Spaghetti and Lentil Balls with Homemade Italian Onion and Garlic Tomato Sauce

OK, I must say that these recipes just keep on getting better and better! Dare I even say they are amazing and I am proud of me. I have been putting so much effort into my recipes these days and they are turning out beautifully. Even the photography is getting more beautiful as I experiment with different lighting and angles. This picture looks so good because this recipe is so good. Like, really, really, really good. But don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself! πŸ™‚

Spaghetti and Lentil Balls with Homemade Italian Onion and Garlic Tomato Sauce

A vegan version of a family favorite, spaghetti and meat balls. This dish is sure to wow vegans and non-vegans alike. The homemade sauce adds a little special something. A meal your family is sure love.

Serves 6

  • 375 grams whole wheat spaghetti pasta
  • 1 recipe Homemade Italian Onion and Garlic Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
  • Lentil Balls, as many as you like! (recipe below)

Lentil Balls

These lentil balls are to die for. The flavors of the onion, garlic, vegetable broth and spices come together perfectly to create the perfect lentil ball. I wouldn’t say these are like meat balls because they are even better! The addition of nutritional yeast adds a slight cheesy taste that is a perfect compliment to the tomato sauce.

Makes 24 lentil balls


  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 2 tablespoonsΒ sunflower oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 flax egg (2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black ground pepper


Place the vegetable broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the red lentils, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the vegetable stock has absorbed. Uncover and stir the lentils a few times throughout the cooking time so that they do not stick to the pot and so that they cook evenly.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet on medium heat and add theΒ sunflower oil. Add the minced onion and crushed garlic and saute for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Once the lentils have finished cooking and are soft, place them in a large mixing bowl along with the sauteed onion and garlic. Allow to cool, 5 -10 minutes and then stir in the flax egg. Next stir in the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, parsley, oregano, sage, sea salt and pepper. Stir until everything is well combined. Place in the fridge to set for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ΒΊF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the lentil mixture into golf ball-size balls and place on the baking sheet.

Before baking the lentil balls, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the spaghetti as directed on the package to desired tenderness.

Bake the lentil balls while the spaghetti is cooking, for 15–20 minutes, turning the balls once throughout the cooking time. Remove from the oven and serve with Homemade Italian Onion and Garlic Tomato Sauce.

Homemade Italian Onion and Garlic Tomato Sauce

Once you make this sauce, you will never go back to canned or jarred pasta sauce again. This recipe is super easy to make and can be ready in just minutes. Everything is better homemade!

Makes approximately 5 cups of pasta sauce


  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, passed through a garlic press or minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (796 ml) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (156 ml) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried, thyme, sage and marjoram
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper


Heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the diced onion and pressed garlic and saute a few minutes, until fragrant. Add the 1/4 cup of water and continue to stir and cook, until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and maple syrup. Add the dried basil, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, sea salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce 5-10 minutes more.

Pour the sauce over the spaghetti and top with lentil balls.

I think that all kids love spaghetti night!

Perfection! πŸ™‚

49 thoughts on “Spaghetti and Lentil Balls with Homemade Italian Onion and Garlic Tomato Sauce

  1. Mmm! Looks so good and so healthy. I adore pasta and lentils are one of my favorites!! Your photography is great … and no easy job … food photography is a real talent! Okay … your blog really needs to come with a warning:

    “Caution … reading this blog WILL cause serious mouth watering, drooling and hunger pangs. Other side affects may include (but are not limited to) irresistible urges to cook, a desire to become vegan, homemade dinners nightly, and health. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!” πŸ™‚

    Okay, I’m done! lol


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  6. I found you through Vegan Skinny Bitch(not the book authors)on tumblr, she used your lentil balls in a sandwhich. I just made that tonight and it was sooo good! This recipe is amazing! Def making it again, thank you very much for sharing it!


  7. I’ve tried a few different lentil ball recipes, but none of them have had the wonderful aroma, perfect consistency, and rich taste (test) of these! As they are just setting in the fridge awaiting dinner to roll around, I am super excited to be serving (and eating) these tonight. Thanks!


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    • Sarah, is it the gluten that you’re concerned about? Have you considered making crumbs from a loaf of gluten-free bread? That stuff is ridiculously expensive, I know. Just thought I’d float the idea. Also an option: Make something crispy from gluten-free Bisquick, and crumble that into crumbs. That stuff is pretty good, and not nearly as expensive as the GF bread loaves. πŸ™‚


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  12. WOW! Made this tonight, and…it’s AWESOME! The only change I made was to use smooshed up kidney beans instead of lentils. I’m sure the taste is quite different, but we HAD kidney beans, and every other single thing called for in the recipe. Store run for one item? Nah… I took that as a sign that experimentation was a good idea. It all turned out really, really wonderful. THANK YOU! πŸ™‚


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    • This dish looks delicious. I am a mother of 6 children moving in the vegan direction. I have always eaten homemade meals all my life which included lentils, beans and lots of vegetables and fruits. It will be a slower process to convince my husband but I think the kids will adapt well. Your creative recipes will be a bonus!! Thank you. I will try this one this weekend! Thanks again!! πŸ™‚


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  16. Hi there! I did a search for “vegan menu plan” and stumbled across your blog. It’s exactly what I had been wishing for! I felt like I was stuck in a rut, making the same old things and am so thrilled to have discovered your blog! I have made the tofu nuggets, the sweet potato and black bean wraps, the potato and chickpea salad, and the taco casserole, the brown rice and split pea soup, and have the lentil ball mixture chilling in the fridge for tonight’s dinner. Every single one of these recipes was a hit with my family, even my picky kids. I can’t wait to try more. I love that your instructions are easy to follow, and have found your shopping list to be useful as well. Not only are these recipes healthy, but they are really inexpensive, too. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen about your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes and your charming little family with us!


    • Thanks Cara! I am glad that you left a comment. It is always so nice to know that there are people out there trying and enjoying the recipes! I am glad that you have found so many that you like. Comment any time! πŸ™‚


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  18. I’m back again πŸ™‚ I made the spaghetti sauce and it was also delicious! I’ve been looking for the perfect homemade tomato sauce recipe for a while now and this is it. I was out of tomato paste so I omitted it but it was still great. My new go to tomato sauce recipe! Thank you πŸ™‚


  19. I”m going to try these, they sound amazing, but I’m cooking for one. Do you think the lentil balls will freeze well? Should I freeze them uncooked, and then cook as needed? BTW, your blog is my ‘go to recipe site’ for ideas for dinner — easy, well explained and always delicious results!


    • Thanks! I think they would freeze well. It might be better to freeze them after being cooked. I have done that before and then just taken them out and reheated them. πŸ™‚ I am glad that you enjoy the recipes.


  20. Me again! : )

    I am pregnant and have been craving a nice hearty meal! These meatballs were sooo good and held together very nicely! After baking they were a little crumbly, which could have been a result of me not letting the flax “egg” set enough. Needless to say, even with a little crumble these meatballs were absolutely AMAZING!! I got 31 meatballs out of the recipe, and luckily was able to freeze some for a later time. Again, I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have come across your blog!


    • The crumbliness could be because of the baking time. If you make this recipe again maybe try baking them for a little shorter of a time. Still, I’m glad that you enjoyed them. πŸ™‚


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