Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs

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These amazing Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs made with ground beef plus I snuck some spinach in the mix, but I promise even the pickiest of eaters will love them!

These amazing Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs would make my husband's Italian family proud! I snuck some spinach in the meatball mix, but I promise even the pickiest of eaters will love them!
Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs

I wanted to lighten up my favorite Italian beef meatballs, and so these Beef and Spinach Meatballs were born. Adding spinach to meatballs adds volume and fiber so that you can eat the same number of meatballs with fewer calories. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak veggies into your picky kid’s meal. I also use 93% lean ground beef to help cut fat. You can see more ground beef recipes here.

Beef meatballs with spinach.

My family thinks these are the ultimate meatballs. They don’t mind the spinach at all. I’ve tried them with turkey as well, but for this recipe, I prefer them with ground beef. If you’d rather a turkey meatball, try my Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs. My eggplant meatballs or zucchini meatballs are great vegetarian options.

This recipe made 30 small meatballs, but only 25 made it into the sauce (my husband and I kept eating them!). They are moist and flavorful with or without the sauce. The bread soaked in milk or water keeps these moist. It is also important not to overmix the meat mixture. Over mixing results in less tender meatballs.

How To Cook Beef and Spinach Meatballs

First, you start by wetting the bread with water or milk and mashing it up. This wet bread mixture will help bind the meatballs while making the meatballs tender. Then, mix all the other ingredients together. It’s best to use your hands, but you can also use a spoon if you prefer. Just make sure not to over-mix them or they will be tough.

The next step is to roll out about 30 meatballs and brown them in a little oil on the stove. You can also bake them, but for this recipe I was trying to get as close to traditional as possible. Once they’re done, set them on paper towels to remove any excess oil.

For the sauce, cook the smashed garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Then add the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients, cover, and cook on low heat. Once your meatballs are ready, add them to the sauce and simmer for 1about 15 minutes.

How To Freeze Meatballs for Meal Prep

Meatballs are great for make-ahead meals, brown the meatballs, let them cool completely, and then transfer to gallon freezer bags. Take all the air out of the bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat the meatballs, make the sauce and add the meatballs frozen. Cook until heated through.

If you cook the meatballs in the sauce and want to freeze your leftovers, let the meatballs and sauce cool and then transfer to freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.

How To Serve Meatballs

For a traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner, serve these over your favorite pasta (whole wheat if you’re on the purple plan) or try them over zucchini noodles or  butternut squash noodles  for a healthier twist. Serve the leftovers for lunch on crusty whole wheat Italian bread for a meatball hero.

To make the meatballs gluten-free, swap the whole wheat bread for gluten-free bread and serve over gluten-free pasta or zucchini or butternut squash noodles.

How to make beef and spinach meatballs.How to make beef and spinach meatballs.Marinara sauce in a pot.These amazing Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs would make my husband's Italian family proud! I snuck some spinach in the meatball mix, but I promise even the pickiest of eaters will love them!These amazing Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs would make my husband's Italian family proud! I snuck some spinach in the meatball mix, but I promise even the pickiest of eaters will love them!

More Italian Recipes You Will Love

These amazing Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs would make my husband's Italian family proud! I snuck some spinach in the meatball mix, but I promise even the pickiest of eaters will love them!
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4.69 from 32 votes
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Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs

259 Cals 20.5 Protein 15 Carbs 10.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
These amazing Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs would make my husband's Italian family proud! I snuck some spinach in the meatball mix, but I promise even the pickiest of eaters will love them!


  • 2 slices whole wheat light bread, (or gluten-free bread)
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of all liquid
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, or your favorite Parmesan Cheese
  • salt and pepper

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves smashed garlic
  • 28 oz can Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes, my favorite
  • 1/2 onion, don't chop
  • salt and pepper


  • Wet bread with just enough water (or milk) to wet and then mash up with your hands.
  • Add to large bowl and combine with chopped beef, chopped spinach, egg, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well until thoroughly combined.
  • Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, measure meat and then divide in two so that each meatball is 1/8th of a cup. Roll into little meatballs.
  • Make the sauceL In a large pot, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat on medium heat.
  • When hot add smashed garlic.
  • When garlic is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes add the tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper and cover, reduce heat to low.
  • Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil on low heat.
  • When oil is hot add as many meatballs that will fit, cook on low, turning often so that all side get browned. Cook until the centers are cooked through.
  • When finished, place on a dish lined with paper towels to blot any excess oil. Drop meatballs into sauce and continue cooking the remaining meatballs, repeating the process. When all meatballs are in the sauce, simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Discard onion and serve.



