meatless meatballs

Meatless Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

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(prep time=5 minutes, cook time=20 minutes)

A quick and interesting way to make meatballs that you won’t realize it’s made with mushrooms! It’s simple to make and requires just your usual household ingredients. I love making this whenever I buy mushrooms. It’s definitely something to experiment with your when tired of your usual mushroom sabzi.

  • Mushrooms – 2 cups, chopped finely 
  • Olive oil or canola oil – 1 tablespoon 
  • Onions – 1 small, chopped finely 
  • Garlic – 2 large cloves, minced
  • Oats – 1 cup
  • Chia seeds or Basil seeds(sabja) – 2 tablespoons (optional)
  • Egg – 1 yolk 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  • Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon 
  • Oregano – 2 teaspoons
  • Mozzarella or parmesan cheese – 2 tablespoons, grated 
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro – handful, finely chopped 

Marinara sauce :

  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon 
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
  • Tomato puree – 1 can 
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon 
  • Sugar – 2 teaspoons 
  • Dried oregano – 2 teaspoons 
  • Red chilli flakes – 1 teaspoon 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F(200 C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper/butter paper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Saute garlic, onions,  mushrooms, season with salt and cook until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated and it turns dry. Saute the onions and mushrooms on low heat until golden brown for 5 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Let it cool down and mix oats and chia seeds into mushroom mixture. Adding chia seeds is optional but it helps absorb excess moisture so you can roll them out into balls easily. They also add a nice crunch to every bite.
  4. Now add in cilantro, grated cheese, 1 egg yolk and season with salt, pepper, red chilli powder and oregano. Combine everything together and freeze the mixture for 10 minutes or until it holds shape when pressed. 
  5. Form mixture into small meatballs and arrange them on a prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs are lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.(Flip midway)
  6. (You can also pan-fry them on a stove with 2 tablespoons of oil turning them gently)

Marinara sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and saute minced garlic until fragrant. Add in tomato puree and stir. Season with salt, oregano and sugar. The sugar helps balance the sourness. Turn off the stove and mix in chilli flakes. Add in the meatballs and give it a gentle mix until the sauce is coated. Serve hot with pasta!
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