KRNC recipe of the month – Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs

These meatballs are packed with umami flavor from mushrooms and parmesan cheese.  The lentils in them also deliver a good dose of protein making them a great addition to a vegetarian meal.

Serving Size: 4 meatballs

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:A picture that reads: "Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs" accompanied by the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center Logo

  • 1 small beet, peeled and roasted
  • 1 2/3 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 5 ounces baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until they are about the size of peas.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms, cook for 3-4 minutes more until moisture is cooked off and mixture is fragrant. Let cool slightly.
  4. Transfer mushroom mixture along with lentils to food processor and pulse until combined, about 20 pulses, scraping down halfway through.
  5. In a large bowl combine panko crumbs, Italian seasoning, cayenne, and salt. Add lentil mixture, egg and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  6. Roll mixture into 16 balls (about 2 tablespoons each) and arrange on baking sheet. Bake 30  minutes, flipping meatballs halfway through.
  7. Transfer to a large baking dish and serve, or cover and place in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information / Amount per serving

Calories – 267

Total fat – 9.0 g

Saturated fat – 3.0 g

Cholesterol – 58 mg

Sugars – 4 g

Protein – 15 g

Total Carbohydrates – 32 g

Dietary Fiber – 7.5 g

Sodium – 262 mg

Added Sugars – 0 g

For more delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and cooking and nutrition classes, contact the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center at (970) 495-5916 or see the KRNC website. More health tips are also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board. Lastly, don’t forget to sign up for the KRNC monthly newsletter!

The Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center is in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center