Red Lentil and Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs

    55 minutes

    A delicious and easy vegetarian dish, packed with protein and flavour. Can be made gluten free (see notes in recipe) and also is dairy free and meat free. It does use eggs, so the recipe is not vegan. Makes about 15 meatballs.

    12 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 1/2 cup red lentils
    • 1 medium to large carrot, grated
    • 3 cups of water
    • 1-2 tablespoons curry powder (Indian style)
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted dairy free margarine
    • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (white or red)
    • 1 1/2 cups crushed/blended cornflakes (or non-gluten free option: 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
    • dash of salt / to taste
    • cracked black pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 can baked beans in tomato sauce
    • non-dairy margarine or vegetable oil for frying
    • two saucepans, flat bottomed smallish bowl, non stick fry pan,
    • flat plate with baking paper, blender/processor (if making own bread/cornflake crumbs

    Preparation:45min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Prepare quinoa: soak quinoa in water for 5-10 mins. Rinse thoroughly. Place in small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to boil, simmer for 10-12 minutes until fluffy (or cook according to cooking instructions on quinoa packet)
    2. Prepare lentils: In second small saucepan, add red lentils, grated carrot, 2 cups of water and curry powder. Bring to boil. Simmer covered for approx 20 mins, until lentils are cooked and mixture has thickened.
    3. Add baked beans to lentil mix.
    4. Prepare cornflake crumbs: Place several handfuls of cornflakes into blender or processor. Pulse until crumbs are formed. Make enough for 1 1/2 cups.
    5. Add quinoa and 1 cup of the cornflake crumbs to the lentil mix, combine and mix in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add one beaten egg to the lentil mix as well, combine well. This is your "meatball" mix".
    6. In small flat bottomed bowl, place remaining cornflake crumbs.
    7. Take heaped tablespoonful of meatball mix, roll in your hands to form a ball. Place 3-4 of these balls into the bowl with crumbs. Swish the bowl around to make the meatballs roll in the crumbs. Place on small plate. Repeat until all mixture has been made into meatballs.
    8. In non stick fry pan, on medium heat, add enough oil or margerine to coat the entire pan and create about 1/2 cm depth of frying liquid.
    9. Add your meatballs and brown each side well of the meatballs. Remove from heat and place on plate and leave in 100-130 degrees C heated oven until ready to serve (this helps keep them crispy).
    10. Serve with salad and mashed potatoes.


    * Can also be made as burger patties * like a little extra spice? Before you start the recipe, put 1 TBL of vegetable oil in a hot pan, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cook them til they are blackened and start jumping around. Add these to the lentil mix in step 2.

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    Please note ~ IF you prefer really tightly packed meatballs, consider adding 1-2 T (gluten free or regular) flour with step 5.  -  09 Aug 2012


    I made these tonight and to be honest they smelt way tastier than they actually were. I served them with spaghetti and a really tasty vegetable sauce I make and it was a pretty good meal, very filling and my 2 year old absolutely loved it! She said "yummy!" After every mouthful! But without the sauce I think it would have been a bit bland.  -  22 May 2015


    Just fantastic! These were super light and fluffy, did it with gluten free flour and gluten free breadcrumbs, and my husband said they tasted like tasty dumplings when he popped them in his vege soup!  -  21 Apr 2015