Lentil Ricotta ‘Meatballs’

These meatball-like balls actually have no meat in them at all. They’re made with protein-rich lentils and ricotta cheese. Try them with spaghetti and marinara sauce for a great spin on the classic spaghetti and meatball dish.

2 cups cooked lentils, pureed

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup quick oats
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Canola oil for frying

Add all ingredients to a deep bowl. Mix very well, using hands or a wooden spoon. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight. When ready to cook, shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium flame. Add shaped “meatballs” and cook until browned all around, turning only once. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let excess drain off. Add to simmering marinara sauce if serving immediately, or store in a tightly covered container up to three days.

I used red lentils and cooked them in vegetable broth. They turned out to be a kind of soupy consistency when I pureed them, and I think that’s where I went wrong. I probably should have used a firmer lentil, like brown or green. Or maybe I should have refrigerated them overnight instead of the minimum 2 hours suggested. In any case, my ‘meatballs’ ended up looking for like patties. See for yourself:

So I added more oatmeal to the remaining mixture until it held it’s shape a bit better. That did the trick. They still weren’t perfect balls but much better. They were really yummy with marinara sauce and whole wheat spaghetti. We all enjoyed them, except for Cole, who picked out all the balls, saying they were not his favourite. Oh Cole.
I still had all these patties left over, so the next day for lunch I used them to make mini-burgers by putting the lentils between bread cut into quarters and spreading mustard and ketchup on them.
Cole ate THREE of them! That’s a big deal for him, because he usually eats like a bird. He said these were the best burgers ever. So I was able to turn my flop into a success.  Not too shabby!
-Recipe adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen

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Welcome! I’m Megan.

My kids like to whine, especially when it comes to the food they eat, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to make tasty and healthy meals for them. Follow along as I share family-friendly recipes and reviews from my picky family members, who I lovingly call “The Whine Critics.” Read More…

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