Hello Everybody! Today I am sharing my eggplant meatballs recipe! Not everyone eats meat, so sometimes you need to find alternatives on classic recipes to share when hosting a dinner. To be honest, this eggplant meatball recipe packs more flavor than a regular meatball! I like to serve it as an appetizer with some marinara sauce, but these can easily be paired with pasta and sauce. Watch the video below as I prepare this recipe or keep reading for the written recipe.
1 eggplant, cubed
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup pecorino cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mozzarella, cubed
handful of parsley, chopped
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
hot pepper, optional
Begin by pouring enough olive oil to fill the bottom of a frying pan. Saute the onions and garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes and then add the eggplant. Cook together over a medium/high flame for about 8 minutes, making sure to continuously stir all of the ingredients together so that all of the eggplant absorbs the oil and onion and garlic flavor. Add salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir together. At this point, you can also add fresh hot pepper or hot pepper flakes if you like a hint of spicy.
Remove the eggplant mix from the stove and scoop it into a strainer that is over a bowl. Mix the eggplant around within the strainer to strain out the excess water in the eggplant. This step is necessary so that the eggplant meatballs do not fall apart when frying. Allow the eggplant to cool off for about 15 minutes so that you can begin rolling them into balls working with your hands. Mixing it around in the strainer helps to cool off faster.
Once the eggplant mix is cooled off, add the two eggs, pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, and parsley and mix all together. Add some breadcrumbs on a dish to coat the eggplant meatballs. Now you can begin rolling your eggplant balls!
Grab enough of the eggplant mix to make your preferred size of “meatball”. Roll it into a ball. Press in the middle of the ball to make a small space to add a few mozzarella cubes. Close the eggplant mix around the mozzarella and roll into a ball shape again. Roll the ball over the breadcrumbs on the dish, roll back into a ball shape and set aside. Repeat the same steps to make the rest of the eggplant balls.
Fill a deep skillet half way with olive oil. Heat up the oil over a medium flame. Use a toothpick to make sure the oil is hot before placing the eggplant meatballs in the skillet. I use a ladle strainer to gently add the eggplant meatballs into the hot oil. If the oil bubbles around the toothpick, it is ready! Place the eggplant meatballs into the skillet and fry for about 8 minutes or until brown on the outside. Make sure to turn the eggplant meatballs while frying to cook evenly. Remove from the skillet and place on a dish covered with a paper towel so that it soaks up the excess oil.