Posted by: conradvisionquest | February 19, 2010

Eggplant “Meat”balls

Ok, folks!  Prepare to have your socks blown off!  And if you are lucky enough to be somewhere warm right now and are not wearing socks, then put some on so they can be blown off!  I LOOOVE eggplant, and when I say love, I mean I look at its gorgeous deep purple skin and caress it, and tell it how much I love it.  Alright, maybe I don’t love it that much, but I was tickled to find this recipe that wasn’t the boring eggplant parm, although I love that dish as well.

I made this recipe for the first time about a month ago when we had some friends over for dinner.  I have not tried it with the vegan options, but plan to next time around.  I just got some Ener-G at the health food store, and am hoping it works as well as eggs for a binder.  Please, if any of you have tips about replacing eggs in cooking, I AM ALL EARS!  In the meantime, I will update this post once I have tried the recipe with the Ener-G.  Here’s the original, from Straight from the Farm:

Eggplant “Meatballs”
Adapted from Totally Vegetarian

3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 C. unpeeled diced eggplant
2 C. dried bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten (or use egg replacer)
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese (or use vegan cheese alternative)
¼ C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or use vegan cheese alternative)
3 cloves of garlic, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ C. chopped fresh parsley
¼ C. chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil spray

Heat a large skillet and coat with olive oil.  When the skillet is hot, add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggplant and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Saute until its soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.  If the eggplant dries out too quickly and sticks, add a little bit more olive oil.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Place one cup of softened eggplant in the blender or food processor and process into a smooth puree.  Return to the mixing bowl with the rest of the eggplant.  Add the remaining ingredients (except the vegetable spray) and mix well.  If the mixture seems too dry, add a teaspoon of oil.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Wet your hands with a little water and shape the eggplant mixture into balls, using about two large tablespoons per ball.  Place “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet and spray lightly with the vegetable oil spray.  Bake for 25 minutes until deep golden brown and slightly crusty.  Do not overbake or they will be too dry.  Remove sheet from oven and cover with foil to let the meatballs steam until ready to serve.

I served these with spaghetti and my favorite jarred (for shame!) tomato sauce.

NOTES: Ok, I usually eyeball measurements, but in retrospect I probably should have measured the eggplant on this one. I used 2 pretty good sized eggplants, but I’m not sure if it was 4 cups worth. I think it might have been less, because when it came time to add the bread crumbs, it seemed like it was too much bread crumbs. Also, because the recipe said to be careful not to overcook the “meat”balls as not to dry them out, I think this made me a little gun shy and they were undercooked by a few minutes.  But still delicious! The original recipe calls for homemade roasted red pepper sauce, which I am dying to make but didn’t have the time that night. You can find it here on the Straight from the Farm blog. Anyhoo, my guests loved it and asked for the recipe!



  1. Oh! You’re eggplant recipes are to die for! I wish I had an oven… Keep ’em coming girl! I’m gonna print these out!

  2. hey, sos! no oven! oh no… if you get to try this let me know how you like them… i love eggplanty goodness.

  3. God this sounds good. I’m trying this next time I make spaghetti! I heard mashed potatoes and tomato paste are good substitutes for egg in cooking. I replaced eggs with applesauce in brownies and it turned out really bitter, so I don’t too much trust in replacements anymore. xD

    • thanks for the comment, Megan! i bet mashed potatoes would make a great substitute for the eggs in this one. i’ll have to try that…

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