Beef-Zucchini Meatballs

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Made with half beef and half shredded zucchini and cooked millet or quinoa, these flexitarian meatballs come together in just 30 minutes. Serve them with marinara sauce over roasted spaghetti squash or sauteed zucchini noodles.


  • 1 zucchini, grated

  • 8 ounces ground beef, preferably 90 percent lean

  • 1 cup cooked millet, or quinoa

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Extra virgin olive-oil, for drizzling

  • Roasted spaghetti squash or sauteed zucchini spirals, for serving

  • 3 cups marinara sauce, for serving

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh basil leaves, for serving


  1. Squeeze zucchini in a potato ricer or clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl; add beef, millet, garlic, parsley, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gently combine using 2 forks. Roll mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Preheat broiler with a rack in upper third. Drizzle meatballs with oil; toss to coat. Broil, rotating sheet once, until golden on top and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve over squash, with marinara, cheese, and basil.

    bowls of spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles with zucchini meatballs
    Kate Mathis
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