Eggplant Meatballs, a Finger-licking Good Recipe

Eggplant meatballs are really easy to make without sacrificing taste or nutrition. They're a delicious treat for any crowd!
Eggplant Meatballs, a Finger-licking Good Recipe

Last update: 25 May, 2022

When it comes to vegetarian and vegan options, eggplant meatballs are one of the most delicious options. After cooking them for a very short time, they manage to remain crispy on the outside and firm on the inside. Besides that, if you’re not very fond of tofu, eggplants work as an excellent meat substitute.

Below, we’ll share the step-by-step instructions you’ll need to make them yourself. Of course, remember that you can make your own variations, according to your preferences.

Why make eggplant meatballs?

The following meatballs recipe has a very aromatic seasoning, so they’re perfect if you’re a fan of spice..

Eggplant provides a soft base that’s very pleasing to the palate and that allows for diverse ingredients and spices. Therefore, you can make whatever variations you want and choose what flavor you want to highlight.

As it’s a meaty vegetable, with just a few egglplants, you can get enough to prepare a dish. And, depending on the seasoning you give it, you can make it resemble the meat of your preference (chicken, beef, pork, etc.).

When preparing meatballs and hamburgers, soy sauce and cumin are ingredients that help imitate the flavor of the meat to a great extent.

Eggplant and Spinach Meatballs

eggplant for eggplant meatballs


  • Breadcrumbs (3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs [45g])
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 sprig of chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 large eggplants
  • ⅓ cup of spinach (10g)
  • Condiments: salt and black pepper
  • Optional: ground oregano


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.
  2. Peel and dice the garlic finely.
  3. Cut the eggplant into small cubes. Then, proceed to introduce them in portions, crushing them in the blender. You must make a kind of eggplant paste.
  4. Preheat a pan, lightly greased with olive oil, over medium heat.
  5. Separately, cut the onion into small pieces (as small as you can) and bring it to a sauté. Then, once they become transparent, add a little pepper and garlic.
  6. When the garlic has browned, proceed to add the spinach and eggplant paste.
  7. Salt to taste, and let everything cool down for about ten minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. After 10 minutes have passed, remove the pan from the heat and allow everything to cool to room temperature.
  9. Crack the egg and beat it together with the parsley. Then, mix in the eggplant paste using a hand mixer.
  10. Take a little of the mixture and form a ball with your hands. Roll it through the breadcrumbs before placing it on the baking tray.
  11. They should be ready in about 20 minutes.
  12. Once you have made as many eggplant meatballs as you want, put them in the oven for approximately 10 or 15 minutes. You can also fry them in a pan; however you prefer.

Eggplant Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes and fresh tomato sauce.


  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (30 g)
  • 4 or 5 eggplants (600 g)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 cup of hard bread (150 g)
  • Condiments: salt, black pepper, ground cumin.
  • 1 large jar of peeled whole tomatoes (800 g)
  • Optional: ½ cup of water (125 ml)


  1. First, preheat a pan with a dash of oil over medium heat.
  2. Then, separate and peel the garlic cloves. Next, proceed to chop them into pieces (as small as possible). Do the same with the parsley, and set them aside.
  3. Separately, chop the bread into small pieces, and soak them briefly in water (so that they soften).
  4. Chop the eggplant (unpeeled) into small cubes and proceed to sauté them in the pan. Once ready, put the eggplant into the blender with the bread, garlic, parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and a little water. Then, blend until you make a paste.
  5. If the paste has resulted in a good consistency, proceed to put it in a bowl. Otherwise, add water and blend again.
  6. The eggplant paste should be left to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, covered with a cloth.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  8. Crack the egg and beat it by hand with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then, add the mixture to the eggplant paste, and blend everything again.
  9. Form small balls with a little of the paste as thick as you want them. Keep in mind that the larger and thicker the balls are, the longer they will take to cook. To keep them from sticking to the tray, it will be necessary to grease it before placing the eggplant meatballs on top.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes at 180º C.
  11. Pour all the contents of the tomato jar (including the juice) into the blender along with a pinch of salt and sugar. Blend it to make a sauce. Finally, add the basil and set aside.
  12. Once the meatballs are cooked, proceed to cover them with an abundant amount of tomato sauce.

Enjoy them with a touch of cheese or tofu!

Eggplant meatballs are also exquisite with a touch of mozzarella inside. If you’re a cheese lover, this alternative’s sure to interest you.

On the other hand, if you want to give the meatball paste more texture as such, you can add a little quinoa that, when cooked, will be crunchy and simply delicious!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.