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Eggplant Meatballs in Marinara

Eggplant Meatballs in Marinara Sauce is actually a meat-free recipe that is vegetarian and gluten free. This Eggplant Meatball recipe is made with roasted eggplant, creamy salty parmesan cheese, Italian breadcrumbs and fresh basil and parsley packed into a balls, and then lightly fried, served topped with marinara sauce.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 16 mins
Total Time1 hr 21 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Eggplant, Meatballs
Servings: 14 meatballs


  • Large Heavy Skillet
  • Baking Sheet
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife


  • 1 large purple eggplant {1 lb}
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups of gluten free Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable oil {for frying}
  • 1-28 ounce can of marinara sauce


  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Prick eggplant with fork and place on small baking sheet and bake for one hour.
  • Remove from oven, let cool, cut eggplant in half lengthwise and using a spoon scoop out inside flesh, and mash. Discard skin.
  • Meanwhile add marinara to a pan and heat over low heat until simmering.
  • In a large bowl add eggs, whisk. Add garlic, salt, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs, and mashed eggplant.
  • Using your hands press mixture together into 2”-2 1/2” size balls. Packing the mixture tightly together.
  • Place vegetable oil in a medium frying pan and heat to 375°, over medium high heat.
  • Place flour in a medium bowl and roll each ball in flour coating evenly. When oil is ready drop meatball carefully into oil. It should sizzle immediately.
  • Working in batches add meatballs until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spoon flip and cook other side an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown. They will brown up quickly. Transfer meatballs to simmering marinara sauce.
  • Continue until all meatballs are added to marinara sauce and toss to coat, cooking until heated through completely about 10 minutes.
  • Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese and basil.