Eggplant and Mushroom Meatballs

I had a huge eggplant on hand and decided to give these “meatballs” a shot. They were so easy to make and delicious! I love regular meatballs, with actual meat, but these were really flavorful and had a nice texture to them as well. So whether you’re a meat lover or a veggie lover, you’ll like these! I ate mine on their own with a little sauce, but they would be great with pasta, over some polenta, or with some melted cheese on a sub!

1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, about 5 large leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly chopped
1 large egg
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop the eggplant and add it to a large skillet over medium heat with about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook until the eggplant becomes soft, adding more olive oil and a little splash of water at times if it becomes too dry. Remove from heat and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Next add the shallot and cook until translucent, followed by the mushrooms until soft and cooked down.

Smash the eggplant with a wooden spoon a little to break down the pieces. Add the mushrooms, shallots, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fennel seeds, basil and egg. Mix well with your hands until fully incorporated. Roll two inch balls of the mixture and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping half way through, until golden brown. Serve with sauce and more grated cheese!