Vietnamese Noodle Bowls with Ginger-Lime Meatballs

Hearty lentil meatballs seasoned with ginger and lime pair nicely with mai fun noodles, which are angel-hair thin and made with hearty brown rice. The baked meatballs get a spicy kick from bright red Fresno chiles (which you can omit if you’re sensitive to heat) and are enhanced with an extra squeeze of lime juice right before serving. A crunchy bed of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots add a cooling component to the dish while fresh cilantro and scallions tie together all the Vietnamese-inspired flavors for a filling and fragrant meal. Leftover meatballs are delicious in lettuce wraps, in a plant-based bahn mi sandwich, or dipped in a Cilantro-Cashew Dressing.

For more vegan meatball recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Shelli McConnell,


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 8-oz. package fresh cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • 1 medium fresh Fresno chile, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 8 oz. dry mai fun brown rice noodles (rice vermicelli)
  • ⅓ cup brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 cups shredded romaine and spinach
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • Lime wedges


  • In a large saucepan combine lentils and broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add mushrooms, onion, ginger, and garlic. Cover and cook 20 minutes more or until lentils are tender. Uncover and cook until any remaining liquid has evaporated. Stir in flour, flaxseed meal, tamari, and 1 teaspoon of the Fresno chile. Cook, uncovered, over low 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pan is very dry, stirring occasionally and watching carefully so lentils do not scorch.
  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. When cool enough to handle, shape lentil mixture into 20 balls (2 tablespoons each); place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. In a small bowl whisk together rice vinegar, maple syrup, and lime juice. Stir in remaining Fresno chile.
  • Arrange meatballs and noodles in bowls with romaine and spinach, carrots, cilantro, and scallions. Drizzle with vinegar mixture. Serve with lime wedges and, if desired, additional sliced Fresno chile.

Comments (2)

(5 from 1 vote)

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Barbara Heymann

4 cups total of lettuce and spinach or 4 cups each? Thanks

Courtney Davison

Hi, Barbara, Please use four cups total, not of each. Thank you! Courtney, editor with Forks Over Knives

About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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