baked bbq meatballs with cauliflower puree


Recipe adapted from Vegan with Curves.


For the meatballs

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg OR 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (I used brown)
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt + more to taste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup bread crumbs (amount will depend on how wet the rest of your ingredients are)
  • 2-3 Tbsp BBQ sauce, plus more for baking
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire 
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

For the cauliflower puree:

  • 16 oz frozen cauliflower (or florets from one head)
  • 2 Tbsp butter or Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • unsweetened almond or soy milk as needed


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and are starting to brown.
  2. Add mushroom mixture and remaining ingredients to a food processor. Process until completely combined. Taste and add additional salt and/or BBQ sauce if desired.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form meatballs and place on your prepared baking sheet. Brush with BBQ sauce.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping and brushing with more BBQ sauce halfway through.
  5. While the meatballs are cooking, combine the cauliflower florets and margarine/butter in a pot over medium heat. Begin to sweat the cauliflower, but to not allow it to burn. After about 5 minutes, add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 6-8 minutes (will be longer with fresh cauliflower).
  6. Place the contents of the pot into a food processor and puree until smooth, adding milk as necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot meatballs over cauliflower puree with additional cilantro.

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