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16 meatballs


0 hours 15 mins


0 hours 40 mins


0 hours 55 mins

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4 Small Zucchini (about 5 cups), shredded and squeezed dry
1 Cup White button mushrooms, finely minced
1 Lg. Egg
1 Cup Low fat ricotta cheese
3/4 Cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 Cup Italian flavored dry breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
1/2 Tbsp. Onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. Garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
1/4 Cup Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh basil, chopped
1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 Tsp. Fresh Ground black pepper
1/4 Tsp. Calabrian chili flakes
2 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
1/2 Large onion, finely minced or grated
2 Cloves garlic, finely minced or grated


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and put to the side. Cut the ends of each zucchini. Using the shredder attachment in your food processor or a box grater, shred the zucchini. Squeeze the zucchini in a clean dish towel to get rid of any excess water. Add the zucchini to a bowl.

2) In the same food processor, add the cleaned mushrooms and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the bowl with the zucchini.

3) Add the egg, ricotta, panko and Italian bread crumbs, all the dry seasonings, cheese, fresh basil, fresh parsley, salt and pepper, chili flakes, olive oil, onion, and garlic to the bowl. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

4) Using an ice cream scoop so each ball is the same size, scoop the mixture into your hands and form the mixture into balls the size of golf balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.

5)Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve with marinara sauce and pasta for a complete meal. Enjoy!

NOTES:  Who needs meat to make a meatball?  I don’t and you won’t either when you make these zucchini and mushroom meatballs.  (Can you actually call it a meatball if there is no meat?  I’m just going to go with it…lol.)

With so many options for pasta, (chickpea, lentils, etc.), along with alternative flours  (spelt, chickpea, whole wheat) and even spiralized zucchini sitting in for spaghetti, I thought why not come up with a meatless meatball?  I was pretty sure both zucchini and mushrooms would work in a vegetable meatball and just decided to use both of them in the same recipe.  If you prefer, you could absolutely just use one of these vegetables.  Just be sure to adjust the amount of the vegetable you choose.

I also baked these,  eliminating a lot of unnecessary fat.  I did use a low-fat ricotta cheese to lighted this up but feel free to use full-fat if that is what you prefer.

A couple of tips to ensure these come out great every time.

.  After you grate your zucchini, be sure to put it in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess water.  You don’t want watery meatballs.

.  I use a lot of seasoning in these meatballs and I use both dry and fresh spices and herbs.  The combination works.  If you want less heat or no heat, cut back on the chili flakes.  Want it spicier?  Add more pepper and chili flakes.

.  If the tops of your “meatballs” don’t get very brown, you can put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes to lightly brown.

.  If you don’t have the specialty olive oil, no worries.  Simply use plain olive oil or canola oil.  They will come out just great.


Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.  Place parchment paper on the baking sheet.  TIP:  Having trouble getting the parchment paper to lay flat on your baking sheet?  Just crumble it up in your hands, then straighten it out and lay it down.  Instantly, you are in control of the paper!!!

Then, to make these veggie balls, is super easy.  I grate my veggies first.  I use a food processor with a shredder blade but you can also use a box grater.  Cut off the ends of your zucchini then shred them.  Put in a kitchen towel to squeeze out the excess water  Dump into a bowl.

Next, I but the mushrooms into the same food processor OR you can chop them very fine.  I want the pieces really minced so it resembles ground meat.  You need about a cup of minced mushrooms which will take about 2 cups of whole mushrooms.  Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the zucchini.

Next, using the regular blade in my food processor, I finely chop the onion and garlic cloves together.  The onion will give off a lot of liquid and I love that.  Onion juice is just great in these meatballs and helps keep them moist.

Now, I’m ready to add all the ingredients into the bowl with the zucchini and mushrooms.  Gently fold and mix all the ingredients together making sure everything is incorporated into the mix.


I use an ice cream scoop so that each meatball is the same size.  I scoop the mix into my hands and roll into a ball.  Place each meatball on the prepared baking sheet.

No ice cream scoop?  Use about a quarter cup of the mixture for each ball.

You should get 15 – 16 balls.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.  If the tops don’t brown, put under the broiler for the last 2 minutes of cooking to lightly brown.


You can serve these with a sprinkle of salt and be completely satisfied but I love to serve them topped with marinara sauce, a little extra grated Parmesan and some chopped basil.

These are perfect served with pasta for a traditional pasta and meatball dinner.  Enjoy.

Did you enjoy this recipe?  Do you like meatballs?  Don’t miss some of my other favorite meatball recipes.

Three-Meat Meatballs and Tagliatelle

Holiday Meatballs

Lamb Meatballs with Baked Feta Pasta