Sticky Sesame Lentil Meatballs with Peanuts | FoodByMaria Recipes

Vegan Meals

Sticky Sesame Lentil Meatballs

Prep

15 minutes

Cook

20-40 minutes

Yield

12-14 Meatballs

There’s nothing I love more than good ol’ lentil meatballs. There are so many possibilities for what you can do. And, once they’re made up, there are so many ways you can use them. Whether they’re in a pasta sauce or thrown on a bed of rice with a yummy sauce, meatballs are seriously a dream. That’s why I think you’ll love this Sticky Sesame Meatball Recipe.

A bowl of lentil meatballs over rice with fresh ingredients

Why you’ll love this lentil meatball recipe: 

  • Versatile: Make a different sauce if you’re not into the sticky sesame, throw them into a pasta dish, whatever you wish!
  • Quick & Easy: The prep time is only 15-minutes for these bad boys!
  • Protein-Packed: With the help of peanuts and lentils, these meatballs are protein-packed and filling

Ingredients:

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to make these sticky Sesame Lentil Meatballs: 

Ingredients for lentil meatballs on cutting board

Ingredient Notes for Lentil Meatballs: 

Peanuts: Peanuts are a low-cost superfood that delivers significant health benefits. With just a handful of peanuts, you’re getting a load of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They can even help you decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. A one-ounce serving of peanuts offers you: 

  • 7 grams of protein 
  • 19 vitamins and minerals
  • Healthy fats 
  • Fiber 

Sauce: For this recipe, I made a delicious sticky sesame sauce made with sesame oil, soy sauce, orange juice, hoisin sauce, sweetener (like honey or maple syrup), and rice wine vinegar. The sauce is delicious, flavorful, and Asian-inspired. However, you can definitely swap this sauce for any sauce you love!

How to make vegan meatballs: 

Ingredients being mixed in a bowl for sticky sesame sauce

Ingredients being mixed in a bowl for sticky sesame sauce

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients, stir till well combined, and set aside.

Peanuts for lentil meatballs in a bowl

2. In a food processor, process the peanuts till a ground meat-like texture is achieved, then set aside.

3. In a medium pot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and gently cook your onions and garlic on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Ingredients for lentil meatballs in a pot

4. To the pot, add salt and pepper.  Stir till all the onions and garlic are coated with the seasoning.  Cook down the onions for 5 minutes before adding the lentils, chickpeas, or rice to the pot.

5. Remove the lentil mixture from the pot and gently pulse in the same food processor (you can also use a hand blender) till a crumble develops.

Peanuts being added to ingredients for lentil meatballs

Dry ingredients for lentil meatballs in a bowl

6. Transfer the lentil mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl. To the bowl, add the peanuts and the remaining ingredients. Stir till well combined.  Set ahead in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Lentil meatball ingredients being scooped out of a bowl

7. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Hands rolling meatballs

Lentil meatballs being added to a baking tray

8. Once cooled, you now form “meatballs”. I used a 1 1/2 tbsp. ice cream scoop to measure the size. I then rolled them and placed them on the baking sheet.  Cook them for 35-40 minutes total, flipping and turning at least twice to avoid any burning. At the halfway mark, remove the “meatballs” and lightly coat with 1/4 of the sauce. Just before the balls are completely cooked.  Add another 1/4 of the sauce to the “meatballs” and cook for the remaining 5 minutes.

9. Serve these vegan meatballs with white rice, sesame seeds, green onions, and as much sauce as desired.

FAQ & Expert Tips: 

Storage: Place the balls in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week. You can also, bake, seal and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.  You can also premake, not bake and store in the freezer for up to two months.  Cook them in a preheated 400F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 1 hour or until golden. Make sure you flip and move to avoid burning.

Pre-make: If you want to premake the recipe I suggest making the recipe up till the baking step.  Have them rolled and prepped in the fridge before baking.  You can do this up to 48 hours in advance.

Servings: This recipe serves 4 as a main meal but around 6 as an appetizer.

