Spaghetti with Lentil “Meatballs”


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about



Appears in

The Forest Feast Mediterranean: Simple Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by My Travels

The Forest Feast Mediterranean

By Erin Gleeson

Published 2019

  • About

Countries around the Mediterranean have their own way of making and serving meatballs. In Spain, we saw albondigas on tapas menus, sometimes served in a sauce with toothpicks. In Italy, polpette may be served alone or even in soup. This is my vegetarian twist on the common dish, served with pasta.


  • lentils 1⅓ (264 g) cooked brown lentils (I used a 15-oz/425-g can, drained)
  • Breadcrumbs ½ c (50 g)
  • Egg 1 big one!
  • Garlic ½ t garlic powder or 2 minced cloves
  • red pepper flakes a big pinch (or to taste)
  • salt a couple pinches of kosher salt
  • pepper a few grinds


Mix the ingredients well then roll the mixture into 1-in (2½-cm) balls. Fry them in a generous amount of olive oil on med/low, turning a few times, until browned on all sides. I serve them hot over spaghetti with marinara sauce, sprinkled with fresh thyme. They are also great as an appetizer served with toothpicks and marinara or pesto for dipping.