Serving: 5meatballs w/ 4.5 oz sauce, Calories: 259kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 20.5g, Fat: 10.5g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 512.5mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5.5g
WW Points Plus: 6
Keywords: Beef Meatballs, Freezer Meals, Italian Meatballs, Kid Friendly, meatballs, Spinach Meatballs

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  1. The meatballs were excellent! Very easy to make. I had my own sauce already made previously and served with angel hair pasta and a small Caesar salad.

  2. I made these for meatball subs and OMG they are amazing. I wasn’t sure at all about the spinach but it’s perfect, and I don’t know how anyone’s meatballs would turn out dry if you followed the recipe correctly. Mine were perfect and didn’t fall apart in the pan (mostly) which is always a win for me!

  3. I’m sorry, but I don’t know how this recipe has such a high review. Maybe I messed up, but I followed the recipe exactly. It’s been over an hour and I STILL don’t have dinner on the table. I don’t know how these meatballs would ever cook on low in the prep time listed. I used the exact ingredients listed and only ended up with 20 meatballs (using the 1/4 measure and splitting in two as the recipe suggests). I’m glad because all my meatballs fit in the pan at once. This would have taken even longer if I had to do them in batches! Not here to hate on Skinnytaste – usually LOVE the recipes. This one is just not worth the effort in my opinion.

  4. All I made were the meatballs from this recipe.  I’ve never made meatballs before so thought I’d try.  They did not deliver for my family.  They were very dry.  I went by the recipe (omitting spinach), cooked them in a skillet turning them constantly and I think because they took so long to cook on low they simply dried out?  Not sure but that would be my guess.  Any thoughts on that?   So I couldn’t say whether the flavor was good or not.  Also mine did not stay as balls in the skillet, either.  They turned into squares.   Maybe I will try them next time by baking in the oven.  

    • I think the spinach moistens them. Try it with the spinach next time. I thought they rivaled my best regular meatball recipe.

  5. I am Italian and fussy about the meatballs I make. No restaurant ever compares to the ones my family or I make at home.  This recipe really surprised me. The spinach doesn’t add a lot of flavor, but they are as good as the meatballs I make. I made them exactly as written, which I always do and they were light, tender. Really delicious!  The spinach is a great addition and makes them healthier to eat!

  6. Can you post nutrition facts for just the meatballs?

  7. Could you just make it as a meatloaf?

  8. These are wonderful.  I will make them again for sure.

  9. My daughter has a dairy allergy. Do you think we’d really miss the cheese if I omit it?

  10. Everybody should make these! They are delicious.  I’ve made with turkey and beef.  Both options were tasty.  Thanks Gina!

  11. Can I use fresh spinach?

  12. Can you omit the egg or is there a substitute? Thanks!

  13. Delicious recipe. I made some adjustments to the recipe according to the ingredients I had on hand. I used mild Italian chicken sausage( 1 lb, removed from casing), fresh spinach(chopped and wilted, drained) and 1 tsp of dried parsley. After mixing I used a mini muffin scoop to make 29 meatballs. Placed on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and baked them at 350 for 30 min. I used Rao’s marinara sauce. I put about 1/2 the jar in a skillet, warmed the sauce and put 1/2 of the meatballs in the sauce. I froze the rest of meatballs. I served it over tagliatelle pasta. My husband and daughter loved it. 

    I used bison meat.
    I fried mine.
    My husband does not eat spinach. I put three on his plate and he was eating them like crazy.
    I will make these again and SHARE this with my family and friends.
    I only had 17 by the end.
    Four didn’t make it in the sauce.

    My husband does not eat spinach. I put three on his plate and he was eating them like crazy.
    I will make these again and SHARE this with my family and friends.
    I followed the recipe I only had 17 by the end.
    Four didn’t make it in the sauce.

  16. I made this with a few changes. I made them into mini meatloaf servings (sliced some acorn squash on the bottom of each loaf and pressed the meat around it., added some freshly ground beef heart. (2 oz). I used 5 garlic cloves in total and ground it with fresh spinach, freshly ground quinoa instead of bread because that’s what I had on hand, added ground marjoram, no parsley but used freeze dried basil, 4 ozs of diced tomatoes and a half cut pureed tomatoes.
    I let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to marinate and to allow the quinoa to absorb any excess water.

    Meatballs take so much time and mini meat loaves are simpler. I was able to mix everything in one bowl.

    I will make this again.

  17. Love a good homemade meatball – but these didn’t quite deliver for us. If we go through the work, will probably use a non-skinny recipe and throw w a side of spinach instead. 

  18. I just made these for dinner and they are literally the best meatballs I have ever had. My toddler gobbled them up too! I baked them on a wire rack and a sheet pan at 400 for 20 mins and they came out perfect!

