Close up of Veg Meatballs, as seen on Mary Makes It Easy, season 2.
Recipe courtesy of Mary Berg

Mushroom Lentil Meatballs

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
These hearty meatless meatballs are made with walnuts, mushrooms and lentils.



  1. Toast the walnuts in a large dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to smell nutty, about 2 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to the bowl of your food processor and set aside.
  2. Place the skillet back onto the heat and add the shallot and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the shallots are softened and lightly golden brown, 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper and allow the mushrooms to cook down for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mushroom mixture into the food processor along with the lentils, Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, parsley and oregano. Pulse 6 to 8 times to chop everything up and bring the mixture together, being careful not to make a smooth puree. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a spoon, divide the mixture into 14 to 16 equal portions and roll into meatballs. To keep the mixture from sticking to your hands, lightly dampen your hands with water. This works for all meatballs, meaty or meatless!
  5. Turn the heat under the skillet to medium-high and add in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the meatballs in batches, turning occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes, and add more oil as needed.
  6. Serve the meatballs over pasta with your favorite tomato sauce or as a meatball sub smothered in melted mozzarella cheese.