Friday, 18 January 2013

Lentil and rosemary balls

I'm a typical brit in that I do love a good English roast. Heaps of veggies, roast potatoes and gravy...and today with lentil balls!

I thought I'd put a bit of a spin on my old faithful nut roast and go for balls over a loaf, plus some some fresh rosemary thrown in as I seem to have a thing for rosemary at the moment. These little balls did not dissapoint! I also added some extra polenta to coat some of them to give an extra crunchy coating and they were great too, I can't decide which way I prefer them- maybe make a few of each. You could also roll in seeds if you preferred.

You will note in the recipe that the wet to dry relation may need slight adjustment depending on the texture of the lentils, I made this recipe a couple of times and needed to add a few more oats one time but not the other even though I couldn't see that I'd made any other changes. It didn't make a significant affect to the final baked product as far as I could tell, you simply need to achieve a consistency that is just stiff enough to from balls that will hold their shape.

These balls are so versatile, you could use them to top a salad, or in pace of 'meat' balls in a sub roll or wrap.... how would you use them?

Recipe: Lentil and rosemary balls

1/2-2 cups oats (depending on consistency of mixture)
1 large onion- chopped finely
2 carrots- grated
1/2 cup squash or sweet potato cut into small cubes (I used squash)
3 tbs tomato puree
3 cloves garlic
1 cup dry red lentils*
1/2 green lentils- precooked
300ml vegetable stock (omit most of this if red lentils are precooked and just add as needed)*
1/2 cup gram flour (you could probably use other flours thoigh I haven't tried)
1/2 polenta (I used the quick cook variety)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 tbs fresh rosemary


Cook red lentils and squash in 300ml stock for approx 15 minutes until  cooked and the lentils are mushy. Add remaining wet ingredients and coconut oil and mix through evenly.

Add the gram flour, polenta and one cup of oats and mix through, adding extra oats as necessary to achieve a soft but stiff mixture that could be formed into balls. Mix through the herbs last.

Using your fingers form into apricot sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 mins until golden on the outside.
Optional note: roll in extra polenta prior to baking for extra crunch.


For further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.


  1. So delicious! My roommates and I loved these.

    We ate them with pita bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and yogurt sauce (yogurt with dill and herbed sea salt). The lentil balls were so filling we really didn't need the pitas!

    So I didn't have to go shopping, I substituted cornmeal for polenta, used olive oil instead of coconut oil, and used only green lentils. Worked great!

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Andrea, Thanks so much for letting me now how you got on...your meal sounds great! Glad you enjoyed them :-)

  2. These look AMAZING! Are the darker ones rolled in polenta? And do you think you could freeze these uncooked and just bake a little longer from frozen when needed ? I'm always looking for easy meal additions so like having some frozen options at hand :)

    1. Hi Tash, Thank you! The lighter ones are the polenta rolled ones- the ones to the right of the overhead shot. I'm pretty sure you could freeze them uncooked. I haven't tried but i see no reason why not. Or I often cook them until not quite done and then re-bake to warm through and add a golden colour. If you freeze them uncooked, lay them out on a baking sheet or something first so that they don't stick together.


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