The ultimate vegan lentil meatballs that are completely gluten free, protein packed, and full of Italian flavor! Made with only 7 simple ingredients!

mashed cauliflower with vegan lentil meatballs

This post is sponsored by the California Prune Board and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Banana Diaries possible!

As an Italian (and having been raised on a meatball recipe that has been in my family since before they immigrated from Sicily), let me just say: these vegan lentil meatballs are bar none the best meatballs I’ve ever tasted.

saucepan of lentil meatballs

I kid you not, this plate is like the ultimate comfort food for me. The texture just hits it out of the park, the flavor is like you’re eating at a home in Italy, and I just cannot get over how easy they were.

Oh, and these lentil meatballs are only made with 7 simple and basic plant-based ingredients too. And, gluten free ingredients at that. With a secret (and delicious) ingredient (but don’t worry, I’m going to give it away!).

plate of mashed cauliflower and lentil meatballs with prunes

The Ultimate Vegan Lentil Meatballs

So why on earth are these gluten free vegan lentil meatballs so dang good?

A few things. First, they’re not made from freaky weird ingredients. They’re actually pretty similar to a traditional meatball recipe, only it uses:

  • Sprouted lentils
  • Oat flour
  • Coconut aminos
  • Marinara
  • Rosemary
  • California Prunes

Yes, California prunes! I know that might sound odd, but it’s actually the secret to making these vegan meatballs taste so dang good.

Last fall, I was invited by the California Prune Board to tour some of their prune orchards and see how a plum gets transformed into a prune (yes, a prune is a plum that’s been dried! And no, they’re not called dried plums, they’re called prunes, and they’re delicious!).

jar of prunes

Now, let me tell you, prunes are extraordinarily versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. I made these gluten free vegan cinnamon cupcakes with them last fall, so I decided to go with a more savory recipe this time around that wasn’t just throwing them into salads (which is still delicious).

So basically prunes and oats together act as the binder of all of these ingredients, and it’s a pretty good one. One without the other won’t work; you need both in order for the recipe to really come together!

Not only that, but the prunes add a really diverse and delicious flavor element to the dish. Don’t worry- these vegan meatballs don’t taste sweet! Prunes in general aren’t overwhelmingly sweet, like a date, which makes them amazing for both savory and sweet recipes! It’s almost like molasses versus maple syrup. Maple syrup is very noticeably sweet, whereas molasses adds more flavor than sweetness to a recipe.

The other reason why these gluten free vegan meatballs are going to be the dish you make every Sunday night (come on now, it’s not Sunday without spaghetti and meatballs!) is how simply everything comes together.

plate of vegan meatballs

I promise, the whole work part of the process is max 15 minutes! Like regular meatballs, this gluten free vegan rendition really comes together in the time you let it simmer in the sauce.

How to make vegan meatballs that even meat-lovers will love

Yes, it’s true. Much like my vegan lentil “meatloaf,” I had even the non-vegan eaters in my family loving these meatballs.

Even more-so than our family’s passed-down recipe!

The trick is all in the ingredients and how they come together, which is extraordinarily easy. All you’ll need is a food processor, a baking sheet, and a sauce-pan.

lentil meatballs

Not bad right?

Now, if you’re making your own lentils and your own oat flour, just make sure you’ve got those prepped and ready to go. Otherwise, you’ll start by:

  1. Placing all of the ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Then blend everything until smooth. It should look like the photos below.

Next up, we have the lentil meatball rolling:

  1. Simply roll the batter into 2″ sized meatballs and place onto a baking sheet.
  2. Bake for 25 minutes at 400F.

Next, just cook everything in a saucepan with the marinara and then serve!

sauce pan with gluten free vegan meatballs

Tips for making veggie meatballs

To make sure that your veggie balls come out perfectly each time, here are a few tips:

  • I recommend using homemade oat flour. I always say this, but there’s something about the texture that is just different from store bought. However, if you prefer less work, go with store bought!
  • You can use store bought prepped lentils or prep them yourself. Either way works!
  • Make sure that the prunes you use say just prunes. You don’t want any sweet meatballs!
  • Same goes with the sauce: no sugar added marinara sauce is highly recommended!
  • Feel free to swap in your favorite herbs or add more: these are very customizable!
plate of lentil meatballs

I hope you love these vegan lentil meatballs as much as I do! If you make them, let me know down below in the comments section, and be sure to give it a rating so that others can find this recipe too 🙂

As always, I love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy lentil meatball-ing!

plate of meatballs with cauli mash

More healthy gluten free vegan dinner recipes:

Vegan Hummus Lentil Loaf

Vegan Gluten Free Sweet Potato Lasagna

Paleo Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Paleo Vegan Lo Mein

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

pinterest pin for meatballs
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plate of vegan meatballs

Vegan Lentil Meatballs (Gluten Free)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

The ultimate vegan lentil meatballs that are completely gluten free, protein packed, and full of Italian flavor! Made with only 7 simple ingredients!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (about 3/4 cup uncooked if cooking from scratch)
  • 1 cup oat flour (homemade or store bought)
  • 5 prunes
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, for cooking

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Lightly spray or coat the tin foil with coconut or olive oil to prevent sticking. 
  2. In a large food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together until it’s a consistent batter. It should not be very clumpy, but rather smooth.
  3. Roll the lentil batter into 2 inch sized meatballs and place the meatballs onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the lentil meatballs for 25 minutes in the oven.
  5. When done, remove from the oven and let cool while you add 1 cup marinara sauce to a medium sized sauce pan.
  6. Add the meatballs to the pan, toss them in the sauce, then cover and set the heat to low/simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with fresh pasta, cauliflower mash, or however you prefer!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 312
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Sodium: 1097.6 mg
  • Fat: 4.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.8 g
  • Protein: 14.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 2 mg

Keywords: vegan lentil meatballs, vegan meatballs, gluten free vegan meatballs, vegan gluten free dinner recipes

pinterest pin for meatballs
pinterest pin for meatballs