Whisk together the 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water to make a flax "egg." Set aside and let thicken for 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil (you can put parchment paper on top of the baking sheet before spraying with cooking oil if you want).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant cubes and ¼ cup of water. Let the eggplant cook down for 10 to 12 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the cooked eggplant to a mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash it into a paste. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or blender to do this step. Let the eggplant cool for a few minutes before completing the next step. Prep the ground oats and other ingredients while it cools.
Add the thickened flax "egg," ground oats, Italian seasoning (see notes for a sub if you don't have Italian seasoning), salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic to the bowl. Mix well.
Use your hands to form the mixture into 12 balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet in an evenly spaced, single layer. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
A few minutes before the eggplant meatballs are finished baking, prepare your pasta of choice according to package instructions. Pour a jar of tomato sauce in a large skillet or saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat. When the meatballs are finished, place them in the skillet and let them simmer in the tomato sauce for a few minutes.
Serve the meatballs and tomato sauce over your pasta of choice or veggie noodles (try zucchini or kohlrabi noodles!). You can also stuff them into hoagie rolls to make "meatball" subs. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs if desired and parmesan cheese (if you do not need it to be vegan). Enjoy!
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