These look and feel like meatballs, but there is not one bit of meat in them, making them the ideal meatball for vegetarians. You may be converted by their intense flavor.

They are much lighter, and less dense than a typical meatball, so handle them with care when cooking. I suggest tongs for turning. Once they are cooked they hold together much better.

I’ve got more recipes in the shape of a ball on our Black Tie party theme, which mimics the idea of a traditional ball. See recipes made with fish, pork, cheese, and even a dessert rendition.

MAKES 50 BALLS (ABOUT 1 INCH)

START THE MIX… COOK THE ONIONS & MUSHROOMS

1 tsp EV olive oil
4 TB butter
1 large red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced
1 LB cremini mushrooms, diced
3 TB oregano, diced
s + p

In a heated skillet, add oil, butter and onions; saute 5 min over med heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, lower heat and saute 7 min more. Transfer to large bowl.

MIX IT ALL UP

1 can Westbrae Natural Vegetarian Lentils, rinsed
1 tsp tamari
2 tsp thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 TB chia seeds
1 CUP panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Add all the ingredients to the cooked onions/mushrooms and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls.

COOK THE BALLS

canola-coconut oil

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet. Drop balls in carefully, do not overcrowd. Fry on med-high flame till nice and crispy on the outside. These are kind of fragile, so turn gently and fry on all sides to help hold it together. Drain on paper towels.

We've got more recipes for food in the shape of a ball in 10 Black Tie