Spaghetti and meatballs definitely ranks as one of my all-time favorite comfort dishes. There’s something so satisfying about slurping up a tomato sauce-drenched noodle followed by a bite of a hearty meatball. Since I love making comfort foods healthier, I wanted to tackle this Italian classic by adding some extra nutrition to meatballs. Inspired by Gina’s skinny Italian spinach meatballs on Skinny Taste, I came up with a recipe for a leaner, healthier accompaniment to your next bowl of pasta (or spaghetti squash!). You can make these spinach meatballs in a large batch and stick them in the freezer for a ready-to-cook dinner. I used 90% lean ground beef, but ground chicken or turkey would also work well.
Ingredients (24 meatballs)
- 1 lb. lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
- Olive oil
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
Place ground meat in a large bowl and break up with a fork or spoon. Set aside.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Remove from heat.
Add spinach, onion, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, herbs, cheese, salt and pepper to the meat and mix until well combined.
Roll mixture into ping pong ball-sized meatballs and set on a plate or tray.
Heat more olive oil (about 1 tbsp.) in a large nonstick skillet and add meatballs in a single layer (you may need to cook in batches). Cook over medium-low heat, turning frequently to brown all sides, until centers are cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
Remove skillet from heat and place meatballs on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve with your favorite sauce.