Zucchini Noodles Recipe with Meatballs

Learn how to make zucchini noodles and pair with classic meatballs for a filling yet healthy meal.

November/December 2015

  • Use a spiralizer to turn zucchini into spaghetti "noodles."
    Photo by Karen K. Will
  • Tender zucchini noodles topped with marinara sauce and meatballs are healthy and delicious.
    Photo by Karen K. Will

Total Hands-On Time: 1 hr

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Yield: 2 servings

Any day you can replace starchy pasta with a vegetable is a good food day in my book. So the classic spaghetti and meatballs gets a modern makeover here. This dish really satisfies without leaving you feeling stuffed and bloated. Make extra meatballs (double the recipe) and freeze them for dinner next week. To cut the zucchini into noodles, use a spiral vegetable slicer. The slicer will cut the zucchini all in one shot, so keep a pair of kitchen shears in hand to cut the ribbons into pasta lengths.


• 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
• 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
• 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• 4 large zucchini, cut into ribbons
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 jar (24 to 25 ounces) organic pasta sauce or homemade marinara sauce
• Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In large bowl, combine parsley, ground meat, half the minced garlic, salt, seasoning, breadcrumbs and egg. Knead with hands until thoroughly mixed.

3. Moisten hands with water. Scoop out heaping tablespoon meat mixture, and roll into ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining meat mixture, spacing meatballs 1⁄2 inch apart.

4. Bake meatballs for 25 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, place zucchini noodles in colander, and toss with sea salt. Let sit and strain for 30 minutes to remove excess water. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels or clean tea towel.

6. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles and sauté for 2 minutes. Add remaining minced garlic, and sauté for additional 1 to 2 minutes.

7. In saucepan, heat pasta sauce until hot.

8. Divide zucchini noodles evenly between 2 bowls. Top each with sauce and meatballs, and garnish with Parmesan.

Try more healthy one-bowl comfort foods.

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