Casserole dish with meatballs in tomato sauce
Prep Time:
15 minutes
Cook Time:
40 minutes

These vegetarian meatballs are guaranteed to hit the spot. Cooked in a Balsamic Tomato Sauce, this recipe is flavourful, comforting and completely versatile.

Serve with pasta for an Italian-themed dinner, or enjoy these meatballs over rice, mashed potatoes, or simply alongside a green salad.


  • 1/3 cup quinoa (OR 1 cup leftover cooked quinoa)
  • 3 slices bread
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp Mixed Herbs
  • ½ cup Grated Parmesan (substitute for Vegan cheese if desired)


  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Tin of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ Tbsp sugar
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 15g butter (optional)


  • Extra basil
  • Cheese of your choice


  1. Cook 1/3 cup quinoa in accordance with the instructions on the packet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C
  3. While quinoa is cooking, make the breadcrumbs. Place 3 slices of slightly stale or hardened bread into a blender and blitz (this is a great way to use up old bread). Pour the breadcrumbs onto a baking tray and bake until they are completely dry and golden brown but not burnt. Remove and set aside.
  4. Slice eggplant into rounds. Lay flat on a baking tray. Place under the oven grill for 5 minutes. Once the top side of the eggplant has turned a light brown colour, flip the slices and repeat on the other side.
  5. Remove the eggplant from the oven and place it into a bowl and cover it with a plate. Leave to steam itself for 10 minutes (this will make the removal of the skins easier.)
  6. Peel off the skins. Add the skinless eggplant, crushed garlic, smoked paprika, and mixed herbs into a bowl and and mash together with a fork. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  7. Add the parmesan, breadcrumbs, cooked quinoa, and egg to the eggplant mixture & mix well. Using your hands, divide the mixture into 6 even balls.
  8. Place the meatballs onto a lined or nonstick baking tray & cook for 25 minutes at 180 degrees.
To prepare the sauce:
  1. Dice the onion and capsicum & slice the garlic. Heat a large frying pan or pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and diced capsicum and sauté until soft (but make sure they don't brown too much).
  2. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sugar and leave to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove pot from heat and add a handful of freshly chopped basil & a knob of butter. Blitz with a hand blender to create a smoother consistency.Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Garnish with more freshly chopped basil & grated cheese for extra yumminess.
  5. Serve this delicious meatball sauce with pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, pita bread or even alongside your favourite green salad.

Eggplant Meatballs

These vegetarian meatballs really hit the spot. Serve with pasta for a crowd pleasing Italian-themed vegetarian dinner!

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