Zucchini Beef Meatballs made with ricotta cheese are soft, pillowy, and utterly delicious.

Zucchini Beef Meatballs

Zucchini Beef Meatballs

by Sue Moran, The View from the Great Island

Prep Time: 25 minutes  |  Cook Time: 15 minutes  |  Makes 20 meatballs | Serves: 4


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 7 ounce zucchini, trimmed and grated (about a packed cup)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 heaping Tbsp minced (fresh!) parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • olive oil (for brushing)




  1. Put the zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add it to a bowl along with the beef, egg, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. I like to use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment to mix ground meat for meatballs and meatloaves, I find it does a perfect gentle job of mixing everything well without compacting the meat. You can also do this with clean hands. Whichever method you chose, mix the ingredients so they’re well blended together without over mixing.
  2. I use my 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop to scoop out the meat mixture and roll into 20 balls. Place on a cookie sheet and lightly brush the balls with olive oil. You can refrigerate the meatballs at this point if you like. I like to refrigerate for about 20 minutes to allow them to firm up.
  3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375F
  4. Cook the meatballs for about 10-15 minutes, then finish under the broiler to get some nice caramelization. A thermometer should read 160F when they’re done.
  5. Serve hot over spaghetti and your favorite marinara sauce, with a shower of Parmesan cheese.


As an alternative cooking method you can brown the meatballs and then finish cooking them in the marinara sauce.

Make these zucchini beef meatballs your own:

  • Try using ground turkey or ground chicken in place of the beef.
  • Instead of ricotta you can use cooked quinoa, cooked rice, or another grain.
  • You can use basil instead of parsley for a great flavor boost.

Let us know if you make this recipe! Tag @freshharvest on Instagram!

Thanks to Sue Moran, of The View From the Great Island for this amazing recipe. Check out the full blog and recipe here.

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