Vegan Eggplant Cauliflower Meatballs
If there is one concept I’m trying to eat more of, it’s pasta! I’ve never been a pasta person, but it actually serves as the perfect medium to pack on the veggies. Today there are also healthier alternatives to standard pasta with the base being lentils or chickpeas etc.
I love to make everything from scratch and skip the pre-made options. That being said, I’ve tried a few vegan meatball concepts over the years, but have never been immensely impressed by anything. The texture was either too soft or it couldn’t be baked without drying out and the list goes on.
Until the Eggplant Cauliflower meatball.
What’s amazing about this meatball, is that it’s quick, easy, affordable, packed to the max with veggies, it naturally binds together, no need for vegan eggs, packs flavor, notes of roasted garlic, can easily be made in bulk, perf for any season, crispy, perfect for entertaining if you wanted to make it into small bites, can even pair it with zucchini noodles for an even healthier spin, and is non vegan approved!
If you’re searching for the perf baked veggie meatball to add to your cooking routine, these vegan Eggplant Cauliflower Meatballs are it!
Why this recipe is great:
Can easily be made in bulk
Perf for any season
Non vegan approved
Baked not fried
Vegan Eggplant Cauliflower Meatballs
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 1 eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, cut on bulb
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup brown rice (cooked)
- 1 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
- Other: 4 cups of pasta and your favorite marinara
- 1/2 cup vegan parm (optional)
- Preheat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 400°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the garlic bulb, coat in olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, place in the oven to roast.
- On a large baking sheet add the peeled and chopped eggplant, cauliflower, bell pepper, and onion.
- Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss together and arrange in a single layer.
- Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Toss veggie mid bake.
- Meanwhile, cook the brown rice according to directions.
- Put the roasted vegetables in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the Panko and brown rice. You can add a 1/2 cup vegan parm in here if desired.
- Preheat oven to 375
- Shape the mixture into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and crisp on the outside and heated through.
- Serve with the marinara sauce and a little more parmesan and your pasta of choice!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Category: Meatballs
- Cuisine: Lunch/Dinner
- Serving Size: 1
Do you know the nutritional value without the marina? Trying to calculate weight watcher points :/
Hi Steph! I don’t utilize the calorie counters for recipes as many times they are not accurate. In terms of the sauce it depends which brand you use. I always opt for organic and whichever option has little to no added sugar. Tomato sauce typically laden with added sugars, so always check labels!
Oh wow! These were delish! Going plant based for January and came across this recipe. I did add dried Italian seasoning and minced parsley. So good.
Can I use jasmine rice instead?
You mention vegan parm cheese in the instructions but not in the measurements. How much goes in the meatballs?
You can add 1/2 cup, but it’s optional. They’ll still come out great!