Spiralized Zucchini Ricotta “Meatballs” are so tasty, you’ll never miss the meat!
My new favorite meatballs don’t have any meat in them at all! Recently I’ve been experimenting with my new food spiralizer and came up with these Spiralized Zucchini Ricotta “Meatballs”.
They remind me of my mom’s famous meatless meatballs. Soft, moist and cheesy, just like my family likes them. Growing up, we would eat my mother’s meatballs straight out of the pan (back in the day when mom fried her meatballs), right before she simmered them in tomato sauce.
This is what inspired me to create these meatballs which would be great served as an appetizer at your next gathering. Alternately, you can simmer them in tomato sauce for about 10 minutes before serving them with your favorite pasta. This delicious alternative to your traditional meatballs will be loved by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!
How to prepare Spiralized Zucchini Ricotta “Meatballs”
Did I mention how easy these are to prepare? Begin by spiralizing your zucchini. In order to make the zucchini strands easier to handle, I cut them at 3-4 inch intervals.
Sauté your spiralized zucchini in a bit of olive oil, until soft. Do not brown the zucchini.
Once you’ve sautéed your zucchini, simply add the remaining ingredients, shape into meatballs and bake! You can easily prepare them ahead of time and reheat in the oven before serving.
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe at home by tagging me with #mangiabedda or @mangiabedda on Instagram and Facebook! Buon appetito!
Spiralized Zucchini Ricotta “Meatballs”
- 1 lb zucchini about 2 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups day old bread crusts removed and torn into small pieces
- ½ cup ricotta
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 small clove of garlic finely minced
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ¼ cup dried bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil, for greasing parchment paper
Basic tomato sauce (optional)
- ¼ cup onion finely diced
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to tasate
- Wash zucchini and trim off both ends. Using a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini, cutting the strands at 3 or 4 inch intervals otherwise the strands will be too long to shape the meatballs.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat and sweat the zucchini for about 4 minutes, stirring often until most of the water has evaporated.
- Do not brown the zucchini. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and let sit until the zucchini is cool enough to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients (breadcrumbs through black pepper). Add the zucchini and stir until all ingredients are well combined. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 golf ball sized meatballs. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs half way, until they are browned.
For tomato sauce (optional)
Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the tomato purée and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve alongside basic tomato sauce, if serving as an appetizer, or simmer in tomato sauce (double basic tomato sauce recipe) for 10 minutes if serving with pasta.
The mixture will be very soft, this is normal.
If you wish, you may dredge the completed meatballs in a small bowl with breadcrumbs before baking. This will give them a crisper exterior.