Go Back
+ servings

Eggplant "Meatballs"

Eggplant "Meatballs" are a savory, satisfying side that can be added to all your favorite pastas. Flavorful with a "meaty" texture, these delicious vegan meatballs are perfect for making ahead.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 137kcal


  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tbsp. chipotle in Adobo sauce or your favorite seasoning
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • tsp. pepper or to taste
  • 14 oz. Marinara or your favorite tomato sauce

Flax "egg"

  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp. water


  • Saute the peeled and cubed eggplant in a large, non-stick skillet, until nicely browned.
  • In the meantime, make a flax egg by whisking 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Add the chipotles in adobo (or your favorite seasoning), salt, and about ¼ cup of water to the eggplants. Stir, and cook just until the water has evaporated and the eggplants have softened nicely.
  • Transfer the eggplants to a large mixing bowl and mash them with a potato masher.
  • Add the breadcrumbs, garlic, flax egg, salt, and pepper and then mix well.
  • Using a ¼ cup as a measure, scoop the mixture and gently form it into a ball. Place each eggplant meatball on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.
  • In a medium skillet, warm the marinara sauce. Add the baked eggplant balls and cover them with marinara. Serve hot.



Tips for the best Eggplant Meatballs

  • Look for good quality eggplants. When buying your eggplant, look for ones with tight, unblemished skin. They should feel heavy for their size and have no soft spots.
  • Saute the eggplant until tender. This step is not just for the texture of the cooked eggplant, but also because sauteing brings out a lot of flavor from this vegetable.
  • Make the meatballs the same size. It's best to use a measuring cup so your Eggplant Meatballs come out about the same size. Mixing smaller with larger ones will lead to uneven cooking, and the smaller ones might burn.

Add-ins and Substitutes

  • Make a gluten-free version. Using crushed Rice Chex cereal for texture or smoother almond flour can be a replacement for the panko in this recipe.
  • Add more vegetables. It doesn't have to just be eggplant. You could also include corn, peas, cauliflower, or other favorites. Just keep them small so they bind with the other ingredients.
  • Add some herbs. Try this recipe with parsley, oregano, or basil mixed in. You can use fresh or dried for this.
  • Use eggplant substitutes. Although these are Eggplant Meatballs, you could use other ingredients if there is no eggplant in your house. Try this recipe with mushrooms, chickpeas, or anything else you enjoy.


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1138mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 867IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg