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Zucchini Meatballs: the tasty main dish recipe for zucchini balls in tomato sauce

Total time: 70 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Zucchini meatballs are an easy, creamy, vegetarian main course, perfect for any family lunch or dinner. These tasty bite-sized balls are made with zucchini, stale bread, egg and grated parmesan cheese, cooked in a tomato sauce and then enriched with slices of mozzarella cheese. Soft and deliciously stringy, they will win everyone over.

It's vegetarian alternative to the classic meatballs with tomato sauce, which draws inspiration from the traditional recipe of steak pizzaiola. You can even serve these zucchini meatballs as an appetizer, or finger food.

Cook these zucchini meatballs in a pan, or in the oven if you like. Pour a spoonful of tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese on each ball, then bake at 180°C/350°F for about half an hour, or in any case until the cheese is melted. Serve zucchini meatballs with spaghetti pasta, or bread.


Tips for making Zucchini Balls in Tomato Sauce

If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little water as needed.

For a flavorful dish, use the marinara sauce.

You can also add chopped capers and olives to the tomato sauce.

Instead of mozzarella cheese, you can use any stringy cheese to your taste.

For making savory zucchini meatballs, you can also add ground meat.

How to store Zucchini Meatballs

Zucchini meatballs can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days in an airtight container. Alternatively they can be frozen.


300 g
Stale bread
200 g
120 g
Tomato puree
300 g
100 ml
Mozzarella cheese
100 g
Grated parmesan cheese
40 g
1 clove
10 leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine salt
Black pepper

How to make Zucchini Meatballs

Cut the bread into small pieces and put it in a bowl, then wet it with the milk and let it soften well.

Wash and cut the zucchini ends, then cut them into slices.

Brown them in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes, then cover them with a lid and cook them. Once cooked, turn off the flame and let them cool.

In a blender pour the zucchini together with the basil.

Squeeze the soaked bread well and add it to the zucchini.

Activate the blender and work until the mixture is well blended but still quite raw.

Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese and mix everything with a spoon.

Add the egg, season with salt and pepper.

Mix everything together.

With wet hands, take a little of the dough and create some balls. Transfer them to a tray and let them rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes to make them firm.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce by browning the garlic in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Pour in the tomato puree.

Season with salt, add fresh basil and cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

Arrange the zucchini meatballs in the pan.

Cook them for about 5 minutes on each side.

Complete with the slices of mozzarella cheese, previously dried and squeezed, placing them on each meatball.

Turn off the heat, cover the pan with the lid and let the mozzarella cheese melt.

Serve the zucchini meatballs hot and enjoy!

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