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These eggplant meatballs are a creative way to enjoy eggplant! They are packed with savory flavors that are sure to please just about everyone. Cooking the eggplant prior to forming the vegetarian meatballs is a quick way to release moisture to help hold them together.

EatingWell.com, April 2022


Credit: Photographer / Jen Causey, Prop Stylist / Kay Clarke, Food Stylist / Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe Summary

35 mins
35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put a medium pot of water on to boil.

  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the eggplant and cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is browned and very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and the remaining eggplant, adding garlic during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Transfer to the bowl; let the eggplant mixture cool for 5 minutes.

  • Add egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan, panko, basil, Italian seasoning and salt to the eggplant mixture; stir to combine, lightly mashing the eggplant pieces. Form the mixture into 12 balls (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on a plate.

  • Cook pasta in the boiling water according to package directions; drain and keep warm.

  • Meanwhile, wipe the skillet clean; heat 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and meatballs. Transfer the browned meatballs to the plate.

  • Add marinara to the skillet; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls; top each serving with 3 meatballs, 1/2 cup sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan and, if desired, additional basil.

Nutrition Facts

3 meatballs, 1 cup pasta, 1/2 cup sauce & 1 Tbsp. Parmesan
607 calories; protein 19g; carbohydrates 72g; dietary fiber 14g; sugars 14g; fat 32g; saturated fat 6g; mono fat 18g; poly fat 3g; cholesterol 54mg; vitamin a iu 547IU; vitamin b3 niacin 9mg; vitamin c 12mg; vitamin d iu 13IU; vitamin e iu 6IU; folate 98mg; vitamin k 20mg; sodium 637mg; calcium 198mg; magnesium 114mg; phosphorus 353mg; potassium 846mg; zinc 3mg; omega 6 fatty acid 3g; niacin equivalents 7mg.