Cauliflower, mushrooms, bulgur and seasonings combine to form the base of this healthy vegetarian meatball recipe. A quick homemade tomato-basil sauce replaces the traditional marinara to save sodium. Serve over whole-wheat spaghetti with a green salad.

Carolyn Casner
Source:, October 2016




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, mushrooms, half the garlic, 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes. Add bulgur, cheese and egg and stir to combine.

  • Form the mixture into 16 balls (about 1/4 cup each) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake until lightly browned and firm, 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning and1/4 teaspoon salt with tomatoes and crushed red pepper in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the flavors have melded, about 5 minutes. Serve the meatballs with the sauce, sprinkled with basil.


Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the unbaked meatballs and tomato-basil sauce separately for up to 1 day. Reheat the sauce while the meatballs bake.

Nutrition Facts

350 calories; protein 12.5g 25% DV; carbohydrates 33.8g 11% DV; dietary fiber 9.4g 38% DV; sugars 9.2g; fat 18.2g 28% DV; saturated fat 3.6g 18% DV; cholesterol 52.2mg 17% DV; vitamin a iu 1987.6IU 40% DV; vitamin c 41.8mg 70% DV; folate 65.5mcg 16% DV; calcium 99.8mg 10% DV; iron 5.6mg 31% DV; magnesium 51mg 18% DV; potassium 1029.6mg 29% DV; sodium 484.1mg 19% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 13% DV.