Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

Lentil buffalo “meatballs” are a covered in a slightly spicy buffalo sauce for a healthier alternative to traditional buffalo wings.

Lentil buffalo “meatballs” are a delicious vegetarian alternative to chicken wings

Out of all the savory recipes on THT, this is by far the one I make the most.

These lentil buffalo meatballs are slightly crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, and have just the right amount of heat.

Plus, they’re also full of fiber thanks to the lentils.

Trust me, whether you’re vegetarian or looking to reduce your meat intake, you’re going to love this healthier buffalo sauce recipe!

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

These lentil buffalo meatballs aren’t just for vegetarians

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.

How to make buffalo lentil meatballs

These healthy lentil buffalo bites 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.

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

You don’t want these to get too dry inside. Here are a few more tips for making this recipe.

Cook your lentils ahead of time for a quick and easy meal

This recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make as long as you already have your lentils cooked.

I use lentils that don’t need to be soaked, so they take just 15 minutes to cook. This means I can still get dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.

However, when I’m really on my game, I’ll cook my lentils the night before so that all I have to do is blend everything together, form into balls, bake, and toss in sauce.

Use a food processor to make the filling

For making the filling, I recommend using a food processor, but a high powered blender will also work.

While I recommend blending about 2 cups of the filling, I have to admit that I often get lazy. So, rather than measuring out 2 cups, I’ll just add about 3/4 of the mixture into the food processor.

What you really want is just to have enough non-blended lentils for a little extra texture.

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

How to make vegan buffalo lentil meatballs

The recipe as-written is vegetarian, but it’s isn’t vegan as it contains eggs and butter.

However, you can easily make it vegan by using coconut oil instead of butter and flax eggs instead of real eggs.

To make 2 flax eggs, simply combine 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 5 tablespoons of water. Mix in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding it to the lentil mixture.

How to enjoy these buffalo-sauce lentil meatballs

For a simple appetizer, you can just insert a toothpick into each ball and serve with a homemade Greek yogurt ranch dip (or a vegan cashew ranch dip).

However, I usually eat these for lunch as they’re super easy to prep ahead of time for the week. Some ways I like to enjoy them include:

  • Stuffed in a whole wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, and avocado.
  • Added to a salad with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and a homemade yogurt ranch dressing (or vegan alternative).
  • In a grain bowl with fresh veggies, avocado, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

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?

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

So here’s a toast to pushing yourself to try something different!

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

Lentil Buffalo “Meatballs”

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!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo Sauce, Lentils, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Kelli

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked lentils*
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten (or 2 flax eggs for a vegan option)
  • 2 scallions sliced with white and green parts separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup Franks Red Hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (use coconut oil for a vegan option)

Instructions

  • 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 ~20 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!

Notes

*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 ¼ of recipe: 285 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 36 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 15 g protein
***For notes on making these vegan, see post
 

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

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