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bbq lentil meatballs in a skillet with a spoon

BBQ Vegan Lentil Meatballs

BBQ vegan lentil meatballs are a protein packed dish made with simple plant-based ingredients of lentils, rice and mushrooms! No mock meats!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword lentil balls, lentil meatballs, vegan lentil meatballs, vegan meatballs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 servings (makes app. 20 medium lentil balls, 4 lentil balls per serving)
Calories 490kcal
Author Gina Marie


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Food Processor
  • Baking Pan
  • 15 inch Cast Iron Skillet


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (16-ounce package)
  • 2 cups of cooked lentils, divided note 4
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice note 3
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • cup instant oats
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • handful parsley and cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire
  • ¼ cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ - 1 cup extra Vegan BBQ Sauce


  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are fully translucent. Once cooked turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Take half your lentils and add to a food processor along with your cooked mushrooms and onions. Process until just combined. The mixture will be wet and sticky. It should hold and bind together without a problem.
  • Take your mixture and add it to a large mixing bowl. Next the other half of your lentils, cooked rice, sea salt, garlic powder, basil, instant oats, breadcrumbs, parsley, cilantro, vegan worcestershire, bbq sauce, and liquid smoke. Mix together until fully combined.


  • Start to form your lentil balls placing them in a bowl. (I use an ice cream scooper to scoop out mixture). Grab a large 15 inch cast iron pan (or whatever skillet you have on), add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, place, balls in a pan and heat all the way through for about 2 minutes on each side. The lentil balls will form a caramelized coating on each side. Do not leave unattended.
  • Add ½ to 1 cup of Vegan BBQ Sauce to the pan and turn down the heat. Make sure you coat every lentil ball and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides or as an appetizer.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Start to form your lentil balls placing each one on a pan lined with parchment paper. (I use an ice cream scopper to scoop out mixture).
  • Brush lentil meatballs with 1 tablespoon of oil (this will help them get that caramelized color as if you were pan-frying them) and extra barbecue sauce (as much as you like).
  • Place in the oven for about 20 minutes total. After 10 minutes, flipped them on the other side for an even cook. You can brush on an extra layer of BBQ sauce if you like and finish baking.
  • Once fully cooked, take out the oven and allow it to cool. Serve with your favorite sides or as an appetizer.



  1. UPDATED: This recipe has been updated due to people finding the mixture too wet. Thanks to the feedback, I made 3 important changes:
    1. I took away the need for a flaxseed egg so less ingredients are needed.
    2. I added breadcrumbs to the mixture for a better hold and more texture.
    3. I processed only half of the lentils in a food processor that way it the mixture has some texture and isn't so wet.
  2. MORE LENTIL MEATBALLS: The same flavor is there but now the mixture holds a lot better and it makes more meatballs! I have tested the new version 3 times and it's PERFECT. Please leave comments for any questions or concerns of how the updated recipe turned out for you! 
  3. PRE COOKED RICE:  Please NOTE the rice needs to be bought pre cooked or you will have to add additional steps in cooking those things yourself. Any pre cooked rice will do but I like Tasty Bite Organic Brown Rice. If you want to cook your own, I like Trader Joes 15 Quick-Cook Rice. ½ cup of dried rice equals 1 cup of cooked rice. Cook according to package directions. 
  4. PRE COOKED LENTILS: Lentils need to bought pre cooked as well or you will have to add additional steps. I used 2 15 ounce cans of lentils. (Be sure to pat your lentils dry as much as possible with a paper towel if using can lentils). If you want to cook your own, 1 cup of dried lentils equals 2 cups of cooked lentils. Cook according to package directions. 


Serving: 4lentil meatballs | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 534mg | Potassium: 1057mg | Fiber: 26g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 8mg