I’ve always been a fan of pasta. As a kid, the only thing that could make pasta even better were meatballs and parmesan cheese. I’m glad that now I can enjoy one of my favorite childhood dinners again and no animals had to be harmed.
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The idea for these “meatballs” came to me when my friend asked me how I could live without pasta with meatballs. I thought on it for a few days and eventually came up with this recipe. The best thing about these is how crispy they are on the inside and soft and meaty on the inside. Now, when people ask me how I can live without meatballs, I will ask them how they can live without these.
These “meatballs” are:
Full of flavor
Crispy on the outside
Tender on the inside
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 and ½ cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 and ½ cup cooked and cooled green lentils
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ cup (packed) fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- ½ cup feta cheese
- 7 Tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat a skillet with 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
- Sautee onion, garlic and mushrooms until lightly browned.
- In food processor, add sauteed veggies, cooked lentils, oregano and parsley. Pulse until crumbly.
- Add egg, feta, bread crumbs and salt. Pulse until crumbly, not pureed.
- Scoop rounded Tablespoon size balls out and pack tight with hands. Place each ball on a large plate or easily-movable surface.
- Freeze 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil to non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Add "meatballs" to oil and cook until lightly browned on all sides. (around 10 minutes)
- Add all "meatballs' to lined baking sheet (not touching) and bake 11-14 minutes, turning over after 8 minutes) until crispy and firm. (Should not fall apart when touched)
- Serve over pasta.
* If you freeze your leftover "meatballs," reheat them in the oven on 275 degrees F. until hot.