Merlot Vegan "un-Meatballs"

Merlot Vegan "un-Meatballs"

Outlandishly Delicious Un-Meatballs: A Plant-Based Delight for All

Looking for a satisfying and flavorful meal that caters to all types of eaters, including meat lovers? Look no further than these Vegan Meatballs! Packed with protein-rich lentils, savory mushrooms, and aromatic onions, these tender bites burst with flavor thanks to a unique blend of spices and a touch of Merlot Wine Jelly by Berkshire Wine Jelly. This unexpected ingredient adds a touch of sweetness and complexity, making these meatballs truly stand out.

Whether you're a seasoned vegan or simply curious about exploring plant-based options, these Un-Meatballs are sure to impress. With their satisfying texture and delicious flavor, they're a guilt-free indulgence that everyone can enjoy. So ditch the meat and embrace the goodness of plants with this innovative and flavorful recipe!


  • 200g cooked green lentils (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast



Rinse 1 cup of lentils, and then place in a medium pot and cover with two to three inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, but before they become mushy, about 20 minutes.

Drain, and then spread onto a baking sheet to air dry before using. If you are making these in advance, transfer lentils to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to three days.

Prepping for the "un-Meatballs"

image of mushrooms and onions in food processor bowl -- the recipe calls for this mixture to be reduced to small bits and then sauteed in a hot pan for several minutes


Cut mushroom and onion into large chunks, and then add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushroom-onion mixture and cook, occasionally stirring, until starting to soften; about 2 minutes.

Stir in 1/2-teaspoon of fine sea salt, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and 1/2-teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid and it boils away; another 5 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon of Merlot Wine Jelly, stir thru and cook another 2 minutes.

Wipe out the bowl of the food processor, and then scatter the flaxseed meal, three tablespoons of water, nutritional yeast, and breadcrumbs over the bottom of the bowl and leave it alone for 5 minutes.

Pulse a few times to blend. Next, add the onion-mushroom mix and cooked lentils, and pulse until the mixture is well blended — see our photos in the article for reference. The mixture should look mostly blended together and almost smooth.

Form the mixture into balls, about 1 ounce each—cook as desired.


image of cooked plant based un-meatballs



Stovetop method: Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Gently place the meatballs into the oil and cook, occasionally turning them until well browned and heated through on the inside. Serve with warmed marinara sauce.

Baking method: Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange meatballs on the baking sheet and spray or lightly drizzle with oil. Bake until browned and heated through; 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with warmed marinara sauce.

Air Fryer Method:  prepare the air fryer basket, and preheat for 375 F.  Arrange in single layer in the basket, give a light spray with a neutral oil and air fry for 15-20 minutes giving the tray a shake every 5-7 minutes to cook evenly -- avoid overcooking.  Serve with warmed marinara sauce.

Merlot Vegan "Un-Meat Balls"


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