© 2018 Green Kitchen Stories Aubergine_polpette_1

Vegan Aubergine Polpette – Three Ways

Our first thought was to do a classic Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti and Meatball dish with this polpette recipe, but then we decided that it was too expected. So here is instead another spin on our one makes three-series. Where we use one staple food in three different recipes. We really love this series because it reflects so much how we actually eat. It’s not always an entirely new meal every day but more of a flow where the same components are repeated with new pairings. These polpette or vegan meatballs are perfect for this. They are good on their own – tender and very flavorful. And they are also insanely versatile, rolled into a wrap, tangled into pasta, paired with a spicy tomato sauce and hummus or tossed in a crunchy vegan take on a caesar salad.


Vegan Aubergine Polpette
Makes around 40 balls

2 medium sized aubergines
2 red onions
4 tbsp olive oil
100 g / 1 cup almond flour
120 g / 1 cup cooked lentils
4 tbsp pickled capers, drained and finely chopped
2 tbsp raisins
zest from 1 lemon
15 leaves basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 200°C  / 400°F.
Peel and chop the onion finely and chop the aubergine into small dices. Stir fry both in a large skillet with the oil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. When soft, add to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse a few times to mix everything together. You want a very chunky sticky texture but don’t pulse too much or you’ll end up with a mushy mixture. Remove the knife blades and shape 30-40 small balls with your hands. Place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes. Store in the fridge or freeze them.

Scroll down for three ways to serve them.


Hummus with spicy tomato sauce, polpette and cucumber salad

1 batch vegan aubergine polpette (see recipe above)
1 batch Hummus, see this recipe or store-bought hummus

Spicy tomato sauce
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp harissa paste (or 1 red chili)
2 x 400 g tins tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and add them to the sauce pan  together with the spices. Let sauté for a few minutes until soft not browned and then add  the tomatoes and salt. Let cook for at least 20 minutes, until rich and fragrant. It will become sweeter and rounder in flavour the longer you leave it on. Store the sauce you are not using tonight in glass bottles in the fridge.

Cucumber salad
½ cucumber
2 tsp olive oil
½ lemon, juice + zest
1 pinch sea salt
1 small handful fresh dill

Finely dice the cucumber and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and dill and toss to combine.

Arrange the hummus in shallow bowls and make a well in the middle. Place a couple of spoonfuls tomato sauce in the well, add a few aubergine polpette and a few spoonfuls cucumber sallad.


Vegan Wrap with Polpette, Ajvar and Krauts
Serves 4

4 wrap breads / tortilla breads, gluten free or whole grain
4 lettuce leaves
4 cavalo nero or kale, stems removed
1 cup cooked white quinoa
4 tbsp ajvar dressing
1/2 cucumber, cut into sticks
4 tbsp sauerkraut (see recipe here)
1 batch aubergine polpette (see recipe above)

Place one lettuce leave and one kale leave on each tortilla bread, then place 2-3 tbsp quinoa in the middle, a dollop ajvar, cucumber slices, sauerkraut and top with a couple of aubergine polpette.
Fold the top and bottom edges over the filling. Roll the whole tortilla from left to right to wrap in the filling. Roll some parchment paper around them and tie with a string to hold them together.


Vegan Ceasar Salad with Polpette
Serves 4

1 head Cosmopolitan lettuce
1 batch aubergine polpette (see recipe above)
2 avocados, stone/peel removed and sliced
2 small apples, cored and sliced
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted

1/2 cup / 125 ml cold pressed neutral oil (organic rapeseed)
1/2 cup / 125 ml soy milk, unsweetened
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp pickled capers, drained
1 large pinch salt

Add all dressing ingredients to a tall glas or blender cup. Mix with a stick blender on high speed for about 15 seconds or until you have a creamy white dressing. Taste and adjust the flavours to your preference. Add more oil and blend again if you like it thicker.

Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp vegan mayo dressing and toss to cover. Then transfer to a serving platter and arrange avocado slices, apple slices and aubergine polpette and last, scatter over toasted sunflower seeds.


  1. Posted 12 Oct ’18 at 15:40 | #

    These look so good as a meatball replacement! I can’t wait to try making it when I’m free (one weekend this month for sure). I love your recipes! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Posted 12 Oct ’18 at 15:52 | #

    I love the idea for the ‘one makes three-series’, it’s such a good way to show that healthy food can be versatile and delicious! We often do the same .. making a big batch of something and then using it in different style meals. Thanks for sharing <3 Gabriella

  3. kate
    Posted 13 Oct ’18 at 10:22 | #

    Just had the Cesar Salad version and it was spectacular! Although I couldn’t really taste the basil (I’ll double it next time) The sweetness from the raisins was a lovely touch. Thanks for a lovely recipe with lots of left overs in the fridge.

