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Lentil Balls with Red Lentil Penne Pasta
Servings: 4
For the pasta:
  • box Barilla Red Lentil Penne
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 2 cup of marinara sauce
For the lentil balls:
  • 1, 15.5 oz can of brown lentils or 1 3/4 cups cooked brown lentils rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite spice blend, we used paprika, cayenne, and cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup oat flour, just blend rolled oats until flour-like consistency is reached
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the lentil balls:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Heat up the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and the 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.

  3. Sauté for 3-4 minutes over low/medium heat.
  4. Remove from the stove and add the cooked mushrooms to a large bowl with the lentils, along with the 2 teaspoons of spices, salt, the beaten egg, and the 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast.

  5. Mix together well with a spoon, and then slowly add in the oat flour as you continue mixing.
  6. Once everything is mixed together, form 14-16 lentil balls with your hands and set aside.
  7. In a medium pan, heat the vegetable oil on the stovetop, and add the lentil balls. (I recommend you do this in 2 batches.)
  8. Cook the lentil balls in the oil for 2 minutes on each side, using a spatula to carefully flip over.
  9. Once done, add them to a parchment paper-lined baking dish.
  10. Once all the balls are cooked on the pan and added to the baking dish, bake for 20 minutes or until browned and crisp.
For the pasta:
  1. While the lentil balls are baking, let’s get to cooking our lentil pasta! Cook the entire box of pasta according to package directions (boil 4-6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and boil for 7-9 minutes).
  2. Once done, drain and set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the sliced onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add the 3 cup of baby spinach. Sauté for another couple of minutes, and then toss in the cooked pasta and marinara sauce. Mix together and cook for another couple of minutes.

  4. Top the pasta with lentil balls and enjoy!

  5. To reheat the balls, just pop in the oven at 350F until crispy and warm. 

Recipe Notes

You can also make your own sauce! See our delicious arrabbiata sauce recipe here