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Spinach and Ricotta Meatballs Recipe

Spinach and Ricotta Meatballs Recipe

Pasquale Sciarappa
Today I would like to share with you my spinach and ricotta meatballs recipe! They look just like meatballs, but there is actually no meat in them! Cooking these in homemade tomato sauce make this a delicious dish to serve with pasta or toasted bread.
4.67 from 21 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Spinach cool off time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian


  • 8 oz Spinach
  • 15 oz Whole milk ricotta
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup Bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino cheese or parmigiana, shredded
  • 1/3 Sweet onion chopped
  • 48 oz Tomato sauce
  • Pinch of hot pepper flakes optional
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Begin by removing as much liquid from the ricotta cheese as you can. I like to place a small bowl upside down into a bigger bowl and then place the ricotta in a cheese cloth on top of the small bowl so that the liquid can pour down into the big bowl. I let it sit for about thirty minutes and then I squeeze even more of the liquid out. Place the ricotta into a dry mixing bowl.
  • While draining the ricotta, you can start preparing the spinach and tomato sauce. In a deep saute pan, pour in about two ounces of olive oil and add in two chopped garlic cloves and the chopped onion. Saute for about one to two minutes over a medium flame, until golden, and then pour in the tomato sauce. Add a pinch of sea salt, mix and continue to cook over a very low flame.
  • In a skillet, pour in about an ounce of olive oil and add one chopped garlic clove to cook over a medium flame. Add in the spinach and mix with a wooden spoon until about half of the spinach has wilted. Sprinkle in some sea salt and black pepper and continue to saute until all of the spinach has wilted. Scoop the spinach into a hand strainer placed over a bowl and squeeze the excess water out with a wooden spoon. Place the spinach on a dish and let cool down in the refrigerator for about fifteen minutes.
  • Once the spinach has cooled down, place it into a cheese cloth and squeeze more of the water out. Remove from the cheese cloth, chop it up and add into the mixing bowl with the ricotta.
  • In the mixing bowl with the spinach and ricotta, add in the egg, hot pepper flakes, one chopped garlic, dash of sea salt, dash of black pepper and the pecorino cheese. Mix together using a spoon or silicone spatula. Once mixed, using clean hands, start adding in the breadcrumbs slowly and mixing by hand. Continue to mix and add in a bit more breadcrumbs until the mix is more firm. Depending on the amount of liquid in your mix, you may need more or less breadcrumbs to hold the spinach and ricotta meatballs together. I used 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs.
  • Once completely mixed, begin rolling the spinach and ricotta meatballs into the size of your preference. I rolled thirteen.
  • Add the spinach and ricotta meatballs into the tomato sauce pan and cover with sauce. Cook for about forty minutes over a low flame, moving the spinach and ricotta meatballs around occasionally.
  • Serve over pasta or with a side of toasted bread. Enjoy! Salute and cin cin!


Keyword meatballs, ricotta meatballs, spinach
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