Full of amazing flavor and texture, my brand new gluten free Cajun eggplant meatballs are sooo worth planning a special trip to the market, y'all. Seasoned eggplant cooks down with the brown Cajun trinity, garlic and broth until melt-in-your-mouth tender. Then, it all gets a quick mashing before a quick toss with lightly beaten eggs and bread crumbs. Then, finally formed into 'meatballs' that take just 20 minutes to bake before being served with spicy, over-the-top creamy south Louisiana-style remoulade sauce. Yep and yay...
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Our Late Backyard Growing Season Inspired Me to Create This Brand New Cajun Eggplant Recipe
We (I mean Mark) got a really late start on backyard gardening this year, y'all. We just had a lot going on earlier in 2019. So, instead of missing the growing season altogether, Mark decided to go ahead and plant a few things.
I was honestly surprised when he told me that he planted eggplant. He used to not like the southern staple veggie. But, a few months ago I made fried eggplant and then Creole eggplant Parmesan. And, the short version of it is that he is now a dedicated eggplant fan!! So yay!!! 🙂
Meanwhile in Mark's garden, this beauty below finally grew to adulthood and was ripe for the picking. I wanted to mark the occasion by developing a brand new recipe that celebrated south Louisiana. So, after much thought and consideration, I came up with these gluten free Cajun eggplant meatballs.
Meatballs are always, always my jam. I had a feeling that the flavor of the eggplant meatballs would be perfect with remoulade sauce. So, I took the chance. And I couldn't be any more happy with the results, y'all!
Turns out, eggplant meatballs and remoulade sauce are indeed the perfect match. And while there's some work to be done with this recipe, the yum-delicious taste and texture is worth every second of preparation!!!
Just as perfect as an appetizer as it is for a side, or even a main dish, this is one recipe that's going on our permanent must-have menu list throughout the year....
Ok, So Here's How to Make Gluten Free Cajun Eggplant Meatballs with Remoulade Sauce
Start the gluten free Cajun eggplant meatballs with remoulade sauce by making the sauce. Set the sauce aside in the refrigerator. Then, slice and chop the eggplant. Coat liberally with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, then set aside:
Now, get the trinity going in a cast iron skillet. When browned, add garlic, and cook for about 1 more minute, or until fragrant:
Stir the raw eggplant into the skillet:
And cook down until the eggplant is super soft:
Remove from heat. Then, use a potato masher to mash the eggplant down along with the veggies:
Pour the mixture into a bowl. Add hot sauce, bread crumbs and two lightly beaten eggs:
Stir to combine. Then, form into small balls and arrange over a roasting pan. (I used a tablespoon scoop twice to form the balls, which yielded 21 balls for me.)
Finally, bake for 20 minutes, or until the balls brown slightly and are cooked all the way through.
And that's it y'all!! I'll be the first to admit the appearance of these gluten free Cajun eggplant balls really do not do the taste justice upon first sight. But, y'all, once you take that first bite, these meatballs are going to transform into the most beautiful 'belle of the food balls' you've ever seen!!! I promise!! Yep!!
Boasting an incredible texture and taste that you'll probably never, ever forget, this nouvelle Cajun recipe is one you'll be proud to serve to guests at any event. The flavor dimension from the browned veggies and eggplant is quite sophisticated, if I do say so myself.
And the remoulade sauce hits the flavor-popping experience right out of the park.
It's a win-win recipe that you may have to double for company, because you just might eat want to eat several (if not all) of the first batch yourself!
Share these gluten free Cajun eggplant meatballs with those whose personalities are just as soft and warm as they are hot and spicy. And see y'all on the yum side...
Gluten Free Cajun Eggplant Meatballs with Remoulade Sauce
For the Cajun Remoulade Sauce
- 1 batch remoulade sauce
For the Gluten Free Cajun Eggplant Meatballs
- 1 1 ½ pound eggplant
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons oil or butter
- ½ cup gluten free chicken broth
- 2 cups gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 to 2 teaspoons gluten free hot sauce
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon dried paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- Prepare the remoulade sauce. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
- Slice the eggplant, then chop into 1-inch cubes. Season liberally with the SP&C. Set aside.
- Pour the onion, bell pepper, celery and butter or oil into the skillet.
- Cover and cook until the veggies are browned, stirring often.
- Add the minced garlic. Cook for one additional minute.
- Stir the eggplant cubes and the GF chicken broth into the mixture until well-combined.
- Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soft, stirring often.
- Remove skillet from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Use a potato masher to mash the mixture down together.
- Pour into a large bowl, let cool slightly.
- Add the hot sauce, parsley, onion powder, paprika and bread crumbs to the mixture.
- Form into small balls, using a tablespoon scoop to make 2-tablespoon balls. (I got 21 balls with this method.)
- Bake on the top of a well-greased roasting sheet for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Serve with remoulade sauce.