Zucchini and Ricotta Balls- No Meat Needed

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | January 25th, 2024 | Appetizers, Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Tapas Monday, Vegetarian

I enjoy many a vegetarian dish. “Meat”balls are no exception. For me a well made vegetable-based ball can deliver as much flavor as any typical meatball. These zucchini-based balls fall into that category. They’re tender and flavorful; everything I want in this dish.

From the wayback time machine

To learn more about this recipe, originally created in April 2017, keep reading.

So, if I made sausage meatballs as a treat for my husband, it should seem obvious that I made something veggie based as a treat for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I found the Cheesy Sausage Balls to be quite tasty. But after eating four or five of them, I was all set. These zucchini “meat”balls, well, that’s another story. I could’ve eaten many, many more of them.

I am intrigued by the ways that I can take veggies and transform them from a side dish into this whole new entrée. For example, when you think of zucchini, you probably picture slices of it, steamed or grilled with onions. They are tasty that way, but honestly they aren’t all that exciting.

So, when I can take zucchini and turn it into something different, I love it. Not only do I love that it gains flavor but also that it becomes a heartier version of itself. And it doesn’t have to become heartier with a ton of calories, just a few simple additions can make it into something more satisfying.

About these “meat”balls

I found these meatballs to be utterly delicious on their own. If you prefer to dip your meatballs, I would suggest serving them with some marinara. You also could place the meatballs into the marinara, if you’re hoping to disguise the zucchini. I don’t think it will work, but it’s worth giving it a try. Perhaps getting a tentative diner to taste them before seeing them might get him or her to accept that zucchini meatballs aren’t something to be feared.

If these veggie “meat”balls are a hit, the next recipe you need are Broccoli “Meat”balls.

zucchini ricotta balls

Zucchini and Ricotta Balls

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Course Appetizer

Servings 20 balls



  • 2 small zucchini
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grate zucchini on the course side of a box grater.
  • Combine 2 cups grated zucchini, ricotta, egg, garlic powder, basil, parmesan, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl; mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Form into balls, about the size of a walnut.
  • Place zucchini balls on prepared tray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Serve as is or with marinara.

Keyword veggie balls
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