Bring Meatless Monday to another level with these eggplant meatballs! With flavors very similar to eggplant parm, this dish is both filling and satisfying (and I promise you won’t miss the meat). I based this dish off of SkinnyTaste’s eggplant meatballs, attached here. With the addition of zucchini noodles instead of regular pasta, this dish becomes a low carb version of an Italian favorite: spaghetti and meatballs.
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients: makes ~6 servings
For the eggplant meatballs:
- 2 small/medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce: (you can use store bought marinara but for a homemade version follow the below)
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 fresh basil sprig
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
For the zucchini noodles:
- 2 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- A pinch of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the eggplant and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
Once soft, transfer the eggplant to a food processor and pulse a few times until ground.
Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and add in the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, Pecorino Romano, parsley, basil and garlic. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well.
Form the mixture into balls, about 1 oz each. The mixture should make 24-30 meatballs depending on how large you make them (we ended up having more because we made them small) Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the sauce and zucchini noodles. For the sauce, heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic, canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and oregano and stir together. Place the basil sprig on top and let it submerge in the sauce. Simmer until thickened. about 15 minutes. Discard the basil before serving.
For the zucchini noodles, heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. You can use pre-spiralized zucchini or spiralize yourself if you have a spiralizer. We spiralized two zucchini which yielded about 3-4 servings. Add the spiralized zucchini to the skillet and drizzle some more olive oil on top along with the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well and then lower the heat to a simmer.
When the meatballs are done, pull them out of the oven and add them to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes. Make sure to cover with the sauce.
Plate the zucchini noodles with the sauce and meatballs on top. Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!