I will definitely use the gravy recipe to have over toast for breakfast!

      • Michelle Blackwood

        I don’t on my website but you can use brown rice flour or other gluten-free flour such as sorghum, quinoa as a substitute for wheat. Make a roux with oil and add vegetable broth, herbs, soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos, nutritional yeast flakes opt.


      Outstandingly delicious! Made a double batch the next day! Where can I obtain the nutrition facts on the meatballs?

      • Michelle Blackwood

        Sandra so happy you love them, thank you for your feedback. You could plug the ingredients into myfitnesspal.com to get the nutrition facts.


      It is absurd how delicious these recipes are! I didn’t have thyme or parsley so I just used Italian Seasoning. Turned out amazingly. We served over vegan mashed potatoes. The gravy actually reminded me of a gravy my mom makes for her biscuits and gravy so I might be attempting a vegan biscuits and gravy with this sauce in the future! Thank you SO much!

      Ps. I did end up using a couple of tablespoons of all purpose flour. Unsure if it was necessary, but the mixture just seemed very moist.

      • Michelle Blackwood

        That’s wonderful Paige, love Italian seasoning a great substitute I actually use it all the time! Wow, I’m happy to know the gravy brings back memories and biscuit and gravy sounds perfect. Mine was fine without the flour but I do understand.

    3. Shawna Alldridge

      Just made them and they turned out perfect! We loved them! I had to substitute pecans for the walnuts due to thyroid issues but it was fine!

      Thank you this will be saved to my VIP board-Very Important Pins!

      • Michelle Blackwood

        Shawna, so happy you enjoyed them, so happy that pecans worked for you> I’m so honored for my recipe to be on your VIP board!

      • Michelle Blackwood

        I haven’t tried it but it sure can. It has all the ingredients for a loaf. I would line the baking pan with parchment paper with the ends out for easy removal. I would also cover it to start or add a sauce on top (tomato or BBQ) to keep it moist. Bake it around 45 minutes.


      Ive made this recipe twice now. Flavor is awesome. However, my meatballs always end up more like cookies. They don’t flatten completely, but they just don’t look right. Any ideas?

      • Michelle Blackwood

        I’m happy that you tried the recipe twice Heather, sorry to know they look almost like cookies. How about adding extra oat flour to add more structure to your balls and make sure you turn it halfway during baking. As you can see from the photo mine came out looking fine but our ovens are different. Also, you could make sure that there isn’t any extra liquid in your lentils by draining them after cooking and pressing the excess liquid out. It sounds like your mixture is on the softer side.


      Hi — I made this meal tonight. The gravy is outstanding (though next time I’d cut back on the thyme as it can be overpowering). The meatballs are very flavorful ( I love walnuts & nutritional yeast) but my non-vegan family was not so thrilled. I think it was mainly because these crumble when you cut into them, unlike real meatballs. But I didn’t mind in the least. And since I have leftovers for another meal, I will crumble the meatballs into the gravy and pour it over rice. Thanks for the recipe!

      • Michelle Blackwood

        Hello, glad you try it. Glad you like the gravy, I’m kind of heavy handed with thyme, since I use it so much but I will modify the recipe to accommodate my readers because I value your feedback. Unfortunately, they are not as firm as non-vegan ones or regular vegan. I could have added extra binders but didn’t want to compromise the taste. Love how you will crumble them with rice, I do that too, so delicious!

    4. Sarah, Things Sarah Loves

      I love meatballs but I had never considered making lentil meatballs. I always use lentils in soups so this would make a great alternative.

    5. Enricoh Alfonzo

      Se manifique! Loved the photo journal and descriptions. that looks so mouth watering and heavenly. thanks for the recipe

    6. Debra @ Traveling Well For Less

      Vegan, gluten-free and good for you? Totally sold on those lentil meatballs. Definitely going to try this recipe.

    7. I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes that use lentils as the main ingredient and it’s awesome! Thanks for adding another one to my list of recipes to try!

    8. Oh my goodness, those look absolutely amazing! Now I have to save this for later and try it out. Made my stomach growl at me. :)

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