  19. Hi, My meatballs tasted good, but they fell apart during the didn’t look good & were not  round..very disappointed. I did not sub anything.. I love adding veggies, any tips for a rounder firmer meatball?

  20. This was so delicious. Although, I had to turn up the heat for the meatballs so they could brown. Otherwise, they just wanted to crumble.

  21. Yum!! Simple ingredients with plenty of flavor. The addition of the bread was interesting too. I used Dave’s Killer good seed bread. For a beef meatball these are light and tender. And it’s kid friendly! I didn’t think a starch was necessary so I actually paired with the irresistible vegetable medley from the Skinnytaste light on calories / big on flavor cookbook. 

  22. I’m not a spaghetti and meatball fan, but decided to make this for my kiddos. Holy moly was it delicious. I didn’t alter it in anyway. It tasted better than any meatball dish I’ve had in restaurants and my picky eaters (who are becoming less picky because of your meals) gobbled it down. 

  23. I was disappointed in this recipe.  Seemed kind of bland and a lot of spinach!  I’m hoping it tastes better the next day.   And just a side note, I find it very irritating when people leave a “review “ that is really another recipe!   I normally like all of Gina’s recipes.  This one didn’t work for me.  If it matters I baked the meatballs. 

  24. These came out delicious! Very easy to make as well! Thanks for a great recipe. 

  25. I made the meatballs with gluten free bread, baking them instead of frying them. and made the sauce exactly like your recipe except for adding basil and oregano. We are them with gf Skinner spaghetti noodles. This was the first time since being diagnosed with Celiac that I’ve eaten  meatballs, and they were PHENOMENAL. The sauce was amazing too. So delicious, thank you for this recipe!

  26. These were fantastic. I doubled the recipe so to save time browned  them in the oven at 400 degrees on a cookie sheet. The simple sauce is really yummy with the meatballs finished in the sauce. Served over spaghetti squash with a small amount of mozzarella, we didn’t miss the pasta. Thank you for another winner, Gina.  

  27. Made these last night. Two out of 3 picky kids in my house loved them! Hubs and I had over butternut squash noodles. These have so much flavor. Definitely going into the dinner rotation at our house!

  28. I have a kiddo with an egg sensitivity. Has anyone every tried this with a flax egg? Any other recommendations? Thanks!

  29. I made this yesterday.  Our beef from the processor came in 1.5# tubes, so that is what I used.  All the other meatball ingredients stayed the same.  I used my handy scoop that is about 2 tbsp in size. 
    Used my slow cooker as I was working and didn’t have time to make after work. 
    I have the Cuisinart  3 in 1 multi-cooker – browned the meatballs in the slow cooker, added the garlic and onion and then 2 cans of tomatoes. 
    Cooked on low for 5 hours (I did add a tbsp of Penzey’s  Tuscan Sunset seasoning.). 
    My family gobbled this up.  Served with spaghetti squash for me and bucatini pasta for everyone else.  The meatballs were so light, not dense.  Everyone loved it!  Great recipe! 
    And was so quick to prepare for the slow cooker!  Definitely making again!

  30. Hi Gina. I’ve followed you for awhile. I’ve experienced some hits and a few misses but most important is the inspiration you provide to get out of a rut! Best example your Italian meatballs. Amazing and have never been inspired by meatballs, boring no more! Thanks.

  31. These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them soon!


  32. I’d prefer to bake the meatballs as I see has been done by another successfully.  Gina, at what temperature and for how long would you recommend?  Thanks!

  33. I’ve been making my meatballs like this with turkey for years! I throw them in the pot with my regular ones and and there’s never a complaint!

  34. Do you think I could cook the meatballs in the air fryer instead of frying in oil?

  35. Gina how do we get the updated points for the cookbooks?

  36. This was such a good recipe! I read a lot of comments saying there was too much spinach, so I used a pound and a half of beef instead of a pound. I also only used 1 piece of bread, but that was more because I forgot to buy more bread at the store, whoops. It still came out to 30 meatballs total, and they cooked really quickly, like 10-15 minutes for each pan of 15. They have the perfect amount of spinach flavor without overpowering the meat, and the parmesan cheese didn’t melt all over the pan like I was afraid it would lol. 10/10, will make again!

  37. My mix was really runny, I used fresh spinach – wilted and squeezed of moisture, maybe I didn’t remove it all?
    Turned it into a meatloaf, 400°f about 45min. Turned out great.

  38. What would you suggest as an amount for fresh chopped spinach! I don’t have frozen?

  39. Can you use fresh spinach somehow? Maybe saute lightly first?

  40. Gina, can you substitute bread crumbs for the bread and if so how much bread crumbs should be used?  Thanks in advance! 

