No-meat meatballs

Put a twist on your meatballs with this amazing eggplant version!

Eggplants make a great meat substitute and are so tasty and versatile. This version uses Italian flavours like Parmesan and parsley, so you can serve them in a nice tomato-based sauce with pasta, or on a bed of polenta with a mince sauce. Once you’ve formed the eggplant mix into balls you can fry them off in the pan, or, to save on calories and washing up, bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Best of all, if you have any leftovers they make a great snack the next day and are great stuffed into pita bread with plenty of salad for lunch. Enjoy!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4 cups cubed eggplant, with peel
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup dried bread crumbs


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1. Preheat oven to 175C. Heat a medium frypan over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and saute garlic just until lightly browned. Mix in eggplant and water. Reduce heat to low and cover pan. Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes. Place eggplant in a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.

2. Mix cheese, parsley, eggs, and bread crumbs into eggplant. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture can be rolled into balls. Add more bread crumbs as needed to make mixture workable. Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then roll into balls or form into patties.

Place eggplant balls on baking paper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


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