This recipe is great for meatballs or burgers, depending on your mood. ‘Versatile’ should probably be in the name of this recipe, actually. The meatballs can easily transition from dinner to lunch to snack. They even make a unique addition on top of a green salad. They’re also easy to freeze if you make in large quantities and serve them later.
Serving size: 5 meatballs (about 1″ diameter) or 1 burger (31/2″ diameter by 3/4″ thickness)
Volume: 11/2 cups; makes 10 meatballs or two 31/2″ diameter by 3/4″-thick burgers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 cup thoroughly cooked lentils
2 tablespoons oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh sage (or 1/4 teaspoon dry)
1/4 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme (or 1/8 teaspoon dry)
Dry bread crumbs, as needed, up to 1/4 cup max
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring until the onions just begin to brown. Add the walnuts and continue to sauté for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven broiler. In a mixing bowl, combine the lentils, tomatoes, and herbs. Add the cooled onion mixture, stirring well. Using a tablespoon or melon baller, form meatballs. If the mixture is too moist, add dry bread crumbs.
Place the meatballs on the rack of a broiler that has been sprayed 2 seconds with cooking spray. Broil 2-3 minutes or until they are nicely browned. Remove the meatballs from the oven and rotate them. Return them to the oven and broil 2 minutes longer. Serve hot.
Alternative Preparation Method: Instead of meatballs, form the lentil mixture into three patties for lentil burgers. Simply double the broiling time.
Why We Love It
The flavor of these meatballs is to die-for! The fresh herbs and sundried tomatoes added into the mix are key ingredients and chopped walnuts add so much flavor and texture, you probably won’t need much if any bread crumbs. Sometimes we can enjoy this recipe for meatballs with pasta and sometimes we can enjoy it when making burgers. Make really tiny meatballs for salads, and everyone eating will be delighted.