  41. How many calories in the meatballs if I change the ground beef to chicken?

  42. Can I make these in the crockpot? if so, would I follow the directions for the slow cooker meatballs or the Italian skinny meatballs?

  43. Best meatballs recipe I have ever made!!! Thank you!

  44. I cannot make a meatball to save my life. I could not get them to stay together 🙁

  45. Made this tonight for dinner. LOVED IT. I did make a few changes: baked the meatballs instead of frying them (saved some oil points and didn't have to fuss over them). I used a low fat parm topping. I also added about a tablespoon of red pepper flakes to the sauce – we like a little zip to our sauces. Would definitely make again and would consider using half turkey half ground beef.
    Gina: You are a WINNER!!!! Thanks.

    • I am sure half turkey would be great!

    • When I make meatballs, I put in a TON of veg matter. Onions and garlic for flavor, then finely chopped “what have you”… Carrots, parsnips, celery, cilantro, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, etc… Sauté veggies together and let cool then add to the meat (I use 1 lb of 97% ground turkey, 1 lb of 96% ground beef, and 1 lb of regular ground pork or Italian sausage since it is hard to get lean ground pork) (in the end this comes out to about 90% lean).
      Add some brown rice, thin sliced fresh baby spinach, a couple of eggs, parmesan…
      Then bake them… Usually light and fluffy, meaty, and flavorful
      Oh, this is a batch meal, so you are going to want to freeze some of these, but they are easy to pop out and throw in the microwave…

  46. made these tonight for supper…really great!! served with butternut and potato mash. your recipes being made all the Way here in south Africa;)

    I see somebody asked but I don't see a reply…how many points for just the meatballs
    I have leftover meatballs but no sauce so want to plan for lunch tomorrow.

  47. I made these last night! My husband couldn't stop eating them!! They are great!

  48. These were delicious…I used ground turkey. *Also good without the parmesan cheese (dairy allergy). The sauce was yummy…I added extra garlic and served with spaghetti squash. Could hardly believe that my 9 & 11 yr old girls kept asking for more of the turkey meatballs.

  49. I made these about 6 months ago and we all loved them. Last night I had to use frozen turkey meatballs and my 8 year old asked me to please make my own again! Good thing I had this recipe bookmarked! THANKS!

  50. These were amazing, LOVE them – I added a little extra garlic to the sauce because we love garlic in my house – but wow, my husband ate these right up!

  51. Delicious!
    My only issue was that some of the meatballs fell apart – i used ground veal…maybe that was the issue? Can't wait for my husband to taste…

  52. Made these for my young boys and husband but added one zucchini and two carrots (mixed in cuisinart before adding to meat mixture) which in turn made me have to add an egg and more bread/grated cheese. They were definitely the best meatballs I have ever made! My husband even agreed and he is the pickiest one! Highly recommend!

  53. What do you substitute for bread for a gluten free version? I know there are probably a few choices but I am curious what your favorite would be? Thanks!

  54. Gina,I just made this and I cannot describe how amazing the meatballs are! The smell alone was sooo amazing that while cooking I felt like calling everyone I know and tell them about it!! What would I do without you? Thank you soooooo much!! 😀

  55. Just made these for the second time and this time I used oats instead of bread and dried Italian seasoning instead of parlsey due to what I had on hand and I really liked the oats (I used about 1/4 of a cup)

  56. Gin,
    I made these last night and OMG they are soo good. My son loved them and he did not even know they had spinach. He is a picky eater. I told him they were spices. lol My boyfriend even said wow babe they are almost better then my mothers.

  57. My house smells so good right now…can't wait to eat these! Made a single batch to make sure everyone would like them, but I'm definitely making a double batch next time. Yum! Thanks for all these great recipes!

  58. We are so enjoying them. We loved them with and without the sauce. I am marinating the five spice chicken for tomorrow night . I will let you know how I make out with that .

  59. Making this recipe tonight. Looks amazing.

  60. I made these and they turned out amazing. So yummy. Thank you for the recipe because I am not a great cook yet these turned out as good as a meal from a restaurant. I made them with pasta, but to be honest I could go without the pasta They are yummy just with the meatballs and sauce. I had the leftovers for lunch. I even showed my colleague and she made them this weekend! Thanks again. I now use your site as a go-to site for cooking ideas. Next up is the mozzarella sticks and the lavash pizza!

  61. Wow! I made these last night and am actually looking forward to eating the left-overs for the rest of the week! Soooo good! Mine were a little greener looking than your picture, but I could hardly taste the spinach (thank goodness). This recipe was the first one I tried from your blog but I've printed out a few more and I can't wait to try them! Thanks for making healthy taste good!

