These hearty Vegetarian Aubergine Meatballs are packed with Mediterranean flavor! Ready in just 30 min, they make an impressive, tasty meal for the whole family to enjoy and require only few simple fresh ingredients!
These tasty vegetarian aubergine meatballs are fork tender and have an irresistible texture that flakes off in the mouth. Loaded with fresh flavor, they make a great starter, but they would be great served as a main course on their own, or with some homemade tomato sauce.
They’re also delicious served as a veggie meatballs with pasta alternative or stuffed in a sandwich with extra veggies!
Making these delicious aubergine meatballs is such a breeze. Once you’ve roasted the aubergine, it takes less than 30 min to put these meatballs together.
All you need is 8 simple ingredients: roasted aubergine (eggplant), free-range egg whites, whole wheat/plain/gluten-free or panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, and Greek feta cheese.
Making these vegetarian aubergine meatballs is totally fool-proof. I’ve made them endless times, and I can guarantee they always get rave reviews!
All you have to do is mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, divide the mixture into a balls, and then cook them in a pan with a splash of olive oil.
You don’t like to to fry stuff? No problem at all. You can totally bake these aubergine meatballs in the oven until crispy and golden-brown. They might take a little more time (around 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven to 360F/180C oven).
You can serve these vegetarian aubergine meatballs plain, *careful they’re totally addicting*, with a fresh marinara sauce or Italian tomato sauce. But I’m pretty sure they would taste amazing with any other sauce, so go on and pick your favorite one!
This vegetarian aubergine meatballs recipe was inspired by a recent collaboration with Ancestry, which already brought to you this gorgeous Flourless Orange Cake.
AncestryDNA is a cutting edge DNA testing service that utilises some of the latest technology to help you discover your family history, going back as far as 1000s years ago.
If you have read my previous post, you may know this already, but for all new readers, here’s my DNA-testing experience. It turns out I am 74% Italian-Greek, 17% Middle Eastern heritage, a 5% Caucasus and a 4% European Jewish origin.
What a surprising result! I would have never guessed I had Middle Eastern heritage, and I’m really proud to be 100% Mediterranean, as it really reflects who I am.My DNA results inspired me to combine some of my favourite Mediterranean flavours. So I recreated a typical Italian recipe I grew up with, my grandma’s popular aubergine meatballs, and fused in some staple ingredients in Greek cuisine, such as feta cheese and lemon zest.
Eggplant, feta, lemon, tomatoes are also ingredients you can easily find in Middle Eastern dishes, so these tasty Aubergine Meatballs with Feta Cheese really bring together my DNA heritage.
This recipe, together with loads of lovely more submitted by other foodies who have got their Ancestry DNA results, are all available in the free ‘DNA Dining’ e-recipe book . Featuring a collection of ethnicity-inspired fusion dishes designed by YOU that showcase the diversity and creativity of cooks across the UK, this unique e-book brings together flavours from around the globe in a celebration of amazing food inspired by your heritage and ethnicity.Back to these super-tasty aubergine meatballs! Did I mention this recipe is easy-to-follow, totally fuss-free, and will easily feed a large crowd? It’s definitely a great versatile meal for busy week-nights, that works just as perfect for dinner parties or as a game-day appetizer to share.
I served these vegetarian aubergine meatballs with a classic Italian tomato sauce, but they can also be served as finger food with your favourite spicy dipping sauce, or used as a filing to make an awesome lunch-box sandwich.
However you serve them, these aubergine meatballs are guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table!
**This post is sponsored by Ancestry™. I truly recommend this brand and I’m really proud to collaborate with their team. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Petite Cook!**
Vegetarian Aubergine Meatballs with Feta Cheese
For the roasted aubergine:
- 2 large purple aubergines
- a glug of extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
For the meatballs:
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- zest of 1 lemon
- 100 gr feta cheese finely chopped
- 140 gr seasoned panko or Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 large free-range egg whites
- 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 4 tbsp light olive oil
- 400 gr fresh tomato marinara sauce or Italian tomato sauce to serve (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F/ 180°C and arrange a baking rack in the middle shelf.
- Cut the aubergines into small cubes and arrange evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the aubergine from the oven and allow to cool for 5 min.
- in a large bowl, place roasted aubergine, pine nuts, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, egg whites, basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix all ingredients until fully combined, if the mixture is too wet add a little more breadcrumbs until reaching a dense consistency.
- Roll into 10-12 meatballs, about 1-inch diameter, then roll each ball into extra breadcrumbs to seal them evenly.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
- Cook the meatballs for 2 minutes, then using a spoon, flip and cook on the side for an extra 2-3 minutes.
- When the meatballs are nicely crispy and golden-brown, remove from the pan and arrange on a serving plate covered with kitchen paper, to absorb excess oil.
- Serve on their own, with fresh marinara sauce or Italian tomato sauce.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
** This post was originally published in October 2017 and updated with new info for a better user experience**