Rating: 3 stars
23 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 9

There’s something deeply satisfying about a meatball that has nothing to do with the “meat” element. It’s really all about the texture, the format, and what you choose to enjoy it with. A great meatball is a juicy round orb of flavor that can star alongside spaghetti or piled onto a cheesy sub. But for vegetarians, what to do? Settle for bland meat substitutes? No way. Enter these hearty, veggie meatballs, made with two of the most toothsome vegetables: eggplants and mushrooms. Combined with rolled oats and brown rice, the result is substantial and flavorful, no meat required. Use as you would any meatball (highly recommend meatball subs here), in veggie bowls or salads, or crumble leftovers to use as you would ground beef.


Credit: Jennifer Causey

Recipe Summary

50 mins
25 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss eggplant, mushrooms, shallot, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper on a large baking sheet; spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring mixture and rotating baking sheet halfway through, until softened and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Pulse oats in a food processor until consistency of sand, about 20 seconds. Add cooled eggplant mixture, rice, parsley, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Pulse until well incorporated, about 15 pulses (mixture will be sticky). Roll into 16 pieces about the size of golf balls.

  • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add balls; cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve on salads, bowls, or subs, or with marinara, tahini, or seasoned Greek yogurt.

Chef's Notes

Freeze these for up to 2 months.