These Eggplant Meatballs are a fun vegetarian spin on meatballs. They are super moist and flavourful and packed with chunks of sautéed eggplant, garlic and onion, baked in the oven and then served in a rich tomato sauce. These meatless meatballs are Paleo, Whole30, Keto, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal. 

Eggplant Polpette
These little eggplant polpette (aka meat free meatballs) are unbelieva-BALL-y good…sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Eggplant Polpette
But seriously, these are little balls of deliciousness that will quickly have any carnivore forgetting that they are completely meat free. They are firm on the outside and tender and soft in the center. Eggplant gives each ball “meatlike” density while the basil and garlic add delicious flavor.

Eggplant Polpette
When served with tomato sauce, each eggplant meatball tastes like bite size eggplant parmigiana, perfect to serve as finger food at a cocktail party. I love eating these eggplant polpette on spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, covered in tomato sauce.

Eggplant Polpette
I added parmesan to the recipe but if you are following a dairy free or paleo diet it can be substituted for nutritional yeast for a touch of cheesy flavor. These balls hold their firmness for a few days after baking, but to ensure they don’t become soggy I recommend storing any leftover balls in a separate container from the sauce.

Eggplant Polpette
If you are a fan of Italian food, you will love this healthy cross between spaghetti and meatballs and eggplant parmigiana. I hope you enjoy!

Here are a few of my other favourite Italian recipes:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Eggplant Polpette

Every Last Bite
These eggplant meatballs are a vegetarian spin on meatballs. They are packed with chunks of eggplant and oven baked.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Grain/Gluten Free, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal
Servings 24 balls
Calories 88 kcal


  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup basil chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup parmesan *
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp honey optional
  • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup basil chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Cut the eggplant into small cubes. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, add the diced onion, garlic, cubed eggplant and stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until all of the eggplant has become soft and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse once or twice but no more, you want the larger pieces to break down but you do not want the entire mixture to turn into a smooth puree. It should remain chunky.
  • In a bowl combine the eggplant mixture, chopped basil, almond flour, parmesan and egg white and blend until well combined.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray to ensure its well greased.
  • Spoon out 1-2 tablespoon sized amounts of the mixture into your hands and roll into balls the size of a golf ball. Place on the baking sheet approximately an inch apart.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, flipping the balls half way through. Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn. They are done when they become more firm to the touch.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Chopped the tomatoes into small pieces. Place them in a medium sized pot on medium-low heat along with the olive oil, crushed garlic and diced onion.
  • Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until the onion becomes transparent. Add in the canned tomatoes, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  • Add in the oregano, chilli flakes and chopped basil. Taste the sauce, if its too tart, add in the honey. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the eggplant polpette on zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, topped with the tomato sauce and garnished with parmesan and chopped basil


* If following a dairy free diet, substitute the parmesan for 1 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 56mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!