Classic Marinara Meatballs

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  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Serving Size: 8 meatballs and 1 cup spaghetti each
  • Makes: 48 meatballs
  • Prep: 35 mins to
  • Chill: 2 hrs to 24 hrs
  • Bake: 10 mins 450°F

Classic Marinara Meatballs

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir together egg, applesauce, zucchini, green onions, salt, and Italian seasoning.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground beef and bread crumbs. Fold the egg mixture into beef mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line two 15x10x1-inch baking pans with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray; set aside. Shape beef mixture into 48 small meatballs, each about 3/4 inch in diameter. Place meatballs in prepared baking pans. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F), turning once if meatballs are browning too quickly.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Heat the pasta sauce until warmed. Add meatballs to sauce, stirring to combine. Serve over spaghetti.

From the Test Kitchen

Alfredo-Sauced Turkey Meatballs:

Prepare as directed, except substitute 1/2 cup shredded carrot (1 medium) for the zucchini; 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder for the Italian seasoning; 1 pound uncooked ground turkey breast for the ground beef; and 1 1/4 cups light Alfredo pasta sauce, warmed, for the tomato-basil sauce. Bake the meatballs about 15 minutes or until cooked through (165 degrees F).

Nutrition analysis per serving: 364 calories, 27 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 6 g total sugar, 37% Vitamin A, 3% Vitamin C, 553 mg Sodium, 5% calcium, 13% iron

Taco-Sauced Two-Meat Meatballs:

Prepare as directed, except add 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped* and 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin. Substitute 1/3 cup finely chopped onion for the zucchini; 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder for the Italian seasoning: 8 ounces extra-lean ground beef and 8 ounces lean ground pork for the 1 pound ground beef; and 3/4 cup mild taco sauce for the tomato-basil sauce. Bake the meatballs for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F). Omit spaghetti; serve meatball mixture over 3 cups hot cooked brown rice.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 398 calories, 24 g protein, 49 g carbohydrate, 13 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 7 g total sugar, 13% Vitamin A, 17% Vitamin C, 474 mg sodium, 3% calcium, 17% iron

*Tip:

Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

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Nutrition Facts (Classic Marinara Meatballs)

  • Per serving:
  • 364 kcal ,
  • 7 g fat
  • (2 g sat. fat ,
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 2 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 78 mg chol. ,
  • 428 mg sodium ,
  • 50 g carb. ,
  • 8 g fiber ,
  • 7 g sugar ,
  • 26 g pro.
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