Oil: If you prefer to make this recipe oil-free, then simply use water or vegetable stock to cook/steam the ingredients like the onions/garlic and peanuts. I recommend 3-4 tbsp. water or stock to replace the 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Gluten-Free: If needed, use gluten-free panko and gluten-free hoisin.

meatballs on a bed of rice in a bowl with a spoon

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Sticky Sesame Lentil Meatballs with Peanuts (Vegan)

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Meatballs 1x
  • Category: Vegan Meals
  • Cuisine: Chinese Cuisine Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These stick sesame lentil meatballs are easy, delicious, and the perfect dinner or lunch recipe.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Vegan Meatballs:

2 tbsp. Olive oil

1 small white onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup chickpeas, rice, or lentils

1/2 cup panko

1 cup unsalted peanuts, pulsed in food processed till ground meat is achieved, should take around 15 seconds

For the Sauce:

2 tbsp. sesame oil (you can also use spicy sesame oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

Juice of 2 large oranges (around 1/2 cup orange juice)

3 tbsp. hoisin sauce

4 tbsp. honey or maple syrup

3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp red pepper chili flakes

Serve with:

2 cups cooked white rice

sesame seeds, as desired

finely chopped green onion, as desired


Instructions

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients, stir till well combined, and set aside.

In a food processor, process the peanuts till a ground meat-like texture is achieved, then set aside.

In a medium pot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and gently cook your onions and garlic on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Stirring frequently to prevent burning.

To the pot, add salt and pepper.  Stir till all the onions and garlic are coated with the seasoning.  Cook down the onions for 5 minutes before adding the lentils, chickpeas, or rice to the pot.

Remove the lentil mixture from the pot and gently pulse in the same food processor (you can also use a hand blender) till a crumble develops.

Transfer the lentil mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl. To the bowl, add the peanuts and the remaining ingredients. Stir till well combined.  Set ahead in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once cooled, you now form “meatballs”. I used a 1 1/2 tbsp. ice cream scoop to measure the size. I then rolled them and placed them on the baking sheet.  Cook them for 20-30 minutes total, flipping and turning at least twice to avoid any burning.

NOTE: if you have a strong oven, please check on them at 20 minutes.  If you have an oven that needs a bit more love… you may need to cook them for 40 minutes.  Each oven is different.  I cooked mine for 35 minutes and it worked perfectly.

At the halfway mark, remove the “meatballs” and lightly coat with 1/4 of the sauce. Just before the balls are completely cooked.  Add another 1/4 of the sauce to the “meatballs” and cook for the remaining 5 minutes.

Serve with white rice, sesame seeds, green onions, and as much sauce as desired.

Notes

Storage: Place the balls in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week. You can also, bake, seal and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.  You can also premake, not bake and store in the freezer for up to two months.  Cook them in a preheated 350F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes or until golden. Make sure you flip and move to avoid burning.

Pre-make: If you want to premake the recipe I suggest making the recipe up till the baking step.  Have them rolled and prepped in the fridge before baking.  You can do this up to 48 hours in advance.

Servings: This recipe serves 4 as a main meal but around 6 as an appetizer.

Oil: If you prefer to make this recipe oil-free, then simply use water or vegetable stock to cook/steam the ingredients like the onions/garlic and peanuts. I recommend 3-4 tbsp. water or stock to replace the 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Gluten-Free: If needed, use gluten-free panko and gluten-free hoisin.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 14
  • Calories: 131
  • Sugar: 8.3
  • Sodium: 357.3
  • Fat: 6.9
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.7
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 15.2
  • Fiber: 1.2
  • Protein: 3.2

 

Julie

Hi! This looks delicious! Are you using cooked or dry lentils?

Maria Koutsogiannis

cooked!! from a can!

Alysa B.

These meatballs were simple to make and SO tasty!!! I love the peanut flavour with the delicious sauce and I almost loved them even more as leftovers after the sauce really soaked into the “meatballs” and rice! Will definitely make them again.

Maria Koutsogiannis

YES! Thank you so much for the love, Alysa!

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