These lentil buffalo “meatballs” are a healthier alternative to traditional buffalo wings. Not only do they taste delicious on their own, but they’re even better when stuffed in a pita with Greek yogurt ranch dressing and spinach! Trust me when I say even meat-lovers will be addicted to these vegetarian bites!
I’ve been trying to up our pulses and vegetables game lately. As a dietitian, I know how important it is to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lentils and beans. Yet I tend to revert to meatier and/or starchier dishes in the winter. So, with warm weather officially here in Denver, I’ve made it my mission to up the plant-based foods without sacrificing flavor.
These lentil buffalo “meat”balls surprised me with how delicious they are. In fact, I was so sure they wouldn’t turn out as they were just loosely holding together when I rolled them into balls and placed them on the baking sheet. Yet, after 10 minutes in the oven they came out perfectly holding together and not at all dry. In fact, even without the sauce they were so juicy inside that Bry didn’t guess that they were made out of lentils. But don’t worry, I’m not saying skip the sauce. Because buffalo sauce + beer = perfect after hiking food.
These can take a try or two to get a feel for what the consistency should feel like, but just trust me and resist the urge to add more breadcrumbs. You don’t want these to get too dry inside.
Speaking of hiking, Bry and I have been getting out in the fresh air pretty much every weekend lately. Bern has turned out to be a hiking machine! I thought we were in good shape until we starting taking the pup hiking – every time we stop or slow the pace he starts whining and barking. Who needs a physical trainer when you have a cute puppy pushing you to go faster?
So here’s a toast to pushing yourself to try something different!
Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”Print Recipe
- 2 cups cooked lentils*
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 scallions, sliced with white and green parts separated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup Franks Red Hot sauce
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Place oats in food processor and pulse until breadcrumb-consistency. Pour into large mixing bowl.
Add cooked lentils, beaten eggs, sliced white ends of scallions, and generous pinch of salt and pepper to oats in mixing bowl.
Place 2 cups of mixture into food processor and pulse until paste-like. Add back to mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Place mixing bowl in fridge overnight or in freezer for 15 minutes. The mixture should still be soft but able to loosely hold together.
Preheat oven to 375F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll mixture into ~21 balls. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, place red hot sauce and butter in small saucepan over low heat. Cook until butter is melted, stirring occasionally.
Once lentil balls are cooked, toss with buffalo sauce and garnish with sliced green ends of scallions. Serve with toothpicks as an appetizer or stuff into a pita for a sandwich. Enjoy!
*To cook lentils, place 3/4 cup dry lentils in saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain remaining liquid. Nutrition for 1 lentil meatball with sauce (based on 21 lentil bites): 53 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein