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Vegan Turkish lentil meatballs are usually served with lettuce.
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4.63 from 32 votes

Turkish Lentil Meatballs (Vegan)

These vegan lentil meatballs are a Turkish classic. Made with red lentils and bulgur, these meatballs are usually served with lettuce and herbs. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 362kcal


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 ½ cup fine bulgur
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup green onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • cup olive oil


  • In a sauce pan cook the lentils with 3 cups of water until they have absorbed the water and are cooked.
  • Turn the heat off, add in the bulgur and cover with the lid. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan and saute onion and garlic until golden. Add in tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Turn the heat off.
  • Place the red lentil and bulgur mixture in a large bowl. Add in the onion mixture and mix.
  • Add in the parsley, green onions, cumin, salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper.
  • Add in the olive oil and mix well.
  • Start shaping the vegan lentil meatballs into long cylinders and place them on a platter.
  • Chill for an hour in the fridge and serve with fresh lemon and lettuce.



  • This recipe yields 25-30 lentil balls and is enough for 5-6 people. You can store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. 
  • Red lentils get very soft when they're cooked and will lose their shape. It's important to make sure the lentils don't have too much excess water since you want the vegan meatball mixture be sticky enough so you can shape it into balls. 
  • Make sure you purchase fine bulgur and not coarse bulgur. The finer the bulgur, the smoother the meatball mixture is going to be. Coarse bulgur will make the mixture crumbly and hard to shape. 
  • Aleppo pepper is not hot and is used to add depth and flavor to this recipe. If you would like the vegan meatballs to be spicy, you can add ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the mixture. 
  • If the mixture is not sticky enough, add more olive oil to it, one tablespoon at a time. 


Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1946IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 5mg