Six-Ingredient Eggplant Meatballs in Homemade Marinara

Six-Ingredient Eggplant Meatballs in Homemade Marinara

Sautéed eggplant and hearty breadcrumbs make for delicious meat-free meatballs served with a light marinara sauce. 

Serves: 4

Serve these vegetable-forward meatballs from the Vegan Fakeout cookbook with egg-free pasta cooked until al dente, or loaded into sub rolls for the ultimate hot sandwich.

What you need:

For the meatballs:
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
, divided
1 medium eggplant, diced

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 thick slices of white bread

½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

For the marinara sauce:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt

What you do:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add eggplant, onion, and oregano. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until gently browned. 
  2. Into a food processor, add bread and pulse into fine breadcrumbs. Place breadcrumbs in a bowl and set aside. 
  3. In the food processor, pulse cooked eggplant mixture until semi-smooth. Add breadcrumbs in three stages, pulsing after each addition, to form a firm mixture. Stir in salt, pepper, and parsley. Allow to cool for three minutes. 
  4. In skillet over medium-high heat, warm remaining oil. Roll eggplant mixture into walnut-sized balls and carefully place in oil. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, until golden on top and bottom. Remove from pan, drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and keep warm. 
  5. For the marinara sauce, in a pan over medium heat, warm oil and garlic for 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and sugar, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and salt. Ladle marinara over meatballs and serve. 

Photo credit: Luke Albert

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