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+ servings

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs with Tomatoes

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course First Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2


  • 150 g of half-cooked lentils *
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of bread crumbs
  • 1 spoonful of chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of ready-made tomato sauce


  • First, let's repeat the rule of cooking (*) lentils: we need raw, dried lentils, not canned ones, and we will only partially cook them. Any kind of lentil will be fine, as long as it is raw.
  • Take 2 large cups of dried lentils, rinse in cold water, and put them in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover them.
  • Cook the lentils in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes after the pressure cooker whistles, no more no less; then drain the lentils and grind them in the meat grinder until you get a rough mixture, without any whole lentils.
  • At this point, mix the chopped lentils with the egg and the remaining ingredients exactly as you would for meatballs, until you get a mixture that does not stick to your hands. If you prefer firm and compact meatballs, keep the recipe unchanged; but if you like softer meatballs, replace the breadcrumbs with some stale bread soaked in water.
  • Prepare a simple tomato sauce in a saucepan (if you have some already prepared, that's fine too) and dilute it with a little hot water; in the meantime, form the meatballs, taking care to make them rather small because they will grow a lot during cooking.
  • When they are ready, transfer the meatballs to the simmering sauce, and cook until the sauce is very dry, adding water if instead you feel that it needs a few more minutes of cooking.
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