Rich, savory eggplant and creamy hummus form the base of these delicious and hearty vegan Mediterranean eggplant “meatballs.”
Did you know that May 13th is National Hummus Day? I love hummus! Made by pureeing chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, and seasonings, it’s one of those staple items that I always have on hand in my fridge.
I love to use hummus as a dip for veggies. I also like to use hummus as a sandwich spread- it’s a nice healthy alternative to mayonnaise.
Hummus is the perfect snack! It’s a plant based protein and it also provides plenty of heart-healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
I wanted to think outside of the box and do something with hummus that I’ve never done before. So I experimented a little in the kitchen until I had an “aha!” moment. I decided to make a vegetarian meatball and try to use hummus as a binder instead of an egg.
For the base of my Mediterranean Eggplant Hummus "Meatballs," I decided to go with eggplant. Eggplant has a rich, savory flavor and buttery texture when it’s roasted in the oven. After roasting the eggplant, I wrung it out in a cheesecloth to get rid of any excess water.
Then, I stirred in some Roasted Pine Nut Hummus, spices, breadcrumbs, and pine nuts for texture.
Instead of the Italian herbs and spices found in traditional meatballs, I used Mediterranean flavors for my dish like cumin, coriander, and cilantro. The hummus not only added great flavor to the mixture, it also bound the balls together nicely, thus getting rid of the need to add an egg. It also makes these balls vegan!
To serve with the meatballs, I made a simple sauce using hummus (roasted pine nut flavor), non-dairy yogurt, lemon, and cilantro. Then I topped it with some of the olive oil and pine nuts from the hummus container.
The sauce is deliciously creamy and tangy and is the perfect compliment to the meatballs.
You can enjoy these Mediterranean Eggplant Hummus "Meatballs" as a snack or an appetizer with the Creamy Hummus Sauce on the side to dip into. They are also wonderful on top of pita bread with some sauce and fresh vegetables like cucumber and tomato.
Either way, these flavor-packed vegan balls are definitely a crowd pleaser! It's also a nutritious dish you can feel good about serving to your family and friends.
More Vegan Recipes
Mediterranean Eggplant Hummus "Meatballs"
- 2 large eggplants (about 42 ounces total)
- ¼ cup roasted pine nut hummus or other flavor
- 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 roasted pine nut 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.