Eggplant Meatballs (meatless)

Prep Time

60 minutes


2 small eggplants
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cooked white beans, such as cannellini (rinsed, if canned), smashed with a fork
1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves or flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup whole-wheat panko-style breadcrumbs
Olive oil or coconut oil pan spray


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the eggplant on top. Use a fork to prick the eggplant 4 times, then place the eggplant in the oven and roast it until it has collapsed some and a paring knife easily slips into the center, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool the eggplant 20 minutes. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, saute garlic in a little olive oil until translucent.

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh (discard the skin). Place the roasted eggplant in a medium bowl and stir in the egg and beans. Add the garlic, basil, parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine, then mix in the breadcrumbs.

Again, line the rimmed baking sheet with a clean sheet of foil or parchment paper and lightly mist it with oil spray. Shape the eggplant mixture into balls about the size of a small golf ball. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and lightly mist the top of the balls with spray. Bake the eggplant balls until they are golden brown and firm, about 20 minutes.

While the meatballs cook, make a fresh tomato basil sauce in a small saucepan. Remove the meatballs from the oven and serve with the tomato basil sauce.