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Vegetarian Eggplant “Meatballs”

Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: eggplant, summer, vegetarian
Author: Chef Va Probst


  • 2 pounds fresh eggplant
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 large eggs divided
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs divided
  • Flour for coating
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Peel and slice eggplant and brush with olive oil.
  • Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Put half of eggplant aside; dice the other half and set aside.
  • Combine green onion, Parmesan, milk, yellow onion, basil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and one egg in a food processor and purée. When mixture is smooth, add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and continue to purée until smooth. Add the half of the roasted eggplant that is not diced and purée.
  • Place mixture in a large bowl; add diced eggplant chunks and gently mix until combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop or similar to form “meatballs.”
  • Place balls on a sheet tray; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Before cooking, combine remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water and mix. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs. Coat the balls first in flour, then the egg wash, then finally the remaining seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Heat 1 to 2 inches oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
  • When oil shimmers, cook meatballs 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.


This recipe comes to us from Edible Orlando.