Eggplant Lovers Meatballs (Meatless)

I had these meatballs as an appetizer at a local Italian restaurant. I loved them and tried to come up with a recipe. They came out very similar, except for baking them instead of frying them. The only difference is, they are more delicate, so I would not submerge them into the marinara sauce. Instead, pour the sauce on top or use the sauce to dip them. You must try them. . you won't miss the meat.

Baked eggplant meatballs ready for sauce

Baked eggplant meatballs ready for sauce

Cubed and dressed ready for the oven....

Cubed and dressed ready for the oven....


2 large eggplants, peeled and cubed

Salt/pepper to taste

Drizzle of olive oil

2⁄3 cup bread crumbs

1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped fresh parsley or basil (or both)

1-2 cloves fresh garlic minced

2 eggs beaten

On large cookie sheet place eggplant cubes in one layer. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven till fork tender. May take 35 minutes. Set aside to cool or make a day ahead.

Mash or place in food processor only till mashed.

In large bowl add all ingredients including eggplant. As you would making meatballs, combine thoroughly with your hands. Carefully mold meatballs into medium size balls. Roll into bread crumbs. Place meatballs on well oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil. Bake at 375 for approximately 15- 20 minutes, or until golden.

Top with your favorite marinara sauce or make mine... :-)

*Freeze very well

Quick Marinara Sauce

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

Olive oil to cover bottom of pot

1/2 white onion chopped

1 clove garlic, sliced

2 leaves of fresh basil

Salt/Pepper to taste

In medium size pot, pour enough olive oil to cover bottom. Get oil nice and heated. Add chopped onion and simmer on low heat with basil leaves until soft, add sliced garlic clove. Let the onion and garlic get soft and tender. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 25-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.