Leftover Lentil Meatballs


I have a ton of leftover lentils. Last night I made lentils with roasted sweet potatoes and onions, and because the future hubs was one of the dinner guests, I made extra. I have learned over the past couple of months that “serves 4-6” really means “serves 2 plus the future hubs,” especially if he just got back from playing basketball.  Lentils take some time and I wanted leftovers, so I doubled the recipe. The problem is that I didn’t love the outcome. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t one I want to rave over and beg you to try. It’s one of those meals where you realize you’re eating healthy.  I prefer to be a little more sneaky.

So knowing that my lentil burgers were a big hit, I decided to try and morph part of the leftovers into lentil meatballs. I have been itching to try the Cookie and Kate versionbut given my surplus of Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and hating food waste like a depression era housewife, I decided to take a wack at a recipe re-haul.

They turned out pretty darn good! Even my pup was convinced that they trumped a milk-bone when one dropped to the floor. Last night (and today for lunch) I enjoyed them al la’ hoagie. Whole wheat bread with ricotta, spaghetti sauce, lots of meatballs, mozzarella, and parmesan, under the broiler. Pretty darn good. So good I forgot to take a picture before I dug in. Sorry!

I gotta think these would be great in Italian wedding soup, as a pizza topper, with curly pasta and pesto, and of course, on top of good ol’ fashioned spaghetti. (All of these suggestions are whole wheat of course!)

And so, if you have some lowly lentils leftover, might I suggest a way to make them more lovely…

Leftover Lentil Meatballs 

adapted from Cookie + Kate, serves 4 as a topping, 2 as the whole meal.


Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

2 1/2 cups of leftover lentils
You can add in some mushrooms if you have some leftovers (probably no more than 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried terragon if you’ve got it. I made mine without, but they’d probably be better with.
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon soy sauce (you can exclude this if you are on a cleanse

1 medium white onion or a bunch of green onions chopped.
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 eggs (you can exclude this if you want it to be vegan, but if your lentils are kind of dry (mine were not) they may not bind together very well. I suggest making the meatballs small so they have less chance to break apart)


1. In a vita-mix or food processor combine the lentils, (mushrooms), spices, parsley until well combined. If you can prevent them from getting too mashed up, you’ll have better texture, but don’t stress. It won’t affect the taste.

2. If you want to add to the flavor take a few minutes to put your mixture into a skillet on some olive oil. Add in the soy sauce and keep cooking until all your liquid has been absorbed. If you are adding in the eggs for binder, then you’ll definitely want to do this and get rid of some excess moisture. 
3. season with salt and pepper and once cool enough to touch, thoroughly mix in whisked eggs. 
4. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400. 
5. I find a cookie scoop works the best to have uniform (even cooking) meatballs, but if you don’t have one, use your hands to make little balls, leaving some space around each one. Bake until golden brown. Mine were a little smaller than a golf ball and 30 minutes was perfect for some crunch on the outside and to make sure they weren’t mushy on the inside. I knew I was using sauce, so I wasn’t worried about them drying out. Bake them for less time, or make bigger meatballs if you want them to retain some moisture. 

4 thoughts on “Leftover Lentil Meatballs

Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s