Vegan Eggplant Meatballs with Chickpea Pasta

"I was shocked how meaty these tasted (and sounded when you dig into them with a fork! A very satisfying squelch)...Definitely falls into the comfort food category, but the kind you can shamelessly gorge yourself on without feeling bad."
-- @monagathersmushrooms
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 15mins
Cook time 35mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 pinch lemon pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1 can your favorite marinara
  • 1 box Banza chickpea cavatappi or preferred pasta


  • Step 1

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When sufficiently hot, add the cubed eggplant and 1/4 cup of water. Season with lemon pepper, salt, and garlic, while stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Transfer eggplant to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until evenly chopped.

  • Step 3

    Mix the flax meal and 3 Tbsp water, whisking until gelatinous.

  • Step 4

    Scrape the blended eggplant mixture into a bowl and add the panko, flax 'egg,' nutritional yeast, parsley, and chopped basil to the eggplant.

  • Step 5

    Firmly shape the eggplant mixture into balls, about 1 1/4 oz each. Place on a baking sheet and bake until browned, about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Step 6

    Warm the marinara in a large skillet. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer 5-10 minutes.

  • Step 7

    Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta to directions.

  • Step 8

    Drain pasta and serve. Top each dish with the eggplant meatballs and sauce. Garnish with basil or parsley, as desired.