  4. Emma
    Posted 13 Oct ’18 at 14:26 | #

    Love this series! And the polpette sound awesome.
    Will try the wrap first.

  5. Henrik Caspersen
    Posted 13 Oct ’18 at 21:31 | #

    Looks great. Any suggestions for another flour than almond?

    • Posted 15 Oct ’18 at 21:05 | #

      Hey Hendrik,
      you could replace the almond flour with breadcrumbs (if you can tolerate gluten, that is). I think, this would also give the polpettes a firmer consistency.
      Hope this helps,
      xo Romy

  6. Posted 14 Oct ’18 at 00:23 | #

    Beautiful, can’t wait to give this recipe a whirl. Really nice to see that it’s vegan.

  7. Posted 14 Oct ’18 at 03:21 | #

    Those look so delicious! I really can’t wait to make them for dinner someday! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  8. Posted 14 Oct ’18 at 07:45 | #

    Hey, Thanks for the recipe – I love the sound of these and also identify with the concept of versatility and recycling… I also like to eat that way – based on what is in season and available from the land, and in general I am a big a fan of leftovers! :) We have a glut of aubergines at the moment from our land-based project working with refugees in the south of Spain (www.labolina.org). Do you think these would freeze well? If so, before or after baking, or perhaps just as the mixture before making balls?

  9. Laura
    Posted 14 Oct ’18 at 09:33 | #

    Sounds so good, I gotta try this! Which type of lentils are you using? And I’m also curious if you could use a different flour, as almond flour is crazy expensive. Thanks for the recipe and further tips!

  10. Bri
    Posted 15 Oct ’18 at 14:06 | #

    What is ajvar dressing?

    • Wendy
      Posted 23 Oct ’18 at 17:00 | #

      I just looked up ajvar. It is a roasted eggplant and roasted red pepper sauce. It looks great and sounds tasty!

  11. Posted 15 Oct ’18 at 21:13 | #

    Hi Luise & David,
    I made your polpettes for dinner today (with spaghetti & tomato sauce) and I found them very yummy. I used chickpeas instead of lentils (as I didn’t have any around) and they turned out really well.
    Next time I will replace the almond flour with breadcrumbs though. I hope, this will give the polpettes a kind of firmer consistency. We’ll see ;-)
    Anyways, thank you for the inspiration. I’m always looking forward to new vegan recipes from you.
    xo, Romy

    In Love with Bliss – plantiful recipes nourishing body & soul

  12. Posted 17 Oct ’18 at 01:51 | #

    I’m always on the lookout for a vegan meatball and these look delicious! Love that they’re gluten free too. Any thoughts on a replacement for the onions? Unfortunately, I can’t eat them and as I’m sure they are providing moisture as well as flavour I’m always trying to figure out how to swap them out in recipes.

  13. Posted 17 Oct ’18 at 08:44 | #

    It seems Amazingly delicious. I am always in need of searching delicious food retaining its nutrients.

  14. Kerstin
    Posted 17 Oct ’18 at 22:30 | #

    That sounds and looks soooo yummy. Would like to make those but can you recommend a substitute for the carpers? My family doesn‘t like them… Many thanks! I love your blog!!! Xoxo from Munich

  15. Karen
    Posted 18 Oct ’18 at 10:56 | #

    Snacking on some polpettes right now in Cape Town!
    They are delicious!
    Thank you for a yummy recipe. xx

  16. Chelsey
    Posted 18 Oct ’18 at 15:42 | #

    These were SOOO yummy!! I made them without raisins as I am not a fan and they didn’t suffer at all. have been keeping them on hand as little “snack bites”. Perfect to ward off the 3pm hunger slump.

  17. Isabel V
    Posted 28 Oct ’18 at 00:18 | #

    These look delicious, and I’m really looking forward to trying them. What kind of lentils would you normally use? Chewy puy-type or slushy red or yellows? Thank you!

  18. Alex
    Posted 8 Nov ’18 at 13:39 | #

    Just finished eating the first combo and LOOOOOVE it. The polpette are so good I will make them for my Dad who frowns upon meatless lunch, but I bet he won’t complain this time hahah. The whole combo altogether is so tasty and fulfilling I do not crave any dessert. Thanks for that guys!

  19. Posted 9 Nov ’18 at 13:47 | #

    Who is the winner?

  20. Vera from Lisbon
    Posted 3 Dec ’18 at 20:18 | #

    Hello! I tried the recipe yesterday, for dinner, and they are really flavourful. I struggled with the consistency though, as I could not get them firmer enough…
    I probably need to try again and make sure I use enough almond flour or breadcrumbs. Thank you! PS – I really liked the chickpeas suggestion. :)

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