Spaghetti + Vegan Meatballs w/ Fresh Garlic Basil Tomato Sauce + Lentil Meatballs

Spaghetti + Vegan Meatballs w/ Fresh Garlic Basil Tomato Sauce + Lentil Meatballs

Difficulty: 3/5 (5 being hardest)
Spice Level: 1/3 (3 being spiciest)

Prep & Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The Challenge: Spaghetti + Meatballs

It is an American classic (well Sicilian). Spaghetti and meatballs.

Time old tradition like no other is now ... vegan. Meatballs are pretty simple to make as a vegan with a combination of lentils and several spices as well as a binding agent like flax egg. We use a healthy amount of spices to really bring out the flavor and create a very binding ball. I bake them to make them healthier than pan fry. 

For sauce, I like a lot of different sauces for pasta. We created a really fresh garden hearty basil + tomato sauce that is packed full of flavor with tons of fresh basil and fresh roma tomatoes cooked down. 

We finish this dish off with fresh spaghetti (although I actually used linguini but linguini + meatballs doesn't have the ring). But wait?? Spaghetti ain't much without that salty parmesan cheese ... so we made a mock version that is really yummy and used both on top of the pasta as well as on the meatballs. 

Yum! Let's get into it.


Lentil Meatballs

  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1/4 cups red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried green lentils + 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 chia eggs (2 tbl chia meal + 5 tbl water)
  • 1 tbl dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbl tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of vegan parmesan cheese (you'll make this as part of the recipe)

Tomato Basil Sauce

  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8-10 medium roma tomatoes, deseeded + quartered
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic powder
  • 1 tbl of tomato paste
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, finely diced

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

  • 3/4 cups cashews, raw
  • 2 tbl sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbl chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

The Rest

  • fresh basil, diced
  • 1 box of 16oz vegan spaghetti + linguini

Equipment You'll Need:

Cutting Board . Sharp Cutting Knife . Measuring Cups . Measuring Spoons . Food Processor . Large Frying Pan . Castiron Pan . Baking Sheet . Parchment Paper . Large Saucepan


Before You Cook:

  • Wash and cut all fresh ingredients
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Add lentils to broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer + cover, cook 15-20 minutes until soft
 1. To start, cook the shallots and garlic from tomato sauce in a large deep pan with oil over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, spices, tomato paste, and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add basil and cook another 10 minutes. The sauce will start to break down.

1. To start, cook the shallots and garlic from tomato sauce in a large deep pan with oil over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, spices, tomato paste, and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add basil and cook another 10 minutes. The sauce will start to break down.

 2. While the sauce + lentils cook, mix chia meal with water and set aside. 

2. While the sauce + lentils cook, mix chia meal with water and set aside. 

 3. Next, we move on to the meatballs. Add oil, red onions, and garlic to a medium pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

3. Next, we move on to the meatballs. Add oil, red onions, and garlic to a medium pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

 4. Add cooked red onion, garlic, cooked lentils, chia egg, and the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs into a food processor and process for 10 seconds.

4. Add cooked red onion, garlic, cooked lentils, chia egg, and the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs into a food processor and process for 10 seconds.

 5. Blend all the ingredients for the vegan parm in a food processor until well blended like a grated parmesan.

5. Blend all the ingredients for the vegan parm in a food processor until well blended like a grated parmesan.

 6. Roll the mixture into 10 balls, then roll each ball into the 1/4 cup parm mixture (you'll have 3/4 cup leftover for the spaghetti). Place into the oven at 350F and cook for 18 minutes until browned on the edges.

6. Roll the mixture into 10 balls, then roll each ball into the 1/4 cup parm mixture (you'll have 3/4 cup leftover for the spaghetti). Place into the oven at 350F and cook for 18 minutes until browned on the edges.

 7. While the meatballs cook, add the spaghetti to boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

7. While the meatballs cook, add the spaghetti to boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

 8. To serve, add spaghetti to a bowl with sauce, meatballs, and cheese. Serve for 4 family style. Enjoy!

8. To serve, add spaghetti to a bowl with sauce, meatballs, and cheese. Serve for 4 family style. Enjoy!

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