Eggplant and Shitake “Meatballs”

Meatless Mondays, that’s a trendy thing right now, right? It has its own hashtag on twitter and everything so you know it must be popular. Hashtags, ugh, I just don’t get them. I kind of was at a loss when my mom asked me to explain what it was. It was definitely a point in my life in which I officially felt old.

Back to meatless Mondays. On Mondays there is a little campaign that encourages people not to eat meat for at least that one day to improve their health and the health of the planet. I really like this idea. Not only is it beneficial to your health but cutting meat out of a meal makes the cost of your meal a heck of a lot cheaper.

Even if I don’t happen to follow this on Mondays, I at least make a meatless meal once a week for sure.

You all know how much I love making meatless things and seeing if Mike can actually figure out that there is no meat and what exact ingredients are in them. It is an evil sick game I get great pleasure from.

Since it is Monday and all I thought this little gem of a recipe would be perfect for your dinner tonight. Give it a shot, it can’t hurt. And if Mike liked it, you know it has to be good.

“Hey he likes it. Mikey likes it!”

Also, if you guys are ever looking for great meatless options, check out some of my favorite veggie loving blogs:

Cookie and Kate

Oh She Glows

Naturally Ella

Oh My Veggies

Vegan Mother Hubbard

Eggplant and Shitake "Meatballs"

Course Entree
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Author Sarcastic Cooking


  • 1 Small Eggplant
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Ounces Shitake Mushrooms cleaned, stems removed, and diced
  • ¾ Cup Quinoa
  • 1 ½ Cups Water
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Egg White
  • ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Cloves Garlic grated
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Parsley
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Marinara Sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Using a fork, prick holes all over the eggplant. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven for an hour, until the eggplant collapses/shrivels. While the eggplant roasts, cook the quinoa and mushrooms.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the 1 ½ cups of water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with lid, and let cook for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork.
  4. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat for a minute or so. Add mushrooms to pan and sauté for 7-10 minutes until golden.
  5. Once the eggplant is cooled, slice it in half length-wise. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the eggplant. Give it a chop and discard the eggplant skin. Add the eggplant, quinoa, and mushrooms to a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Mix in the egg, egg white, parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, basil, and parsley. Mix well.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment/wax paper. Form the shitake/eggplant mixture into large balls. Place the balls on the lined baking sheet. Place the sheet with all the “meatballs” on it in the refrigerator for twenty minutes while you heat the oil.
  8. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed skillet about ¼ of the way up with vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium/high heat for about ten minutes.
  9. Remove the “meatballs” from the fridge, add four “meatballs” to the hot oil at a time. Fry the balls, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, add to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Fry the next batch in the same way.
  10. Serve the “meatballs” with marinara sauce and your favorite pasta.

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  • Meatless Monday: Eggplant and Shitake “Meatballs” | Center For Living Peace
    December 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    […] recipe and photo credit to Sarcastic Cooking. Discovered through Meatless […]

  • Mushrooms Canada
    September 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, this recipe sounds amazing, and not just as a meat alternative! I’ll have to start making these regularly. Thanks for sharing!!


  • Julia
    September 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Wow these look fabulous!! I love eggplant and really don’t use it nearly enough. I also like to try and incorporate at least 2-3 veggie meals a week so I love new ideas. Yum!!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog
    September 10, 2013 at 7:10 am

    It always says something when the hubby likes something. That’s how it is in my house, too. If Squirrel likes it, then it must be good, right? Right! I love everything about these meatless meatballs.

  • Stephanie
    September 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    oh my word these look delicious! Like flavourful little morsels.. WANT.
    Hashtags are wonderful on instagram. When I’m bored and just messing around with my phone I’ll search a random hashtag like ‘eyebrows’ or ‘holymoly’ or ‘flexible’ and scroll through the photos. Find lots of interesting people that way!

    • Stefanie
      September 10, 2013 at 6:47 am

      So true! Following a hashtag is definitely an interesting endeavor. I usually get sucked into creeping on new people for at least an hour.

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    September 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Haha, I love the “Mikey likes it” reference. I wonder if you could make a bunch of these at a time and freeze them until you needed to fry them up?

    • Stefanie
      September 10, 2013 at 6:45 am

      I totally bet you could freeze a bunch on a baking sheet then when they are good and frozen, put them in a freezer bag until you need them. They do harden up pretty easily. You’re so smart!

  • Miss Messy
    September 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Faux meatballs…. yay! these look awesome!

  • Susan
    September 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    That crispy quinoa completely caught my eye. Now I know what to do next time eggplant crosses my path!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    September 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Quinoa “meat” balls?! Love this idea! I am a big fan of meatless meals and make at least a couple per week. In fact, some of my favorite meals are vegetarian. I must give these a try some time.

  • Kasha @ The FarmGirl Cooks
    September 9, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I cannot wait to share this recipe with my CSA members! I’ve got eggplant coming out of my ears at this time of year. Thanks, it looks amazing!

    • Stefanie
      September 10, 2013 at 6:46 am

      Oh great! Glad to help you find something to do with all that eggplant!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    September 9, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Ooooh these little faux meatballs do look awesome!!