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Eggplant & Mushroom 'Meatballs'

Eggplant & Mushroom 'Meatballs'

  • Makes


  • Meal
    lunch, dinner
  • Prep

    40 minutes
  • Cook

    50 minutes
  • Total

    90 minutes


  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, de-stemmed, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon  balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 cup cooked millet 
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 12 ounces brown rice spaghetti
  • 1½ cups tomato sauce
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

  • 2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • 3. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until browned and soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the eggplant, another pinch of salt and pepper, and cook another 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce or tamari, and cook 2 minutes, or until everything is well browned and soft.

  • 4. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts. In a large bowl, combine the mushroom/eggplant mixture, the millet, and walnuts. Taste and adjust seasonings. Form the mixture into sixteen 1½-inch balls and roll in the panko crumbs. Place the eggplant balls on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway through.

  • 5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain the pasta.

  • 6. Serve the spaghetti and “meatballs” with the simple fresh tomato sauce.

Note: “Meatballs” can be made ahead and refrigerated for several hours or overnight.

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Excerpted from "Love & Lemons Cookbook" by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Jeanine Donofrio. Available at Amazon.

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