Eggplant Balls

by Trudy ~ Veggie num num on January 18, 2010

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Eggplant Balls

This is a recipe gifted by my brother-in-law who is a creative, adventurous and great cook. These eggplant balls are well worth the little extra effort to make; as they are both delicious and versatile. Serve as part of a Mezze platter with Lebanese dips and breads or as an alternative to meatballs in this classic pasta dish. I also aim to try them as a kofta in curry very soon. For a vegan version omit the cheese and replace the egg with a little plain flour.



Preparation time: 80mins
Makes 15-20

  • 3 large eggplant (aubergine)
  • olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
  • 1 free-range egg or ½ tbs plain flour
  • ¼ cup grated fresh vegetarian parmesan or sharp tasty cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F and lightly oil two large oven trays.

Peel and slice the eggplant into 1cm thick disks; evenly space the sliced eggplant on the oven trays. Sprinkle with a little salt and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a moderate oven for 35-40mins or until golden and soft; remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

In a food processor (or by hand) chop the cooked eggplant finely.

In a large bowl mix the finely diced onion, garlic, chilli, 1 cup of the bread crumbs, oregano or thyme; combine well. Add the whisked egg, cheese and eggplant mixture; season with salt and pepper.

Mix thoroughly (easiest with your hands); check consistency and add more bread crumbs if the mixture is not coming together easily.

Form mixture into small balls and set aside. I try to make the balls a few hours ahead so as to rest them in the fridge to set firmly but this is not essential.

Place the balls on non-stick oven trays and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes; until golden.

Alternatively they can be deep fried for added crunch and naughtiness : )

Serve as a side or appetizer with bread and dips or try them in this pasta recipe.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs Ergül January 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Wow! These are brilliant! Love the idea of a non-meat meatball!

Kenzi January 20, 2010 at 7:41 am

Hm, interesting. My roommate just won me over with black bean burgers…I might have to pass this along!

Noelle (An Opera Singer in the Kitchen) January 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

Great recipe! I love to see another recipe for eggplant used in a different way. Thanks!

Maria Sol Tellis February 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

I made these wonderful eggplant balls 2 days ago and I think this recipe is a keeper. I forgot to add oregano and the parmesan cheese but doubled up on the garlic and chili pepper. I will make these balls with the pasta.

I baked most of it but fried a few just to see the difference, my husband preferred the baked eggplant balls.

Many thanks from Toronto, Canada.

Trudy (veggie num num) February 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

All credit goes to my brother-in-law for this recipe and I agree they are fantastic!! Eggplant is a beautiful ingredient!!

Thank you for the great feedback Maria!! I prefer them baked as well, although the fried ones are great with dip on a party platter!!

Cherine February 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Yummy these balls look delicious. I will definitely try them soon with some hummus :)

Claytonzo February 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm

These eggplants ballz are the shiznay!

anna February 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

These look so delicious! Bet they’d be great in a pita like falafel…or in a pita WITH falafel…mmmmm.

Trudy (veggie num num) February 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

hehehe anna you read my mind; I have been thinking the exact same thing lately!! I agree they would be very, very good in a pita and most defiantly with falafel!! thanks for the great feedback everyone!!

Irish February 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Great website, well done. The eggplant balls are truly a sensation in your mouth. I dont know where your brother in law got his inspiration but he is a talent indeed. I wonder if he would cook for me, his wife if very lucky indeed

Saga February 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

Made these a while ago and they were delicious!! Definitely a keeper :)

Erin May 26, 2010 at 12:19 am

Please tell me what “Moderate Oven” equates to? Fahrenheit or Celsius is preferable. Thanks, these look tasty and I’d like to make them, but don’t want to overcook

Trudy (veggie num num) May 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Hi there Erin, I bake these at 180°C/356°F checking frequently to insure they don’t stick or burn… you will see when they are done, they go lovely golden in colour… Yum!! Ennjoy :)

Lyra November 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I made this tonight with your spaghetti recipe and it worked out great! Was never a fan of eggplant but tasting these definitely changed my mind! I think i will make your breakfast lentils for my boyfriend tomorrow morning :) Thanks!

monique March 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

AWESOME RECIPES!! I have searched web for good vegan recipes with colour and taste and passion and love and creativity and i am happy to found yours! thank you!!

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