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5 from 9 votes

Italian-Style Lentil + Mushroom (Not) Meatballs

"Try thees (not) meatballs nestled in a sub roll, served as an appetizer with a delicious dipping sauce, or with roasted spaghetti squash and Maudie's Tomato Sauce (page 32) for a pasta-free spaghetti and (not) meatballs that's sooo good. You can shape them into burgers or sliders, too!" —Heather Crosby YumUniverse Pantry to Plate
Servings: 20 Meatballs
Author: Heather Crosby, YumUniverse Pantry to Plate


  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups cooked green, brown, or French green lentils (roughly ¾ cup dry)
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground psyllium husk
  • 2 teaspoons rough-chopped fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Marinara sauce, warmed (optional)
  • Slider buns, split and toasted (optional)


  • In a skillet heated to medium, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté the carrots for 20 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork but firm, not mushy.
  • Add the mushrooms and onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened and browning a bit. Transfer to a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Pulse together 30 to 35 times, until just broken up and sticky with texture and bits of color intact. Taste—if needed, season with more salt or seasonings. Pulse or stir to incorporate.
  • Form 1 ½-inch (4 cm) meatballs (or 2-inch patties if you're making sliders) with your hands. Heat a skillet to medium and add the remaining oil. Slow-cook the meatballs, rotating often, for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on all sides. Serve warm.*


*To make sliders, slather each (not) meatball) in warm marinara sauce and place on a toasted bun. Serve immediately.