Recipe Review: Not Meatballs (Veganuary Cookbook)

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Jack Monroes Not Meatballs Recipe

It’s been such a long time since I did a recipe review, I thought it was about time I changed that! Right now, thousands of people are giving ‘Veganuary’ a go, so when the people in charge were kind enough to let me have a peep at the cookbook ya’ll get when signing up, I knew I had to give one of the recipes a try!

I chose to give Jack Monroe’s “Not Meatballs” a go. Why this particular recipe? It’s simple: I’m a big fan of theirs! I’ve been following along on their blog for years now, own one cookbook and am eagerly awaiting a second. Yup, fan girl. Also, it seemed like one of the more healthy and simple dinner recipes in the cookbook. Since I’ve been indulging over Christmas, I wanted to cook something a bit lighter for our dinner.


The ingredients list is refreshingly simple and thankfully doesn’t have any hard-to-find ingredients if you have a supermarket near to you. Aubergine, chilli, lemon, and a few others. Fresh basil is listed but I’d say if you can’t get some, or it’s out of budget, it’s safe to omit (but delicious included)/

Of course, saying that… it took me two trips to my local Tesco, a Co-Op, another Tesco and a closed M&S Simply Food before I finally found a place stocking aubergines! At least the walk did me good! I think I clocked it at around five miles by the time I got home.


The recipe is for 4 – I halved everything since there was two of us and… spot on really. One aubergine makes enough for about ten No-Meatballs, which goes nicely between two, with a big bowl of spaghetti.

The taste test

I really, really liked the taste of these. The lemon against the hint of garlic and the touch of chilli combines beautifully with the aubergine. I ate my No Meatballs pretty fast after the first bite!

Jack Monroes Not Meatballs Recipe


The recipe states to form the mixture into balls (…obviously, but go with me) before frying, however I found that mine weren’t sticking together enough. I fried them for a few minutes, but when I tried to turn them the balls started to fall apart. I think if I’d chopped by aubergine smaller they would of perhaps held together better?

However if the same happens to you – don’t despair! Take them off the heat and let them cool, whilst preheating the oven to about 200°C (180°C for fan ovens). Once they’re cool enough to handle, transfer the No Meatballs to a lined baking tray (I spritzed mine with oil too), reforming any that have fallen apart. Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

I made a quick recipe video (please forgive the quality, it’s winter and light doesn’t last very long!)

In conclusion

A little tricky to make, but not obscenely so. Once I realised that frying them wouldn’t work, they baked just fine in the oven and required much less looking after.

Would I make them again? I’d make them again in a heartbeat, especially if I just wanted a light and easy Italian-style dinner.
Note: I’m writing this of my own free will. You can get the Veganuary cookbook for free by signing up to the 1 month, free, challenge on their website. Go on, test yourself!

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