Protein, iron, and veggies come together to make these soft yet hearty kale and lentil balls a meat ball alternative. Perfect on top of any pasta dish!
After finally getting my basic Vegan Veggie & Bean Burger down, I knew I needed a go-to basic “bean ball” for our weekly pasta. Using my veggie burger recipe as a base, I got to work. I made quite a few trials of these before I found one that was not only the right consistency, but also gave us that Italian feel…I wanted something hearty and filling that could complement our pasta.
Bean balls are a great addition to your meal, they pack loads of protein and iron, plus you can hide those extra veggies in them for those picky little eaters. My boys love them, especially the little one who seems to be the pickier of the two. If he shoves them into his mouth to the point where he is not complaining, then I know it’s a win!
The Perfect Flavor Combo And Textures
This recipe uses hearty lentils combined with kale and mushrooms for added moisture. Oats and almond meal help soak that moisture up to create a perfect bean ball that holds together nicely. Sunflower seeds give them a touch of crunch, and when covered in my Crockpot Red Sauce or Classic Red Red Sauce, they melt in your mouth. These bean balls are delicious and a perfect pasta topping!
Why You Should Make These Kale And Lentil Balls;
- They are crazy delicious (obvious one)
- They freeze well…make a big batch and freeze any leftovers for a super quick weeknight dinner
- They go well with different sauces both creamy white sauces and tomato sauces
- They’re hearty, filling and healthy…serve with spaghetti or your favorite pasta
- Instead of serving with pasta they are great served in wraps and tacos with all your fav toppings
- Serve with a salad bowl….the list is endless
- 2 cups uncooked chopped mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups uncooked chopped kale
- Your favorite oil for sautéing veggies or veggie broth if not using oil
- 1 ½ cups precooked lentils
- 1 cup gluten free oats may need more if mixture is too wet
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 flax egg 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water
- Himalayan pink salt garlic powder, basil, oregano, and smoked paprika to taste
- Mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to make flax egg.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Saute chopped mushrooms and kale in oil or veggie broth until soft. Set aside. If lentils are not precooked, cook them according to directions.
- Mash lentils with a potato masher or your hands, leaving some whole pieces, and add them to a large bowl. Add mushroom/kale mix to the bowl.
- Next add the flax egg, gluten free oats, almond meal and sunflower seeds and mix well. Add seasonings and taste, start with a few shakes of each. Add more seasonings if needed, you should taste the seasonings but they shouldn’t overpower the mixture.
- Once you get the taste you like, allow mixture to set a while so oats soak in some liquid (you can also do this after you shape into balls). If the mixture is too wet, then add some more oats 1/4 cup at a time until mixture is a thick dough, not too pasty.
Shape into 2-inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 25-30 minutes or until browned.
- If there is a nut allergy, you can sub more oats for the almond meal. You can also use spinach or swiss chard in place of the kale.
- These are also quite filling so I freeze half of the balls before cooking, for use at a later time.
- They freeze great! I ended up using a little over 1 cup oats.