Need another use for lentils? Try out these Air Fryer BBQ Lentil Meatballs! Chewy and flavorful on the inside, while slightly crunchy on the outside, then slathered in your favorite BBQ sauce.
I’ve gotta be honest, I’ve been hogging this recipe all to myself for some time now. I had originally made it for the #VYAPantryChallenge, before moving, but I got so caught up in everything that I lost track of it. Even though I wanted the challenge to be a set amount of time, I think these types of recipes are still super helpful! What do you think?
And, before I tell you more about these delectable BBQ lentil meatballs, I have an important announcement. Vegan Yack Attack On the Go! has its new cover, and is totally on pre-sale!! I’m so happy with how the design and photo turned out, and I hope you love it, too. Just remember, that through Amazon you can get pre-sale price guarantee, so if the price drops (it always does), you will pay the lowest amount no matter when you ordered it. 🙌
Now, back to the BBQ lentil meatballs! I had SO many people commenting about using up lentils, and of course, I had some of those in my pantry. Along with the lentils, I had some dried mushrooms and a little BBQ sauce leftover that I didn’t want to move with. Put all of that together with the timing of me getting an air fryer and BLAM! This recipe came about.
I tried a couple of versions of this recipe, and this one is definitely my favorite. The addition of Vital Wheat Gluten to the lentils, acts as a great binder, plus adds a chewy texture. That being said, you can make these gluten-free by using GF vegan Worcestershire and GF flour, but you may have slightly crumbly lentil balls. While using raw onions could be a shortcut, you miss out on the added sweetness and flavor from caramelizing them.
So, go on, make these tasty BBQ lentil meatballs for your next party (paired with some suuuuper cute toothpicks), and enjoy! Make sure to tag me @veganyackattack & #veganyackattack if you try them out. ❤
1 year: Arugula Bulgur Pilaf Salad // 2 years: Pesto Potato Pizza // 3 years: Artichoke Crab Cakes // 4 years: Lemon Raspberry Pizookie // 5 years: Banana Cream Chia Pudding // 6 years: Berry Chia Pudding
Air Fryer BBQ Lentil Meatballs
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry green or brown lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped dried mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons avocado or sunflower oil
- 1 cup diced white or yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 3 tablespoons vegan BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup vegan BBQ sauce
- In a large pot, heated over medium-high, bring the vegetable broth, lentils, and mushrooms to a boil. Adjust heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed. While lentils are cooking, move on to the next step.
- In a small sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onions to pan and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, or until onions are caramelizing. Next, adjust heat to medium-low, and add tomato past and garlic to pan. Sauté for another minute, then set the pan aside.
- In a food processor, place cooked lentil/mushroom mixture, onion/tomato mixture, vital wheat gluten, 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, parsley, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is combined, but still chunky (you don't want a chewy hummus!).
- Give the basket in your air fryer a light spray of cooking oil. Moisten your hands with water, then form roughly 2-tablespoon-sized balls with the lentil mixture. Place each ball in the air fryer basket, leaving at least 1/2-inch between them. (Depending on your air fryer, you may need to do this in two batches.)
- Spray a light coating of cooking oil over the tops of the lentil balls, and air fry for 12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown on the outside. Transfer lentil meatballs to a plate or platter, then drizzle 1 cup of BBQ sauce over the top. (you can heat the BBQ sauce in the microwave if you don't want it to cool down your balls too much) Serve with toothpicks and enjoy!
This post includes affiliate links.