Vegetables are not just a side dish anymore. This zucchini “meatball” dish puts them in the spotlight as the main course.
Though not technically meatballs, they have a texture and flavor that will have you coming back for more. They’re perfect if you or someone you love is a vegetarian too.
Great served over pasta, zoodles or even with a slice of crusty bread.
Note: This recipe calls for jarred marinara sauce for ease, but you could add your own homemade sauce if you prefer.
• cooking spray
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 1/4 lbs unpeeled zucchini, grated
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• 3 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
• 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 ounce (1/4 cup) Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
• 2 cups jar marinara sauce
• part skim ricotta cheese, for serving (optional)
• Heat the oven to 375°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
• Place the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot add the garlic and saute until golden, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat until all the water evaporates from the skillet, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a colander to get rid of any excess water, then to a large bowl along with the bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese and chopped basil.
• Form the zucchini mixture into 16 balls about 1 oz each, rolling tightly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spray the top and bake until firm and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
• Heat the sauce in a large deep skillet to warm the sauce, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish the meatballs with fresh basil leaves and serve with ricotta or grated cheese if desired.