Imagine eggplant parmesan rolled into a tasty “meatball.” The perfect vegetarian topping for your bowl of spaghetti.
These guys are softer, more tender than traditional meatballs. And, of course, lighter. But wait until you check out the flavor factor. So yummy …like biting into eggplant parmesan! And you can make them gluten-free by switching out the panko breadcrumbs with your gluten-free version.
You Will Need
Heat the oven to 375°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the minced garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Season with the salt & pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Do not puree.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, chopped herbs, and beaten egg to the eggplant. Season to taste with additional salt & pepper, if desired.
Form the eggplant mixture into 20 to 24 balls, each weighing about 1 ounce, rolling tightly and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until firm and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat the sauce in a large deep skillet until warm. Gently add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Garnish the meatballs with fresh basil leaves and serve as an appetizer or over pasta.
A Note On The Eggplant:
If you choose to peel you eggplant before cooking it, you can actually skip the whole food processor step and do your mixing by hand. These tasty morsels, especially those without the skin, make the perfect finger food for your little one to snack on.