After seeing Eggplant Polpettas being made on The Chew, I immediately wanted to try my own variation. Traditonal eggplant poplettas are an Italian version of “meatless meatballs” with eggplant, breadcrumbs, and grated cheese being the main ingredients. For my Eggplant Polpettas, I took some inspiration from Curried Eggplant Burgers and substituted the bread and cheese for lentils and quinoa flakes to create polpettas that are both vegan and gluten free. The easy to make eggplant polpettas, can be served just like regular meatballs- as a sandwich, over gluten free noodles or even just with marinara sauce.
Make 5 Servings (4 Meatballs per Serving)
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1 whole eggplant (approximately 18-20 ounces)
1 cup cooked lentils, divided
3/4 cup quinoa flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon cornstarch
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Optional for Serving-- gluten free bread, gluten free pasta, or any variety of gluten free noodles (spaghetti squash, zucchini, Miracle noodles, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Trim ends off eggplant then cut in half lengthwise.
3. Place eggplant skin side down on baking sheet and spray flesh with olive oil spray. Season with salt and pepper. Flip eggplant halves over so they are flesh side down on the baking sheet.
4. Roast eggplant halves, until they are very tender and skin is easily pricked with a fork, 28-32 minutes.
5. Remove eggplant from oven (leave oven on at 375 degrees) and let sit for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.
6. Use a large spoon to scoop eggplant flesh out of skin and into the base of a large food processor. Pulse eggplant a few times, until it is relatively smooth.
7. Add 1/2 cup of the lentils to the food processor and pulse until mixture forms a smooth puree.
8. Scoop eggplant/lentil puree into a large mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients (remaining 1/2 cup of lentils, quinoa flakes, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, cornstarch, salt, and pepper) and stir until well combined. Taste for seasoning.
9. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop, or spoon to form eggplant mixture into 20 “meatballs” and place on prepared baking sheet. Spritz tops with of meatballs with a layer of nonstick spray.
10. Bake eggplant meatballs 15 minutes, then remove from oven and carefully flip (Use your hands to gently reshape meatballs, if necessary). Spritz tops of meatballs with another layer of olive oil spray and return to oven. Continue to bake for 12-15 minutes more or until meatballs are golden and crisp on the outside.
11. Place 4 meatballs on each plate and serve with any desired noodles or sauces.
Nutrition Information--approximately 110 calories per serving (4 meatballs)