Quinoa lentil mushroom meatballs are the perfect weeknight meal or even party food! So easy to make and with simple ingredients, you are going to love how much flavor is in these vegetarian meatballs! These lentil vegetarian meatballs are also gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
Why you will love this recipe:
- These meatballs have a rich, hearty flavor and great texture! Not your typical vegetarian meatball! The lentils and the quinoa are super filling and the mushrooms give it that great depth of flavor missing from most vegan meat substitutes.
- Because these have so much flavor, even meat eaters will be happy to have them on meatless Monday or as part of an inexpensive meal!
- These quinoa lentil mushroom meatballs are a great use for leftover quinoa or lentils. These meatballs also freeze well so you can easily make a double or triple batch and enjoy them all month!
- Serve at parties with your favorite marinara for dipping or traditionally with pasta and sauce! Either way these are sure to please!
- Since these are made with both quinoa and lentils and don’t have a ton of filler ingredients, these are extremely high in fiber and protein and are sure to fill you up while not breaking the bank!
- Cooked green lentils – sometimes called brown lentils since they turn brown when cooking. This is one of the most common varieties of lentils and they can even be found pre-cooked (steamed) in many grocery stores.
- Cooked quinoa – quinoa is a seed not a grain and it’s packed with protein and fiber, making it perfect for these healthy lentil mushroom meatballs.
- Mushrooms – this is really one of the key ingredients and how these vegan meatballs have so much flavor! The mushrooms take on a meaty flavor and texture.
- Ground flax – this is the binder for this recipe and the reason you don’t need to add any eggs.
- Coconut aminos – this is the soy free version of soy sauce. It adds a depth of flavor and helps elevate the mushrooms to have even more of that “meaty” flavor. You could also use soy sauce or liquid aminos.
- Salt – because all good recipes are seasoned well.
- Garlic powder – this adds a ton of flavor without being too overpowering with the garlic taste.
- Italian Seasoning – this gives your meatballs the perfect seasoning.
Cook the lentils and the quinoa if you do not already have leftovers from earlier in the week.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the preheated skillet after spraying it with some olive oil spray (so they don’t stick).
Cook mushrooms 5-7 minutes, allowing the water to cook out of them. The will start to brown up after the water is removed.
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Add the cooked quinoa and cooked lentils to the food processor along with coconut aminos, ground flax, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt on top. Pulse to combine and distribute the seasoning and ground flax.
Add the cooked mushrooms to the lentil mixture, pulse the mixture until the mushrooms are well incorporated but you don’t want this to turn into a paste.
Add parchment or a silicone liner to a baking sheet. Spray with non-stick (optional).
Using a tablespoon, scoop out a large tablespoon worth of the lentil quinoa mixture into your hands and roll into a ball (about the size of a ping pong ball). This recipe will make about 15 meatballs total.
Once all the meatballs are formed, place baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet and carefully flip over all the meatballs so they can brown evenly.
Cook for an additional 10 minutes in the oven.
Serve hot, cold or room temperature.
Tips for serving these vegan meatballs:
Since these quinoa lentil mushroom meatballs don’t have any flour or breadcrumbs as filler, they tend to get softer as they absorb any liquid they are placed in, so once you cover them in sauce, you will want to eat them that same day or may notice they no longer have that nice crust on the outside.
You can serve these meatballs with a dipping sauce at parties or the traditional way with pasta!
What to serve with these vegan meatballs?
Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. Some of my favorites are:
You could also serve these just like you would regular meatballs:
- With pasta, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles and your favorite sauce
- On pizza or calzones
- Crumbled up in lasagna or as a meat sauce for pasta
- On subs or sandwiches
Other ways to use this mushroom lentil meatball mixture:
These quinoa lentil mushroom meatballs mixture have great flavor and could also be used as a ground beef substitute. You can either crumble the meatballs after cooking or instead of forming these into meatballs you can bake in the oven in a flat layer for about 15 minutes, stirring once in the middle to keep the texture on point.
You could also turn this mixture into burgers instead of meatballs. You will want to form the patties in your hand and make sure they are not too thick, as you want them to be able to keep their texture without getting soggy. Bake in the oven with the same instructions as the meatballs, flipping after 15 minutes.
Can you double this recipe?
Yes! You can easily double or even triple this recipe and store leftovers in the fridge or freezer for later.
Note: When you are doubling this recipe, you will want to pulse the ingredients in batches in the food processor, do not try to pulse a double batch together, you will get an inconsistent result (some will turn to paste while others pieces are still whole).
