Lentil “Meatball” Recipe (updated, 2024)

The vegan lentil “meatballs” recipe is a very popular Turkish recipe and one of the perfect dishes for vegans and vegetarians. Especially, when you’re organizing a party and know you’ll have vegetarian or vegan guests, these lentil balls are a terrific vegan choice. This famous finger food is soft, spicy, and made with red lentils and bulgur.

Ingredients (25-30 “meatballs”)

  • 150 gr FINE bulgur wheat
  • 150 gr red lentils
  • 2 cups (400 ml water)
  • 1 medium onion, FINELY chopped
  • 150 gr finely chopped parsley
  • 5-6 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika paste (if you don’t have paprika paste, you can use 1,5 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (8 gr)
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 50 ml olive oil

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  • Wash the lentils.
  • Use the right ratio of water. Add 2 parts water and 1 part lentils to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • When the water boils, reduce the heat immediately.
  • Cook the lentils for 10-15 minutes over low heat.

  • When the lentils are cooked, place them in a large salad bowl, add thin bulgur wheat and give it a good mix.  Let it cool. It should look like in the following picture.



  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. The onions must be very soft.

  • Add tomato paste and paprika paste and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.


  • Add all ingredients to the salad bowl and mix.

  • Take a piece of the mixture, the size of an apricot, shape it into a cylinder, and place it on a plate with some lettuce leaves.

Your delicious vegan lentil “meatballs” are ready.

  • Add lemon juice before you serve it.

  • There is a traditional way of eating these delicious vegan lentil “meatballs”. Place one in a lettuce leaf, squeeze lemon on it, and throw it into your mouth.

Bon Appétit

Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you!

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One Comment

  1. It was incredibly delicious. I always use lentils for soups. I did not know you can create a super delicious dish like this. Every vegan or vegetarian should try these “meatballs”. JUST PERFECT!!!
    Thank you:)

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