  62. omg SO good! Made these with ground turkey and baked for 15 minutes @ 400 before plopping them in the sauce…if it weren't for my 2 year old, I think the only thing that could make these better is a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Thanks again for another winner!

  63. all i gotta say is WOW WOW WOW!!!! these are seriously thee best meatballs i EVER HAD!!! i could never go back to my old way of making spaghetti!!!! I'm in love with these. they were even better the next day for lunch!!! pure heaven if you ask me!!!

  64. I made the skinny meatballs and added them to your Spinach Stracciatella Soup with Orzo. It was great!!

  65. Thanks for sharing this! I got lazy and somehow didn't have a few of the ingredients. I ended up making a meatloaf version of this 🙂

  66. I made these last week for my family of picky eaters & they loved them! They said the meatballs were the moistest I ever made them & delicious! I found this recipe very easy to follow & make but I did have to add some breadcrumb to roll the meatballs. Delicious! Sasha, NY

  67. Made these and they were great! I usually hate spinach.

  68. I make these, but also use a rind grater to grate carrots into the mix.

  69. I made these last night, omitting the spinach because I didn't have any, and WOW they were amazing! So juicy, meatball subs hit the spot for my husband and in-laws! Next time I'll try to bake them.

  70. Making these in the crockpot tonight and can hardly wait! (Ok, actually I couldn't, and I cooked one through to try it….YUMMM). I make my own sauce and freeze it, so I put that in the slow cooker and I just barely browned the outside of the meatballs so they would stay together before they went into the crockpot. I am soooooo excited for dinner tonight!

  71. I heard nutritional yeast is a great replacement for Parmesan cheese.

  72. Gina – do you have any suggestions for making this recipe dairy-free? What could I use instead of the cheese? Thanks!

  73. my first recipe that I have made from your website & I loved them, they were so delicious.

  74. Made these for dinner last night and my 16 month old loved them. Can't wait to have leftovers for lunch today!

    I did have to add an extra egg because they were falling apart in the pan. I might try baking them next time.

  75. Lovely! I doubled the recipe and used a pound of beef and a pound of chicken italian sausage. For our taste, I would decrease the amt of spinach next time… I ended up with a pretty strong spinach taste which surprised me. (Used Trader Joes frozen spinach, drained and squeezed well.) Nice texture, easy prep, and we really loved the sauce. (I had roasted tomato sauce and it tasted yummy). Thanks for all your great recipes, they make dieting so much more hopeful! 🙂 Nicole

  76. Ok, thanks!

  77. This is for the meatballs and sauce only.

  78. dose this count the pasta noodles? Just wandering cause I use Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Spaghetti and already figured out how much calories we usually eat for dinner as far as the pasta portion but I don't want to mess up my numbers on the meatballs…

  79. I would reduce the amount of spinach, a little too much for me and my husband.

  80. Made these tonight and they were a-ma-zing!! I especially loved the tomato sauce…Soooo easy but so delicious. I could really taste the smashed garlic. Yum! Thanks for being you, Gina! lol

  81. This would absolutely work, cook them on low heat, 6 hours is more than enough!

  82. Hi Gina, have you ever tried making these in a crockpot?

    I have 4 or 5 @ 1 cup individual servings of your filetto di pomodoro in my freezer, I'm toying with the idea of thawing them a bit, putting the meatballs in a crockpot with just the thawed sauce and cooking on low (will probably check it after 6 hours).

    It's SO oppressively hot in Chicago, I can't bear the thought of turning on the oven to bake these and prefer not to use oil to cook them.

    Part of me is worried I'll end up with a messy bolognese. Does it sound like I might ruin these? Let me know if you have alternative method for crockpot.

  83. mashed potatoes and meatballs, now that's different!!

    I love that your picky kids enjoyed them!!

  84. I made these tonight for dinner but used our regular sauce. My two young children are in a picky phase and won't eat anything. They BOTH practically licked their plates! Thank you for such a great recipe!! Our family of four ate half- I will be freezing the rest for another night!

  85. These were so good! I used my own sauce and mashed potatoes because that's what my family likes. The taste was great and I liked that fact that it has extra veggies in it.

  86. Have you tried forming it into a loaf? It could be good but I have not tried.

  87. Any chance you can alter this recipe to make a meatloaf? I am not a fan of turkey and these are delish!

  88. Oh wow, these look amazing! I'm normally not much of a meatball person because I want more too it than just a lump of meat (unlike my carnivore husband who would eat steak all day if he could, haha) so this recipe looks perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  89. I used ground turkey and baked it instead. Mmmmm, Very good!

  90. Just made these and they were banging! We used Rao's sauce and it was delish! Thank you for all your recipes! I love this site!

