Caitlin Bensel
Hands-On Time
25 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Serves 2

You won’t miss the meat in these savory eggplant meatballs with umami-filled mushrooms. Unlike a lot of veggie meatballs, these hold their shape and are incredibly versatile. They’re great here, in a sub with tomato sauce and some cheese, but if you have leftovers, add them to a grain bowl or serve them as the main attraction with a side of roasted vegetables or a side salad. They freeze well, too: doubling this recipe is highly recommended.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add eggplant and season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened and golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, shallot, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let mixture cool at least 5 minutes. Wipe skillet clean.

Step 2

Add rice, panko, flour, pepper, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt to food processor. Pulse until mixture comes together, about 15 times. (Mixture will be sticky.) Form into 8 balls (about the size of golf balls).

Step 3

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 4

Preheat broiler with oven rack 8 inches from heat source. Place toasted rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce evenly inside rolls. Top with meatballs, remaining ½ cup tomato sauce, and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and subs are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with the torn basil.

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