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Homemade Lentil Meatballs are made with a satisfying mixture of simple ingredients for a perfect vegetarian dinner. Ready in just over 30 minutes! |

Lentil Meatballs

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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These homemade Lentil Meatballs are made with a satisfying mixture of breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, aromatic ingredients, and delicious seasonings for a perfect vegetarian entree for any dinner. Even better? They're ready in just over 30 minutes! How's that for an easy weeknight dinner? 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 ounce) canned lentils or homemade cooked lentils (1 ¾ cup cooked), rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • marinara sauce (optional, for serving)


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Use a paper towel to pat the rinsed and drained lentils dry. Then, transfer into a food processor and add sauteed onion mixture, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper. Pulse mix on and off for 1 minute until well combined. Alternatively, you can mash everything with a fork or potato masher in a large mixing bowl until evenly combined
  3. Take 2 tablespoonful lentil mixture at a time and shape into meatballs. Set aside on a large baking sheet.
  4. To cook, you can pan fry, bake or air fry the meatballs.
    • To pan fry: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat until sizzling hot, about 2 minutes. Arrange the meatballs on the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 7-10 minutes.
    • To bake: Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the meatballs on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Flip once halfway through baking.
    • To air fry: Add meatballs in batches to the air fryer basket and cook at 350F for 10-12 minutes until browned. Shake the basket gently once during cooking to help cook evenly.

  5. Serve warm with marinara sauce.


How to store: Allow the leftover lentil meatballs to cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How to reheat: For a quick meal, microwave the meatballs for 30 seconds at a time until they are cooked through. For the best flavor, toast them in a hot skillet with a little oil to crisp up the outside. 

How to freeze: I prefer to freeze any extra meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for a couple of hours. Once they've frozen, place them in a freezer-safe bag for 3-6 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American