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Ricotta Zucchini “Meatballs” Recipe

One Pot Meals

Ricotta Zucchini “Meatballs” – Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Also known as Polpette di zucchine e ricotta …  Allow that to just roll off the tongue, Mario Batali-style… there. doesn’t that sound awesome?! ‘Cause IT IS! 

Happy Monday! It’s a meatless one!! 

Serious question. I’m curious. At what point should a certain person stop posting zucchini recipes? I’m asking for a friend. Her mom’s garden decided to birth all the zucchini in the world and my friend just keeps taking them.

Also, what would happen to one if they ate an entire garden of zucchini? I’m She’s getting real close to that goal, and blames these zucchini meatballs, for the most part.

Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Ohhh whatever! Yes, it’s me. I can’t help myself!! Apple Zucchini Bread, these Zucchini Meatballs, Quinoa Zucchini Fritters!! Everything tastes SO GOOD and I can’t stop!

What’s important is that I am eating so much green! Tonnnnnsssss of green. a bit of cheese, too, but still! We should feel really good about our healthy food choices. 

There’s onions in there, too. And garlic, of course. And herbs, and cheeses, and seasonings. All good things. I absolutely love love love this combination. And I kinda feel like I should eat all 12 the next time that I make ’em. 

Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Here’s what’s up, though. Zucchini contains a whole lot of water, and if you don’t wring out most of the water, the meatballs won’t hold together very well. But if you feel like you didn’t get rid of all the moisture – do your best – just add more panko crumbs until the texture of the “meatballs” feels right.

Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Another point. Coconut Oil OR Vegetable Oil work best. As does a cast iron skillet. You can go against me and use EVOO + an all-clad skillet, but don’t make me say “I told you so.”. 

Nevertheless, these zucchini meatballs are the BEST way to use up all the zucchini that you have on hand. Cross my heart.

Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!

Go get your grater out, put some WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI on the stove and get these done, a.s.a. on the p.

ENJOY!

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4 from 1 vote
Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!
Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" - Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing zucchini meatballs with ricotta and parmesan cheese, topped with a warm and bubbly tomato sauce!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 296.5 kcal
Author: Katerina | Diethood
Ingredients
  • 3 zucchini , grated
  • 1 large yellow onion , grated
  • 3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1/2- cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4- cup freshly grated parmesan , plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • fresh ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil , plus more for garnish
  • coconut oil for frying (you can also use vegetable oil)
  • 2 to 3 cups tomato/pasta sauce
Instructions
  1. Grate the zucchini and onions on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor.
  2. Place in a large bowl and stir in the garlic; mix until everything is well combined.
  3. Transfer zucchini mixture to a large sheet of paper towel or a cheesecloth; wrap up the zucchini mixture and twist tightly into a ball.
  4. Squeeze the ball over the sink or a bowl to catch all the water.
  5. Unravel the cheesecloth and set the zucchini mixture aside.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, panko crumbs, seasoned salt, black pepper, Italian Seasoning, and basil; stir until everything is well combined.
  7. Add zucchini mixture to the ricotta mixture and continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  8. Shape the mixture into 12 golf-ball sized meatballs.
  9. Preheat broiler.
  10. Add an inch of oil to a cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  11. Working in batches, add the "meatballs" to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.
  12. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  13. Once all the meatballs are done, add them back to the skillet and pour tomato sauce over them.
  14. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sauce is warm and bubbly and meatballs are completely cooked through.
  15. Remove from oven and serve over prepared whole wheat pasta.
  16. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and chopped fresh basil.
  17. Serve.
Recipe Notes

*To lower the sodium content, try using part skim ricotta, half the seasoned salt, and use low sodium panko crumbs and no-salt tomato sauce.

WW Smart Points: 13

Nutrition Facts
Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs" Recipe
Amount Per Serving (3 g)
Calories 296.5 Calories from Fat 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17.5g 27%
Saturated Fat 13.2g 66%
Cholesterol 56.3mg 19%
Sodium 1156.2mg 48%
Total Carbohydrates 27.6g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3.2g 13%
Sugars 7.1g
Protein 10.7g 21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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29 Responses
  1. Jilara

    I made these and they were delicious! I used the liquid run off from the zucchini and added it to my tomato sauce and reduced it – it worked great!

  2. Gail

    Just curious if you can make and freeze these?!?! My thought was to go as far as cooking them in the skillet and then letting them cool and packaging them up to go into the freezer in small batches for future use. I have a million zucchini right now but am unsure how previously shredded and frozen zucchini would work with this recipe after it’s been thawed and drained.

    1. Hi Gail! I have never tried freezing the meatballs so I don’t know for sure if it will work, but I do have a couple bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer and intend to use it to make these meatballs again. 🙂

    2. Diane

      Gail I have baked these in the oven and froze them and they have worked out great, family really liked them.
      I also added some red crushed peppers as well, as the family likes things with some kick.

  3. Rae

    Could you please give a measurable amount of grated Zucchini? I am guessing about 3 cups? I have tons (literally) of Pattypan Squash, I am also going to assume I could substitute that for the Zucchini? Thanks.

    1. Hi!! Can’t go wrong with squash around this time of year! 🙂
      I didn’t weigh the zucchini – it was just normal sized 10-ish inch zucchini. But here’s what I found: 1 medium sized zucchini is about 8 inches long, 2 inches in diameter and weighing about 5 ounces. When grated, you end up with about 2/3 cup of zucchini. Does that help at all? I hope! 😀

      1. Eileen

        I too would like more clarification about the amount of zucchini. Are you saying 2/3 cup for the whole recipe? – or 2/3 cup per zucchini, for a total of 3 cups? Most helpful would be the weight of the zucchini, before trimming or grating. My ‘meatballs’ didn’t stick together well at all, though they tasted delicious anyway.

        1. Hi Eileen! Sorry you had issues with them sticking together! It’s the water in the zucchini – I lost all feeling in my arms using all my strength just trying to squeeze out that water! 😀
          But, yes, I’m saying 3 cups grated zucchini.

  4. Bertrice

    Three zucchini? Like the size when you *should* pick them (about eight inches) or the size your neighbor leaves on your front porch in the dead of night (baseball bat size).

  5. Pamela

    I love the recipe (less the fat-free ricotta cheese and it looks sooooo delicious…. but I am concerned about the sodium 1156.2 level…UGH!

    1. Hi Pamela!! I agree about the sodium :/ … you can try to skip the seasoned salt or reduce it by half and also use low sodium panko crumbs. You might be able to find low sodium tomato sauce, too.

      P.S. I updated the recipe card with all the alternatives. 🙂 Thank you, Pamela!

  6. Melinda Gladstone

    The Zucchini meatballs sound great UNTIL I read fat-free Ricotta!! Good Lord….PLEASE be a label reader. The FF products are filled with chemicals and fillers NO ONE should put in their body!

    MSN RN CNS

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Katerina

I'm a cookie-maker, baker-faker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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