Zucchini Meatballs – baked meatballs with lots of hidden veggies in tomato sauce; your picky eaters will love this healthy meal!
My readers reacted to my Zucchini Meatloaf post so well that it became my top recipe. That is the reason why I’m sharing with you another similar recipe I make often: Zucchini Meatballs.
Here, too, addition of zucchinis makes meatballs lighter, softer and add nutritive value to the dish. Also, meatballs are baked instead of fried, which cuts back the fat some more. If one uses lean kind of meat (lean beef, turkey, chicken), this can actually be a healthy meal.
Additional vegetables, like onion and carrot, are pureed together with tomato sauce so that veggies are hidden from your picky eaters, but add more flavor and nutrients.
Zucchini Meatballs can be served with mashed potatoes, rice or with kids’ favorite spaghetti or other type of pasta.
This is best of both worlds: healthy meal which your children will love!
See how to make Zucchini Meatballs video recipe:
- 1 cup zucchini, finely grated
- 1 lb lean ground beef (or other kind of meat)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, plain
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup onion, finely grated
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
- 3 cups tomato puree
- 1/2 cup water (or more)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- optional ingredients: 1 Tbsp red wine, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (chili) flakes
MEATBALLS: Put grated zucchini, ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion and garlic into a large bowl. Season with paprika, oregano, salt and black pepper. Mix well until combined.
Divide into 24 walnut-size meatballs. Place them on baking pan lined with aluminum foil or baking paper. Bake for about 20 minutes in 400 F (200 C) oven, or until meatballs are cooked through.
SAUCE: While meatballs are baking, saute onion in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. You can blend or puree the sauce to make it extra smooth.
Add meatballs to the sauce, cook for about 1 minute and serve over spaghetti, other type of pasta, mashed potato or rice.