Classic Marinara Meatballs

Classic Marinara Meatballs

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From: Diabetic Living Magazine

You can't go wrong with these classic marinara meatballs filled with applesauce, zucchini, and green onions.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
  • ½ cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1½ cups light no-sugar-added tomato-basil pasta sauce

Preparation

  • Prep

  • Ready In

  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 with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch baking pans with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray; set aside. Shape beef mixture into 48 small meatballs about ¾ inch in diameter. Place meatballs in prepared baking pans. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through (160°F), turning once.
  4. Heat pasta sauce until warmed. Serve with the meatballs.
  • Tips: For a low-carb serve-along, choose cooked spaghetti squash or steamed sliced zucchini and/or summer squash. If using hot cooked rice or pasta, use only ⅓ cup for each serving (if you like, add a cooked non-starchy vegetable, such as spinach, onion, mushrooms, or zucchini, to bulk up the rice or pasta).
  • 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.
  • Variation: Alfredo-Sauced Mini Turkey Meatballs: Prepare as directed, except use ½ cup shredded carrot (1 medium) instead of the zucchini; ¼ teaspoon garlic powder instead of the Italian seasoning; 1 pound uncooked ground turkey breast instead of the ground beef; and 1¼ cups light Alfredo pasta sauce, warmed, instead of the tomato-basil sauce. Bake the meatballs about 15 minutes or until cooked through (165°F).
  • Variation: Barbecue-Sauced Mini Pork Meatballs: Prepare as directed, except add ¼ cup finely chopped onion and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Use ½ cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms instead of the zucchini; ¼ teaspoon garlic powder instead of the Italian seasoning; 1 pound lean ground pork instead of the ground beef; and ¾ cup light barbecue sauce, warmed, instead of the tomato-basil sauce. Bake the meatballs for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through (160°F).
  • Variation: Taco-Sauced Mini Two-Meat Meatballs: Prepare as directed, except add 1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped, and ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin. Use ⅓ cup finely chopped onion instead of the zucchini; ¼ teaspoon garlic powder instead of the Italian seasoning: 8 ounces 95% to 97% lean ground beef and 8 ounces lean ground pork instead of the 1 pound ground beef; and ¾ cup mild taco sauce, warmed, instead of the tomato-basil sauce. Bake the meatballs for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through (160°F).

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 8 meatballs
  • Per serving: 164 calories; 5 g fat(2 g sat); 2 g fiber; 9 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 14 mcg folate; 78 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 60 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C; 41 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 430 mg sodium; 541 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 2½ lean meat

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