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 Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce- a delicious healthy meal infused with fragrant Indian spices. Vegan and Gluten Free!
 Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Indian Coconut Curry Sauce- a delicious healthy meal infused with fragrant Indian spices. Vegan and Gluten Free! #veganmeatballs #lentilmeatballs #vegan #indianmeatballs #veg
As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.~ John Steinbeck
These flavorful Vegan Lentil Meatballs are served over a fragrant Indian-spiced Coconut Curry Sauce. The aroma will drench your kitchen in goodness.  The lentil meatballs are baked, rather than fried – so they remain relatively low in fat. Served with rice or a salad this meal is hearty, healthy and delicious.  I also just learned….it also won BEST vegan recipe over at Food 52! 

Vegan Lentil Meatballs | 45-second video

What lentils to use?

I adore these little Black Caviar lentils because of their petite size, their dark color and rich earthy flavor. They are meaty little guys, who hold their shape after cooking, and take only 20 -25 minutes to cook. But feel free to use brown lentils or green lentils. Any whole lentils will work great here- just do not use split lentils.

Ingredients you’ll need

Lentil Meatballs:

Coconut Curry Fenugreek Sauce:

  • garlic
  • ginger
  • fresh turmeric (or  ground turmeric  )
  •  olive oil
  •  fresh tomato
  •  dried fenugreek leaves
  •  coconut milk (not lite)
  • lime juice
  • salt, pepper seasonings

TIP: Dried fenugreek leaves truly elevate this dish! We use them often here on the blog- so they won’t go to waste!

How to make Lentil Meatballs

  • Cooked Lentils and cooked quinoa are mixed with cilantro, garlic and spices.
  • Tofu is whipped in a food processor into a thick paste, and acts as the binder here. fold this into the lentil quinoa mixture.
  • With wet hands, roll into ping-pong-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the lentil meatballs for 20 minutes. While they are in the oven make the coconut curry sauce.
Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Indian Coconut Curry Sauce- a delicious healthy meal infused with fragrant Indian spices. Vegan and Gluten Free! #veganmeatballs #lentilmeatballs #vegan #indianmeatballs #veg

Place lentil meatballs over the sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.

What to serve with Indian Lentil Meatballs? 

  1. Basmati rice
  2. Naan Bread
  3. Indian Spinach Salad 
  4. Palak Paneer
  5. Bombay Carrot Salad
  6. Authentic Chai!
  7. Chai Cookies! 


Enjoy the Vegan Lentil Meatballs- let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Indian Coconut Curry Sauce- a delicious healthy meal infused with fragrant Indian spices. Vegan and Gluten Free! #veganmeatballs #lentilmeatballs #vegan #indianmeatballs #veg

Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Indian Coconut Curry Sauce

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Vegan, Main
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan


Voted “Best Vegan Recipe” on Food 52, this Vegan Lentil Meatball Recipe with Indian Coconut Curry Sauce is a delicious healthy meal infused with fragrant Indian spices. Vegan and Gluten Free! Watch the video!


Units Scale

Vegan Lentil Meatballs:

Coconut Curry Fenugreek Sauce: ( if you like extra saucy, double the recipe)

  • 4 cloves garlic- minced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric )
  • 12 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 extra large tomato, finely diced, with juices
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 13.5 oz coconut milk (not lite)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne, more to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper


1. On high heat, bring lentils and fennel seeds to a boil in a small pot with 3 cups water. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer 25 minutes. Drain well.

2. On high heat, bring quinoa to boil in a small pot with 1 cup water. Cover, turn heat to low, simmer 15 minutes, turn heat off, leave covered.

3. Make the sauce. In a skillet or saute pan, over medium heat, saute garlic and ginger in olive oil,  until just golden, stirring often to prevent scorching. Add turmeric ( root, or ground)  sauté 1 more minute. Add diced tomato, sauté until most of the juices evaporate about 5-8 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, fenugreek leaves, lime, brown sugar, salt, cayenne and pepper. Taste for salt. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat until ready to serve.

4.Make the vegan lentil meatballs. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a food processor, place the cooked  quinoa, and half of the lentils, and pulse until texture of coarse sand. Place in a large bowl. Add the remaining lentils, salt, granulated garlic, chopped cilantro to the bowl and mix well.

In the same food processor add the tofu (blotted well, borken apart) and 1 T olive oil. (The tofu will bind the mixture and oil will keep them from drying out.) Pulse tofu and oil until a smooth paste, scraping down the sides as necessary. Scoop it into the lentil mixture and mix it in well.

Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. With your hands, kneed lentil mixture briefly so it’s thoroughly mixed and salt and spices are evenly distributed. With wet hands form small ping pong sized balls. Place on baking sheet and place in the 400 F oven for 20-25 minutes.

5.Warm the sauce and place lentil meatballs in the sauce, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.



Double the sauce for extra saucy!


  • Serving Size: 3 lentil balls
  • Calories: 295
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 244.4 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.2 g
  • Fiber: 6.8 g
  • Protein: 18.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan meatballs, lentil meatballs, veggie balls, indian lentil meatballs, the best vegan meatballs, the best lentil balls, vegan meatball recipes, lentil meatball recipes

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  1. Question: I can’t eat tofu what can I use to replace the tofu as the binder. I had thought about an egg but wondered if too much liquid.
    Thank you

  2. This recipe tastes amazing. The instructions are easy to follow and I’m already looking forward to making it again.

    1. The powder comes from the seed and has a different flavor. You are welcome to try it though- go light. 🙂

  3. Hi, I love your recipes. I am wondering if I can substitute Italian seasoning and use with marinara? I need an Italian meatball, and we don’t like beets in tge other recipe.

  4. This recipe!! The flavors are insane. Real crowd pleaser. As others have said, the sauce is so flavorful you could crave it every day, easily.

    That said… The portions are wayyyy off. You’ll have way more balls than sauce. I’d recommend double or even tripling the sauce – regardless of what kind of sauce person you think you are.

    The balls sort of sit in there like a soup. You’ll have leftover balls and will want to have sauce to go with the next day and there will be none.

  5. This sauce is flavorful and so so delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!
    The instructions were perfect and easy to follow. Thank you for a delectable recipe to add to the rotation!

  6. I followed the recommendation of other reviewers and doubled the sauce—yum!
    My changes: due to health concerns, I am omitting salt from recipes. To compensate for the missing salt, I double the spices called for in recipes, which generally works well. It worked very well for this recipe.
    I used a cookie scoop to make the “meatballs.”
    I served this in bowls on a bed of quinoa.

        1. I feel like the balls would hold together better, cooked on the day of. But you could make the sauce and meatball mix ahead?

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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