Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs

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!
Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs

I wanted to lighten my favorite new way to make Italian meatballs and the Spinach meatball was born. Adding spinach to your meatballs adds volume and fiber, so you can eat the same amount of meatballs with fewer calories, and it’s a great way to sneak veggies into your picky kid’s meal.

My family goes crazy over these 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 beef.

I got 30 small meatballs out of this 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. Serve the leftovers for lunch on crusty whole wheat Italian bread for a meatball hero.

For a traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner, serve this over your favorite pasta or try them over zucchini noodles or  butternut squash noodles for a healthier twist.

Tips

  • To make them gluten-free swap the whole wheat pasta for gluten-free.
  • To freeze for make-ahead meals, brown the meatballs, let them cool completely then transfer to gallon freezer bags, taking all the air out. Freeze for up to 3 months. Make the sauce and add them frozen, adding more time until heated through.
  • To cook in sauce and freeze the meatballs, let them cool then transfer to freezer safe containers. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat.

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!

 

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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4.5 from 2 votes
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Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs

4
Freestyle Points
259
Calories
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!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of all liquid
  • 2 slices whole wheat light bread, (or gluten-free bread)
  • 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

Instructions

  • Wet bread with water 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, then divide in two so that each meatball is 1/8th of a cup. Roll into little meatballs.
  • In a large pot, add olive oil and heat on medium.
  • When hot add smashed garlic.
  • When garlic is golden brown, add 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 15-20 minutes. Discard onion and serve.

Nutrition

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
Freestyle Points: 4
Points: +6
Keywords: Freezer Meals, Kid Friendly