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5 from 2 votes

Almond Pesto Lentil Meatballs (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 1 dozen meatballs
Author: Erin


  • 3/4 cups green lentils uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp parsley fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp thyme fresh or dried
  • 1 flax egg 1 tbsp flaxseed meal+2.5 tbsp water, mixed
  • 2 tbsp flour all purpose or use arrowroot or coconut for gluten free
  • 2 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp gluten free breadcrumbs
  • For the pesto:
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil*
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp vegan parmesan optional


  • For the meatballs: Combine lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover pan with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer until water has absorbed and lentils are cooked.
  • While lentils are cooking, combine onions, garlic and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After about two minutes, add the parsley and time and stir. Cook until onions are soft but not quite brown yet; remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Also while waiting, prepare the flax egg by combining flaxseed meal and water in a small dish. Stir and set aside for about 10 minutes, allowing time for the flax to absorb the water. At this point, you should also preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Once lentils are cooked, transfer to a large bowl and mash them with a fork. This could take a couple minutes, so be patient! Once mashed, add onion mixture to the bowl and stir.
  • Next, add the flax egg, flour, parmesan, and breadcrumbs and stir until everything is combined.
  • Form the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and set on a baking sheet.
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and place the meatballs in the skillet, cooking for 3-4 minutes and flipping throughout until they're golden brown on the outside.
  • Transfer meatballs back to the baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • While meatballs are baking, make the pesto. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until pesto has formed.
  • Serve meatballs with the pesto and this pasta, this pasta or these potatoes.
  • Enjoy!


*If you have a difficult time getting everything to mix, add 1-2 tbsp water to the blender (along with the olive oil)
**Serving size varies depending on size of meatballs. Feel free to double the recipe if you need a larger serving size.