Vegan Lentil Meatballs In Curry Sauce
Vegan lentil meatballs that are oven-baked and gluten-free. Serve them with a rich curry sauce for a meal that’s comforting, savoury and easy to make. They also work great for meal prep!
I first made these vegan lentil meatballs as an accident. Well, kind of. I’ve wanted to test out a meat-free meatball recipe for quite some time, but didn’t expect it to go anywhere. There’s a delicate balancing act with recipes like this.
So, I gave myself permission to just throw a bunch of things together and not get too upset if it turned into some sort of lentil potato soup. The curry sauce was also a last-minute decision.
Needless to say, the final outcome came as a complete surprise. I loved them, my mum loved them. I scolded myself for not making extra for lunch the next day. Lots of people on Instagram wanted the recipe. However, as I had no intention of these becoming a blog recipe, I of course didn’t write down the measurements. Or take anywhere near enough photographs.
Thankfully, I had a vague idea of the ratios used. As soon as I got a chance, I went ahead and recreated these lentil meatballs in curry sauce. So, here they are, for all of you to make for yourself and hopefully enjoy as much as I did.
What’s to love about these lentil meatballs?
I’m not even sure where to start with these ‘meatballs’. Together with the rich tomato curry sauce, they’re one of the best dinners I’ve ever made.
- While they’re not supposed to emulate the taste of actual meatballs, they’re non-vegan approved and are sure to be enjoyed by everyone! I’d recommend making them as a Friday night/weekend dinner for your friends and family.
- They are naturally gluten-free.
- Oil-free also.
- They require just staple ingredients ingredients that are likely sitting around in your fridge and pantry.
- These vegan lentil meatballs whole food plant based.
- Also a great homemade alternative to store-brought vegan meatballs, which (while tasty) tend to be expensive and highly processed. Plus, making your own is always much more fun!
- They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Delicious with any side of your choice. Try different rice varieties, noodles, pasta, quinoa, etc.
- Perfect for meal prep and make-ahead lunches. You don’t have to serve these straight away with the curry sauce. Keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days, or add them to your lunchboxes for school/work.
You don’t have to serve the curry sauce with the vegan lentil meatballs and vice versa. The meatballs are delicious by themselves, or with a simple dip such as ketchup, hummus or pesto. You can add the curry sauce to simple dishes like pasta and baked potatoes, perhaps serving it by itself over rice with a side salad if you want a meal that’s super quick and easy.
How to make vegan lentil meatballs
Start by cooking red lentils for around 10 minutes, until they’re soft but not mushy. At the same time, boil peeled and chopped potatoes until fully cooked through, which should take around 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (400 F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Mash the potatoes when done, then add them to a large mixing bowl together with the cooked lentils and the other ingredients. These are: flax eggs, red onion, tomato paste, turmeric, nutritional yeast, buckwheat flour and tamari. Mix everything together well.
I like these lentil meatballs to have a lot of texture, and find that it’s very easy to over-blend with a food processor. However, you can use one and pulse the mixture a few times to make this quicker and easier.
Then, roll the mixture into even-sized balls. Make sure your hands are slightly damp to prevent sticking. The measurements in the recipe card below are enough for 8-9 large meatballs.
Arrange the meatballs on the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.
How to make an easy tomato curry sauce
While the lentil meatballs are in the oven, start preparing the curry sauce.
Add the onion and garlic to a non-stick pan and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.
Next, add tomatoes, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant and the tomatoes soften.
Now add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring frequently, over a medium heat for around 15 minutes.
Serve over the vegan lentil meatballs and a side of your choice, and enjoy!
Substitutions and tips for making vegan lentil meatballs
- You can swap the buckwheat flour for GF oat flour, which you can make yourself by pulsing gluten-free oats in a food processor. Alternatively, use a store-brought gluten-free flour blend.
- If you use a food processor to make the meatballs, make sure not to overdo it and leave some texture.
- They also work well with sweet potatoes if you want to try something different!
- Add nutritional yeast for a hint of cheesiness.
- Don’t leave the meatballs in the oven for too long (I wouldn’t recommend more than 30 minutes): they should still have a bit of softness on the inside.
- These cooking times are based on large meatballs (about 5 cm in diameter). If you make smaller ones, keep in mind that they won’t have to stay in the oven for as long.
- Adjust how much salt you use depending on your dietary preferences.
Storing and freezing
These lentil meatballs last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. The curry sauce can be stored separately for up to 3 days.
The meatballs are also freezer-friendly. Store them in a freezer-friendly container for up to 2 months.
Other recipes you might like…
- Why not try an easy vegetable pumpkin stir-fry for an autumn-inspired, cosy dinner?
- Make an edamame and kimchi vegan falafel wrap as a meal prep lunch.
- How about a slice of berry and almond polenta cake for dessert?
- Vegan sweet potato soup is another cosy and comforting dinner.
Let me know in the comments: have you ever tried making vegan meatballs? If you give this recipe a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) or comment your photo on Pinterest so I can see your creations!
Get the Recipe: Vegan Lentil Meatballs With Curry Sauce (Gluten-free)
For the lentil meatballs
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 3 small potatoes, peeled and chopped , (about 300g or 10oz)
- 2 flax eggs
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp tamari
For the curry sauce
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minched
- 250 g vine tomatoes
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- Saucepan x 3
- Conventional oven
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowl
Make the lentil meatballs
- Cook the red lentils for around 10 minutes, until they're soft but not mushy.
- At the same time, boil peeled and chopped potatoes until fully cooked through, which should take around 12-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (400 F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Mash the potatoes when done, then add them to a large mixing bowl together with the cooked lentils and the flax eggs, red onion, tomato paste, turmeric, nutritional yeast, buckwheat flour and tamari. Mix everything together well.
- Then, roll the mixture into even-sized balls. Make sure your hands are slightly damp to prevent sticking. The measurements in the recipe card below are enough for 8-9 large meatballs.
- Arrange the meatballs on the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.
Make the curry sauce
- While the lentil meatballs are in the oven, start preparing the curry sauce. Add the onion and garlic to a non-stick pan and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant and the tomatoes soften.
- Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring frequently, over a medium heat for around 15 minutes.