You may need to cook these on 2 baking sheets or use an extra-large baking sheet (which I always use and highly recommend).
Fridge: Store these quinoa lentil mushroom meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I would not recommend storing them in marinara sauce directly if you can help it, as they will get soft and lose the crispy outside.
Freezer: Store for up to 3 months in the freezer. The best way to freeze meatballs is to first let them cool completely in the fridge. Transfer them to a baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper and freeze until solid on that baking pan. Once frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer safe bag and store for up to 3 months. Remember to label and date the bag!
To defrost, simple leave in the fridge overnight or cook in the oven (15-20 minutes at 375F) or air fryer (6 minutes at 360F).
The best way to reheat these is to cook them for just a few minutes (2-3) in a 375F air fryer or 6-7 minutes in a 400F oven.
How to cook lentils and quinoa together
You can cook the lentils and quinoa separate or even buy them at the store pre-cooked. You can find steamed lentils in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores or even in the canned beans aisle.
You can find pre-cooked quinoa in most freezer sections of the grocery store.
Stovetop: You can cook the quinoa and lentils together on the stove. Simply combine ½ cup of lentils with ½ cup of quinoa and add 2 cups of water. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are fully cooked. Note: this will make more of the quinoa lentil mixture than you need but the leftovers are great in salads or grain bowls.
Instant Pot: Combine the lentils and quinoa in the instant pot with 2 cups of water. Add the lid, make sure it is sealed and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Allow to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before manually releasing it.
- Green (or brown) lentils: You could also try this recipe using green french lentils, black beans or white beans (cannellini beans or great norther white beans).
- Quinoa: Quinoa adds a ton of protein to this dish (as it has all the essential amino acids). You could also use cooked brown rice, but the texture will be slightly different.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms really add a meaty texture and flavor and are a big part of why this is so good. If you are allergic, you can leave them out or replace them with 1 whole roasted red pepper.
- Coconut aminos: This is a soy free alternative to soy sauce. You could also use soy sauce (not gluten free) or tamari.
- Ground flax: this is really important for binding the meatballs and drawing out any extra liquid from the mushrooms. You could also use ground chia seeds.
If you love this recipe you should try:
- 5 Ingredient Black Bean Burger
- Mexican Lentil Black Bean Burger
- Creamy Tahini Pesto Pasta
- Creamy Lemon Tahini Pasta
- Mushroom Walnut Stuffed Zucchini
- Mexican Lentils and Rice
Quinoa Lentil Mushroom Meatballs
- Cook the quinoa and lentils first if you do not have leftovers on hand (see below for instructions).
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil spray and add mushrooms.
- Cook mushrooms 6-7 minutes, until water has been released and they start to brown.
- Add the cooked quinoa, cooked lentils and everything but the mushrooms to the food processor.
- Pulse the food processor to distribute the spices and seasonings.
- Add the cooked mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until everything is well combined and broken up. Do not over mix, you do not want to create a paste.
- Place parchment or a silicone liner on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil spray.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out a large tablespoon of the quinoa lentil mixture into your hands. Roll into a ball shape (should be about the size of ping pong ball) and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have about 15.
- Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully flip the meatballs so they can brown well on both sides. Cook 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
- You can cook the lentils and quinoa separate or even buy them at the store pre-cooked. You can find steamed lentils in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores or even in the canned beans aisle.
- You can find pre-cooked quinoa in most freezer sections of the grocery store.
- Stovetop: You can cook the quinoa and lentils together on the stove. Simply combine ½ cup of lentils with ½ cup of quinoa and add 2 cups of water. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are fully cooked. Note: this will make more of the quinoa lentil mixture than you need but the leftovers are great in salads or grain bowls.
- Instant Pot: Combine the lentils and quinoa in the instant pot with 2 cups of water. Add the lid, make sure it is sealed and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Allow to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before manually releasing it. Note: this will make more of the quinoa lentil mixture than you need but the leftovers are great in salads or grain bowls.
- Lentils: If you don’t have lentils, you can use black beans or white beans (cannellini or great northern white beans) or french green lentils.
- Quinoa: If you don’t have quinoa, you can use cooked brown rice. It will create a slightly different texture but will still be very good.
- Coconut aminos: You can also use soy sauce (not gluten free) or tamari
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Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in December of 2015, but was published again in November 2020 to include step by step directions, recipe notes and new photos.