What’s amazing about this meatball, is that it’s quick, easy, packed to the max with veggies, naturally binds together, packs flavor, notes of roasted garlic, can easily be made in bulk, perfect for any season. You can even pair it with zucchini noodles for an even healthier spin.

Eggplant Cauliflower Meatballs [Vegan]


Cooking Time




  • 1 eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut on the bulb
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup Japanese-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 5 cups of your favorite marinara


  1. Pre-heat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 400°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the garlic bulb, coat in olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, place in the oven to roast.
  2. On a large baking sheet add the peeled and chopped eggplant, cauliflower, bell pepper, and onion. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss together and arrange in a single layer.
  3. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the brown rice according to directions.
  5. Put the roasted vegetables in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the Panko, vegan parmesan, and brown rice.
  6. Shape the mixture into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they're slightly browned and crisp on the outside and heated through. Serve with the marinara sauce and a little more parmesan and your pasta of choice!