A wonderful vegetarian lentil bite that can be made from ingredients I recommend keeping in your pantry at all times. Perfect for topping pasta, adding to sandwiches, or crumbling in salads.
- 1/2 cup brown or green lentils
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1/3 cup minced white onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup crushed pecans
- 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
- 1/4 cup whole wheat panko
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg
- Combine lentils and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, 23 to 25 minutes. If lentils are not tender and water has been absorbed, add more water and continue to cook. Drain off any excess water.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and add the onion. Cook until onion is translucent and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and carrots, cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two.
- In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, onion mixture, nuts, panko, herbs, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times to start combining the mixture. Crack in the egg and pulse a few more times until the mixture is combined but about half the lentils are still holding shape. Set aside and let rest while the oven preheats to 425˚.
- Take the lentil mixture and roll into 12 balls, roughly the size of a golfball. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Bake meatballs until browning and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.
Tips & Tricks: I always get asked if you can use other types of lentils. The short answer? No. Red lentils are split and cook quickly/lose their texture. Black/Beluga and Le Puy/French lentils have too much texture (which makes them perfect for salads, not for these lentil bites.)
I also made these on facebook live. If you want a visual guide, check out the video.
Finally, speed up the process by batch cooking the lentils for use throughout the week. Also, these lentil bites freeze well. Place on a sheet tray, as if you were about to bake. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes then transfer the bites to a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
Nutrition: see the information.
- Calories: 215
- Sugar: 2.7
- Sodium: 361
- Fat: 10.6
- Carbohydrates: 23
- Fiber: 4.4
- Protein: 9.2
- Cholesterol: 46.5