Lentil Chicken Meatballs Recipe
I have a love affair with lentils. I’ll add them to any dish I possibly can. This time it’s chicken meatballs. The kids didn’t even notice and devoured them.
Remember my husband who doesn’t like lentils? I just gave him a taste and kept my mouth shut. And sure enough he ate them too! Yup, the same man who doesn’t like lentils and never fails to mention it.
These meatballs are warm, soft and golden. Perfect for lunch or supper.
Makes 18 meatballs
500 grams ground chicken breast or thighs
3 Tbsp red lentils
2 cloves of garlic
2 small/medium potatoes
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
1/4 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chicken bouillon
Ground black pepper
1. Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook the lentils for 15 minutes and drain. The lentils should be very soft.
2. Heat a pan with 3 Tbsp of oil, chop the onion and sauté until it starts to get golden. Chop the garlic and add it to the onion for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater, put all the ingredients in a bowl, including the onion and garlic, mix until well combined, and form small meatballs.
4. Heat a pan with 4-3 Tbsp of oil. Take one meatball, flatten a bit and fry until nice and golden on both sides. Let drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
5. If you prefer to bake them: Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with greased parchment paper. Arrange the meatballs on the tray and flatten slightly. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden. Flip and bake on the other side for 15-20 minutes.
*6. A middle ground that combines baking and frying: Fry the meatballs for around a minute and a half on each side, lay on a lightly greased parchment paper, bake for 20-25 minutes. There’s no need to flip them midway.
Good to know…
You can freeze these even though they have potato in them. If the meat is fresh you can freeze them before cooking. You can also replace the potatoes with a large carrot. Green lentils need to be soaked for around an hour first and then cooked for around 30 minutes until soft.
I don’t recommend leaving out the baking soda.
You can use ground beef or turkey instead of, or in combination with, the chicken. You can add around 1/2 cup of fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
Want to cook the meatballs in tomato sauce? Please click here. You won’t need to fry or bake them, just pop them straight into the sauce.
Want an even simpler sauce? Click here. There’s no need to presoak red lentils.