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Penne with Quinoa Lentil Meatballs

Yes, vegan meatballs! Quinoa and lentils give a nice hearty texture and flavor to these.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 459kcal


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound baby bella mushrooms stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pepitas
  • 1.5 cups cooked and cooled Sprouted Green Lentils
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled Sprouted Quinoa
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for garnish (omit if making this vegan)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of truRoots® Ancient Grains Organic Penne
  • 28 oz bottle of Marinara Sauce I like Muir Glen Garden Vegetable Sauce
  • 6 oz box fresh baby spinach chopped
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves chopped


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onions, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning and chili flakes. Cook until fragrant. Remove from heat. Cool mixture.
  • Pulse pepitas in food processor until finely ground. Add mushroom mixture and half of cooked lentils. Pulse 5 to 8 times or until finely chopped. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  • Add remaining cooked lentils, cooked quinoa, flour, cheese and parsley. Mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Shape into 16 balls.
  • Spray skillet with olive oil cooking spray.
  • Cook half of meatballs, using a spatula to gently release meatballs from pan. Turn meatballs occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water salted water, just until al dente. About 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Heat pasta sauce in medium saucepan, over medium heat, until warm. Add in the baby spinach and heat until the spinach is cooked through - 3.5 min.
  • Place serving of pasta on dinner plate. Top with several meatballs, marinara, basil and 1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese per serving


Adapted from TruRoots
One serving is based on 1/2 cup cooked pasta, 2-3 meatballs, 1/8 of the sauce and 1 tbsp cheese.


Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Sodium: 770mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g