  91. Gina- i'm so glad you made a light meatball that doesnt have turkey in it. I can't stand ground turkey, yuck!

  92. Thanks Dani!

  93. So excited to make these tonight for dinner!! I make a bi monthly menu and this menu includes many of your meals!! Thank you for posting these!! 🙂

  94. Made these today to have during the week. Tried a sample without sauce, delish. Husband (non veggie eater) said the same. Can't wait to have them with sauce and pasta.

  95. I tried this recipe yesterday. It was GREAT! I used egg beaters instead of an egg. I forgot the to put the cheese in…and I think it would have been better with it. I did bake the meatballs in the oven…something I always do. bake at 400 for 20 minutes…spray baking sheet and the meatballs with a cooking spray to help them brown. Added them to the sauce and let simmer. DELICIOUS!!! Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  96. Just made these tonight and they are amazing!!!

  97. I love making sauce and meatballs in my crockpot!

  98. I love doing things in the crock pot so I made my sauce in the crock pot in the morning and then after lunch I baked my meatballs and then added them to the sauce. It turned out delicious. I am new to this blog and have cooked from it almost every night for the last couple of weeks. Thank you!!!

  99. I made these tonight and LOVED them! Seriously, I could have eaten every last one of them. The spinach, I think, is what makes them so moist and juicy…plus, I love spinach. Earlier this week I made the pumpkin pie dip and I love it too! I'm on a roll with your recipes! 🙂 Thank you soooo much for them.

  100. You could use any bread in place, Italian, white or even bread crumbs.

  101. I was planning this for dinner tomorrow night, but realized I don't have the bread – what would be a good substitute?

  102. For anybody reading this thinking EWWW SPINACH! (like me), don't be put off by this recipe. I made it a couple of nights ago and I couldn't taste the spinach. The meatballs were quite honestly, lovely.

    I will definitely be trying other recipes from this website; even if I'm first put off by any ingredient(s) that I don't like!


  103. This is whats for dinner tonight!! I'm so amazed that anytime I need a recipe, I can come here and ALWAYS find a great recipe!! Gina you're the best!! Thanks to you and WW I have lost 30 since December 1!!!

  104. One word…AMAZING! These are seriously my new go-to recipe. I could have eaten every single one of them!!! This was the first recipe I tried from your blog, but it definitely won't be my last.

    Thank you for giving me and my family a delicious, low-fat dinner that tastes fabulous and helps me and my husband keep our daily points in check 🙂

  105. sweetktn- those were the old points, I deleted that not to confuse anyone. Points plus would be more.

  106. Just made this dish for my Family and my BFF's Family. They were a hit. It feels good to feed a large group with yummy, healthy food. Thank you so much. I love this site.

  107. I don't understand how the spinach meatballs are 5 pts per serving but only 7 pts when served over a cup of ronzoni. What am I missing?

  108. Made these today. 🙂 Made a double batch. I put my bread in food processor and the spinach too (trying to hide the spinach…told them it was parsley!) so easy and delicious! Reminded me of a similar recipe that I have made out of bon appetit. Ended up measure the meatball mixture out on scale after I did it once in the measuring cup. (1 oz for each meatball) Hoping that now that they know there is spinach in them, they won't eat the leftovers!

  109. i would love for this one to be valued at the new points plus value…when you get it ready please email me @ thanks again for what your doing. i have turned alot of ww's and facebookers on to your website. Lisa

  110. How many points are just the meatballs each??

  111. here i was looking everywhere for something to bring to a potluck that would be point friendly… I am just gonna make these meatballs with no sauce. Gonna try it with turkey sausage i know that may have a different point value but hey as long as i know i am eating something besides fried food and high fat food!

  112. I made these tonight and they were amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

  113. Freeze them cooked, in the sauce. Then heat up on the stove when you want to eat.

  114. Would these be ok to make then freeze? If so, how should I freeze them?


  115. Yes of course! They are great without. You can add a handful of fresh chopped parsley if you wish.

  116. Hi Gina! I like raw spinach but I do not like it cooked. Would the meatballs still be good without the spinach? I was thinking I could make a spinach salad on the side to still get my veggies in =) Let me know…I would love to try this, I just bought the Pecorino Romano cheese last night & made the cauliflour fritters, so I am looking to make another recipe with that kind of was really good =)

  117. Just made these for dinner but used jarred pasta sauce I had on hand. They were great! My husband doesn't like veggies usually, but he liked the spinach. Since it's just the two of us, we can use the leftover meatballs and sauce for meatball subs tomorrow! I'll just add some mozzarella and throw them in the toaster oven. Thanks!

