Eggplant and White Bean “Meatballs”

Meatballs sauce

Hey there!

Let me start off by saying this is not a betrayal of classic meatballs.  These beauties are truly and undeniably delicious, plus they’re easy to make. You won’t miss the meat, I promise.

These eggplant and white bean ‘meatballs’ are baked full of deliciousness –  with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, fragrant pressed garlic and loads of fresh flat-leaf parsley. Their texture is soft, fork-tender with a moist interior, like a meatball should be.

Eggplant and White Bean “Meatballs”

Meatball montage

Yield: 11-12 “meatballs”


1 medium eggplant (about 12 to 14 ounces) (Food scales are our friend)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canned white beans, such as cannellini or navy – rinsed and smashed with a fork
1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano and/or Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling.
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups Tomato-Basil or Marinara Sauce (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the eggplant on top. Use a fork to prick the eggplant 4 times, then place it in the oven and roast until it has completely softened and a paring knife easily slips into the center, about 50 minutes.

Leave the oven on.

Cool the eggplant for 15-20 minutes.

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh (discard the skin). Roughly chop the eggplant pulp and place it in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg and beans. Then add the garlic, parsley, grated cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine, then mix in the breadcrumbs, until fully combined.

Again, line the rimmed baking sheet with a clean sheet of parchment and lightly mist it with cooking spray. Shape the eggplant mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball (2 tablespoons per ball; I got 11). Place them on the prepared baking sheet and lightly mist the top of the balls with spray. Bake  until golden brown and firm- about 20 minutes.

While the meatballs cook, warm the marinara sauce in a small saucepan. Remove the meatballs from the oven, and add to the simmering pot of sauce. Allow a few minutes for the ‘meatballs’ to soak it in. Sprinkle some grated cheese and/or mozzarella on top and serve on their own or with pasta.

Meaballs no sauceMeatballs sauce


Stephanie xo

Original recipe found on:


4 responses to “Eggplant and White Bean “Meatballs””

    • Hey there! Thank you for writing. I haven’t tried freezing them but I will surely attempt it next time.
      I hope you like the outcome.

      Stephanie M.

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