Rich, savory eggplant and creamy hummus form the base of these hearty vegan eggplant “meatballs.” Infused with Mediterranean flavors, they are a delicious and healthy plant-based alternative to traditional meatballs.
I make a lot of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Some of my favorite plant-based dishes are my slow cooker jackfruit tacos, chickpea "egg" salad, and falafel pita sandwiches.
Now I'm excited to bring you these delicious vegan eggplant meatballs. Made with roasted eggplant and flavorful Mediterranean spices, these vegan meatballs are packed with flavor and texture!
They are also a great source of protein and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to any meal. These vegan eggplant meatballs can be enjoyed on their own as a tasty appetizer, or served with pasta or vegetables for a satisfying main course.
They are perfect for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone looking for a meatless meal option that is both delicious and nutritious.
The Secret Ingredient in These Vegan Meatballs
And my secret ingredient to bind the meatballs together? Hummus! Made by pureeing chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, and seasonings, hummus is one of those staple items that I always have on hand in my fridge.
I love to use hummus as a dip for veggies or as a sandwich spread. It’s a healthy and flavorful alternative to mayonnaise. Hummus also provides plenty of protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals to this dish.
It turns out that hummus also is a good binder to hold meatballs together. Eggs are traditionally used as a binder in meatballs. But by using hummus in this recipe as a substitute for eggs, these meatballs remain vegan.
How To Make Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
First, I roast an eggplant in the oven. Eggplant has a rich, savory flavor and buttery texture when it’s roasted in the oven. Then, I scoop out the flesh, drain any excess water, and chop it up.
Next, I stir the eggplant together with hummus, spices, breadcrumbs, and pine nuts for texture. Instead of the Italian herbs and spices found in traditional meatballs, I use Mediterranean flavors for these eggplant meatballs like cumin, coriander, and cilantro.
Finally, I form the eggplant mixture into meatballs, roll them in breadcrumbs, and bake them in the oven until golden brown.
Creamy Hummus Sauce
To serve with the meatballs, I make a simple sauce using hummus mixed with non-dairy yogurt, lemon, and cilantro.
The sauce is deliciously creamy and tangy and is the perfect compliment to the meatballs.
What To Serve With These Eggplant Meatballs
You can enjoy these Mediterranean vegan eggplant meatballs as a snack or appetizer with the creamy hummus sauce on the side to dip into. You can also serve them with homemade tzatziki.
They are also wonderful for dinner served with pita bread or naan and fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and red onion.
You could even serve these eggplant meatballs with pasta.
Leftover meatballs are perfect to pack for lunch the next day on top of a salad or tucked into pita bread as a sandwich.
More Vegan Recipes
WANT MORE HEALTHY RECIPES?
Sign up for my email list and I'll send you my FREE Superfood Recipes eBook along with weekly recipes!
Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
- 2 large eggplants (about 42 ounces total)
- ¼ cup hummus
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (preferably whole wheat) plus about ½ cup for dredging
- Olive oil spray
Creamy Hummus Sauce:
- ½ cup hummus
- ½ cup dairy-free yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, mint or combination of the two
Optional for serving: pita bread
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Prick the eggplants all over with a fork. Place them on a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven 45-55 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop the flesh out and place it in cheesecloth or a dish towel and wring out any excess water. Place the eggplant in a bowl and chop it up.
- Stir in the hummus, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, cilantro, and pine nuts. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until combined. Add more breadcrumbs as needed until the mixture holds together.
- Place the remaining ½ cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Form the eggplant mixture into meatballs (I like using a small cookie scoop for this) and lightly roll them in the breadcrumbs. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Discard any remaining breadcrumbs. Spray or brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake in the oven 18-22 minutes until firm. For an extra golden crust, place them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.
- To make the sauce, stir the hummus, yogurt, lemon juice and herbs together in a bowl. Top the sauce with some of the oil and pine nuts from the hummus container. Serve the meatballs with the sauce.
Love this!! Can they be frozen after baking?
I’ve never tried to freeze them before but I think it should work!
Beverley Press says
this recipe ticks all the boxes, such delicious photos too!
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen says
This sounds wonderful and kind of reminds me of falafel!! Pinning so I can give this creative and flavorful meal a try 🙂
Sandra Laflamme says
I never would have thought to make meatballs using hummus. The use of Mediterranean spices sounds delicious!
EA The Spicy RD says
Yum!!! I love your creativity with this recipe, not to mention you get a double dose of hummus 🙂 I can't wait to try this with gluten free breadcrumbs. Happy Mothers Day!!
Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder says
Hummus and eggplants = winning combo! Love this delicious twist
Aughhh, these look absolutely amazing!! <3!! I haven't made meatballs in the longest time--that's awesome that you used eggplant in this! :]!
Rebecca | NOURISHED. the blog says
Sabra hummus is my favourite - it's the only brand I buy from the store. I love the sounds of this recipe - eggplant meatballs are so creative!! And they sound so delicious with all those pine nuts in there too!
I'm a big fan of hummus and this is a genius idea! I also like that you added eggplant and this might be a way I can get my family to eat it.
Kristy from Southern In Law says
What a delicious idea! I loveee eggplant and anything bite sized so these look perfect!
Taylor Kiser says
So is it okay that I totally want to face plant into this?! This deliciousness needs to happen in my kitchen asap!
What a fabulous idea, Sonali! I love both hummus and eggplant, and I believe the roasted and lightly smoky eggplant and hummus make the perfect combo. Very nicely done!
Jessica @Nutritioulicious says
I love your creativity! These look and sound absolutely incredible!
Ariella |Perspective Portions says
These sounds incredible, can't wait to make them.
Lindsay Cotter says
What a delicious way to enjoy Sabra! Love it when "aha" moments like these vegetarian meatballs happen in the kitchen!
Deanna Segrave-Daly says
I love everything about this recipe - pinning!
Alison's Allspice says
I love veggie meatballs, but have never thought to make them with hummus! Definitely trying this recipe. Thanks!
Sonali these look incredible! I love that they are baked and not fried too.