A plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce and (aubergine) eggplant meatballs and vegan parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, with a cast iron pan of eggplant meatballs in the background
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4.86 from 7 votes

Spaghetti and Aubergine ‘Meat’balls

Aubergines give a dense and ‘meaty’ texture to these balls. I’ve kept any spices to a minimum so the garlic and oregano don’t overpower the balls – making them perfect for fussy kids. Our whole family love these balls and they’re a great way to subtly introduce the flavour of aubergines.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Meals
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 238kcal
Author: Kate Hackworthy | Veggie Desserts



For the tomato sauce (optional):

  • 1 tsp oil (olive, rapeseed etc...)
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 can (15oz/400g can) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

For the eggplant meatballs:

  • 1 tsp oil plus more for frying
  • 2 eggplants / aubergines finely diced
  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 + 1/2 cups (175g) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

To serve:

  • 9 ounces (250g) dried spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp vegan cashew parmesan https://veggiedesserts.co.uk/easy-vegan-parmesan-cheese/


For the tomato sauce (optional):

  • Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, puree and oregano, as well as ¼ of the tin of water and allow to simmer and reduce while you make the eggplant meatballs. 

For the eggplant meatballs:

  • For the meatballs, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergines, onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until soft and cooked through.
  • Add the aubergine mixture, breadcrumbs and oregano to a blender or food processor, and whiz until it comes together in a sticky mixture. If it’s too dry, add a little olive oil and if it’s too wet, add a small amount of breadcrumbs.
  • Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Heat some more oil in a frying pan and cook the balls, in batches, until browned all over and cooked through.
  • While cooking the eggplant meatballs, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  • Serve the spaghetti topped with tomato sauce and eggplant meatballs.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 851mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 18.5mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 3.1mg