  118. Oh my Goodness!! Just made these for dinner….I used the 93% lean turkey…only because I don't eat a lot of beef. We loved them…even my very picky 10 year old son. He had no clue he was getting spinach. Thank you so much Gina! So easy to make too! Mine stayed together great…I did actually mix it with my hands though…makes it so quick. This recipe is sure to become a favorite in my household!!!

  119. I didnt have a problem with them falling apart, did you make them larger?

  120. one question though…my meatballs seemed to fall apart a little bit. Any suggestions?

  121. made these tonight and they were really good! i also have a picky, non-vegetable eating teen who really enjoyed tonight's meal. i'm new to this site, but tried the curry coconut talapia last week. i'm going to try the chicken something or other (w/ the proschetta (sp?) later this week. too many leftovers too little time!! thanks for the great recipes.

  122. these look so good!!! I will be trying them soon… thanks for sharing!

  123. I made these last night and couldn't keep my hands off of them!! My mom is the pickiest eater and had just a plateful of them! Thanks!

  124. These meatballs were awesome! I had to change the recipe as I ran out of parmesan, so i added sun-dried tomato feta crumbles to it too. They tasted great with tzatziki dipping sauce, nan, and roasted veggies. The leftovers are going in spaghetti. Thanks so much!

  125. Made this last night and it was SO good. My husband saw the spinach in the meatballs and turned up his nose, but when he tried it he really liked it…even said it was a "make-again." The only thing I changed about the recipe was that I added some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. This sauce is so nice and thick I bet this would make great meatball sandwiches. (If you use low-point bread.)

  126. Thanks for commenting back! It's pretty easy to mix by hand 🙂

  127. well, blending didn't work, the mix was too light and dry so only the very bottom portion got blended, ended up mixing by hand. turned out very good though, didn't have any frozen spinach so i just shredded regular spinach instead and it turned out fine

  128. Hi single guy! I just use my hands, it's easy. If you were to use a blender, I would probably blend everything except the meat. Then combine the meat with the rest. Let me know how they turn out!

  129. hello, just found your website yesterday and am loving your recipes. Quick question, when mixing all these ingredients together is it feasible to use a blender on low speed? I figure you're trying to make a sort of mixed paste which you'll cook into meatballs so wouldn’t blending be faster and make the mix more consistent? Btw I’m a single guy who just occasionally dabbles in cooking so I’m not sure if that would obviously be wrong

  130. Hi Lisa, I buy it in, Stop and Shop, Pathmark, King Kullen, but I'm not sure where you live. If you can't find it in your local supermarket, you can buy it online, I like the green label:

  131. Hi Gina, I'm having a hard time finding the Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes. Can you give me any hints to finding those? I haven't tried Trader Joe's yet and wonder if they might have them. Just found your site and am so excited to try so many new recipes! -Lisa

  132. Thanks for all your comments! I can't tell you how happy it makes me that you all liked them! I knew this would be a winner when I tasted them myself!

  133. Omg! I just amde these and they are GREAT!!!!!! A keeper for sure. I used ground turkey. I already emailed this recipe to my boss who is on WW also. Keep the great recipes coming.

  134. Gina- your recipes rock! I have made several and they are all so good! This one was especially delicious! Double loved! Thank you for your hard-working creativity!

  135. I made this recipe tonight and LOVED it! Thank you so much for taking the time to post your recipes. I've made so many and have been really pleased with every one! And my husband loves them all, too. 🙂

  136. Yum. The spinach reminds me of my mother-in-law's double-crusted spinach goodie roonie (sp?). I want some now!!

  137. Follow up: I made these tonight and they are hands down the best meatballs I've ever had in my entire life. Healthy or not so healthy. The flavor is amazing. The only edition I made was fresh parsley and basil since both looked so great in my herb garden. 🙂 Well done!

  138. For those of you using 99% lean ground turkey instead of the beef, it's 3 pts per serving.

  139. This link might be more helpful.This site is great. The dish looks beautiful and colorish.Your descriptiin is good.

  140. Just finished making and enjoying for lunch.

    I have also divided up the remaining portions with some in the frig and some in the freezer to enjoy in the future!

    Thanks for sharing your great creations.

  141. Hi! Your recipes are great. I really like the idea of putting spinach in the meatballs. Looking forward to try this soon. Thanks!

    Have a great weekend!

    P.S. I am adding your blog to my blog list in my kitchen related blog.

  142. If you were anywhere near us, I think my teenager would come find you and give you a big hug and kiss. Since I started WW I have not made spaghetti and meatballs because I couldn't find a points friendly meatball recipe. So he will be thrilled when I make these this week, I have all the ingredients ready to go.

