Cheesy Meatless Meatballs with Marinara

Meatless Meatballs with lentils and wild rice, and topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese.

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Welcome fellow food lovers!  If you like cheese, read on.

Meatless Meatballs are my new favorite thing.  Along with baby pugs (but that’s nothing new), fall boots, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and Prison Break.  I’m usually about 5 years behind on these things.

But the meatless meatballs?  Unless people have been making tons of meatless meatballs and I missed it, I don’t feel like I’m 5 years behind on this one.  I kind of feel cutting edge.

Meatless Meatballs with lentils and wild rice, and topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese.

Let me just say that I have nothing against traditional meat meatballs.  One of my things to make this winter is 100% meaty Swedish Meatballs and I already can’t wait.

But sometimes I just don’t like to eat so much meat.

Cheese?  That’s another story.

So this is a meatless alternative that can be covered with melted cheese and can even be veganized (which would be unfortunate because you would need to get rid of the cheese, so… don’t do that).   The results were delicious.   I loved the semi-crunchy but softened texture of these after they were warmed up in tomato sauce.  And you already know how I feel about the cheese part.

Meatless Meatballs with lentils and wild rice, and topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese on a fork.

Cheesy Meatless Meatballs


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4

Description

These Meatless Meatballs are made with lentils and wild rice, and topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese. Great, healthy dinner!


Ingredients

  • 1 bag prepared brown and wild rice, such as Uncle Ben’s (about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • marinara or tomato sauce
  • cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix rice and lentils in a bowl with the garlic and cumin. Add the flour and breadcrumbs. The mixture will be crumbly.
  3. Fill a bowl with warm water. Dip your hands in the water; with wet hands, form the crumbly mixture into small egg shaped balls. Add a few drops of oil or water to each meatball as you shape it to help it stick together. Place meatballs on a baking sheet and top each with a knob of oil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, turning and adding more drizzles of oil as necessary.
  5. When toasted on the outside and warmed through, remove from oven and place individual oven-safe bowls. Cover with tomato sauce and cheese and bake on high broil (or microwave) until heated through and cheese is melted.

Notes

The meatballs will be firm and crispy on the outside when you take them out of the oven. This is OK because they will soften (but not get too soggy) as they are heated with the tomato sauce. To soften them even more, add a tablespoon or two of water in with the tomato sauce as you heat them.

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