Spinach Ricotta Meatballs (Vegetarian)
These simple vegetarian “meatballs” are very affordable. Just a few simple, low-cost ingredients make a large batch enough to feed a family.
Meatballs – whether they contain meat or not – are ideal for weeknight meals because they come together quickly and easily.
These vegetarian meatballs are flavorful and unique and give off the vibe of being much more difficult and time consuming to make than they are. (You know, if you’re trying to impress.)
The flavors of lasagna are present: Tomato, garlic, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce.
Getting The Spinach Dry Enough
The most important step in this recipe is getting the spinach dry enough. Here’s how to do it:
- Thaw spinach completely (at room temperature or in the microwave)
- Using your hands, squeeze out as much of the water as possible
- You can also place thawed spinach in a colander and press out as much of the water as possible
At this point, the spinach should be nearly dry.
If the spinach is still too moist, you may need to add a bit more panko breadcrumbs (or almond flour, for gluten-free diets) before forming into balls.
Keeping It Low Cost
This seems-fancier-than-it-is meal comes together with these low-cost ingredients:
- Frozen spinach
- Ricotta cheese (A 15-ounce container costs about $4.00)
- Parmesan cheese (buy a large container and store extra in the freezer)
- Panko breadcrumbs (or almond flour for gluten-free diets)
- Pasta sauce (buy a jar of ready-made sauce or make it homemade)
- Onion, garlic, and spices
More favorite meatball recipes:
- Swedish Meatballs
- Paleo Confetti Chicken Meatballs
- My Norwegian Grandmother’s Meatball Recipe
- Chicken Banh Mi Meatballs
- 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed VERY dry
- 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded (plus more for topping)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (or 1/2 cup almond flour)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped very finely
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 25-ounce jar tomato pasta sauce
- Start out by squeezing as much water out of the thawed spinach as possible. The spinach should be nearly dry before you add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix all ingredients except the tomato sauce in a large mixing bowl. The mixture should be dry enough to shape into individual balls - about the size of a golf ball. If the mixture is too wet, you can add additional breadcrumbs (or almond meal for gluten-free diets).
- Pour pasta sauce in a parchment-lined cake pan or baking dish. Add meatballs. Top with additional Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in a 375F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until meatballs are hot and cooked through.