  143. Can't WAIT to try these…the spinach addition is genius!

  144. This was amazing. Loved them

  145. LOVED these! Such a hit! Thanks.

  146. It exceeded my expectations too. I'll have to try it with turkey next. I loved how it tasted with beef!

  147. delicious!!!!!

  148. Just tried this recipe tonight and everyone can not stop raving about how delicious they are! So tender and made with ground turkey! Wow- this recipe exceeded my expectations! Thanks!!

  149. Made this last night with lean turkey…they were a hit! Using the leftovers tonight for a meatball hero. Another keeper!!

  150. Gina, I don't have ground beef but I have ground chicken. Would that taste ok???


  151. Hi Kara, Thank you for noticing that! I just adjusted the ingredients, still 4 points!!

  152. hi Gina!
    we love your website & have made recipes from here often! this recipe looks amazing! I just have one question…do the points in this recipe count for the 1Tbsp of olive oil you use to brown the meatballs? I didn't see it in the ingredients list so I wasn't sure if it was included. thanks for responding to all these comments, your commitment is remarkable!

  153. @Are You Getting What You Want – great idea!

    There's a big print button above the comments.

    @Kristine- I never measure the salt, I use kosher so it wouldn't be the same as table salt. Maybe a teaspoon?

  154. I just tried your no bake stawberry cheesecake and this recipe is next on my list! How much salt and pepper do I mix in with the meatballs?

  155. Why is there no PRINT option for your recipes any more? I love printing them out and keeping them in with all my other GINA recipes.

  156. Growing up in an Italian family, meatballs were always on the menu in some shape or form! These sound like a wonderful change from the rich meatballs my grandpa makes! 🙂

  157. I'm going to try this tonight with turkey, we have steak last night. 😉 Thanks Gina!

  158. I will serve it over spaghetti squash to not add extra points for pasta.

  159. Great idea Jenn!! I'll try buffalo next time!

  160. I love adding greens to my meatballs too. Arugula is good sometimes as well. Try buffalo meat too – leaner and in my opinion tastier than beef. I am sure my Italian husband would love this! 🙂

  161. I haven't tried them with turkey yet but I'm sure they will be great. Let me know how they come out! I do have an Italian turkey meatball recipe on here without the spinach. They are great.

    • My favorite meatballs are 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey…next time I'll try this recipe that way. It really boosts the flavor to mix the meets. I hear doing it in thirds with gr. pork is a favorite of most people, but I haven't tried that yet.

  162. These look amazing! headed to the store now for the ingredients!!! Using ground turkey instead, hope they turn out!

  163. Gina, this recipe is amazing! My picky 6 year old, ate every last bite! Thank you so much for taking the time to do these recipes. I know what it's like to be a busy mom.

  164. Can I use turkey instead of beef? I usually bake my meatballs and use turkey. would it be less points? Thanks Gina!

  165. Thanks so much for the recipe! I plan on making these this weekend.

  166. What a great way to add more nutrition to a family favorite!

  167. @Jaime- Yes, you could use fresh spinach, you would have to cook it and chop it. I'm not sure how much fresh spinach it takes to get 10 oz of cooked spinach to keep the points the same and give you the same amount of meatballs.

    @:Delicious- Let me know what he thinks!

    • hmmm, I didn't cook the fresh spinach first…we will see I guess. They just came out of the oven. They look and smell good though.

  168. Yummy! Thanks for sharing! I'm sure my husband will be saying thank you too, when I make this for him!

  169. Do you ever use fresh spinach? If so, how much?

  170. @Sarah, I like the flavor it adds without the chucnks, but of course if you want to leave the onions in your sauce, you can. Same points.

  171. I have never just put the onion in like that. I am going to try it!

  172. Having these for lunch today, they are even better the next day 🙂

    @Brie- Yes, I bake them sometimes as well! I prefer them pan fried but they are easier to bake in a hurry and I don't like to turn my oven on in the summer.

    @Seneca Onions, yes my twitter is ginaswwrecipes

    @Chelsey- Let me know how it works out!

  173. Sounds so good! Can't wait to try it!

  174. I am definatly making this tonight!! This is a great way to hid veggies from my very picky 6 year old!

  175. I really like this idea. I am alway trying to squeeze more veggies into my food and this is a great way to do so. 🙂

  176. Great recipe and love the site!

    Do you have a Twitter we can follow for a fast resource on recipes?

  177. Those look SO good!

  178. Another trick I do to save on fat is to bake the meatballs in a 450 oven for 15-20 min. Much less messy and no added cals for olive oil. These look great, will definitely give these a try! Thanks 🙂

  179. Looks amazing! I will be trying these out for sure. 🙂 Thanks for another great recipe!