These Sneaky Mommy Meatballs were put to the test… and totally kid approved! They’re full of flavour, loaded with hidden healthy veggies (yessssss!), and make for a great weeknight family dinner.
Spaghetti and meatballs: if you look up “classic family dinners” in the dictionary you’ll probably see this dish. It’s easy to make, everyone loves it and it’s the epitome of comfort food. Always trying to gain the mommy edge, I knew I wanted to add a healthier spin to this classic meal so into the kitchen I went. Let me say, the true stamp of approval for me with a “Sneaky Mommy” recipe, is first getting the thumbs up from the boys. A few empty bowls later, I knew it was time to share it with all of you!
Serve them solo, with your favourite tomato sauce, on pasta, or in a sandwich (hello Meatball Sub)… loads of pasta-bilities!
How To Make a Healthy Meatball
By adding undercover shredded vegetables, these meatballs stay full of the great flavour we know and love about meatballs, but in a healthier version. In this recipe, I used 3 kinds of vegetables (why not?), and ground chicken to keep it leaner (but you can of course use any ground that suits you). My sneaky mommy tip for you; definitely grate and shred the vegetables like I did – use the fine side of the box grater to really hide them. Seriously. It works.
What Type of Ground to use for Meatballs?
If you are a part of the Fraîche Meal Plan, you know by now that you can use pretty much any ground that suits your needs and your family’s lifestyle! Yes, you can use ground chicken here or ground turkey the same way you would ground beef. Texture and colour can differ and just make sure you know that ground chicken and turkey will be lighter in colour than ground beef (a good tip if your kids are particularly hesitant!). Veggie ground may be trickier – we haven’t tried it yet but some brands may be easier to work with.
What Is a Good Side For Meatballs?
A good ol’ bowl of spaghetti works! You could also serve them with potatoes, rice, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad. They would work great with this Avocado Pasta Salad or warm on a Homemade Bun! Or serve them with roasted spaghetti squash for a lighter, more veggie-heavy dish (you could even make a boat out of the spaghetti squash and serve the meatballs inside and broil some cheese on top… just sayin’).
Want more recipes that hide veggies? Try my Sneaky Mommy Muffins or these Sneaky Mommy Tacos! These Lunchbox Cookies are dynamite too and freeze well.
Sneaky Mommy Meatballs
Sneaky Mommy Meatballs
These Sneaky Mommy Meatballs are mother tested and kid approved! They're full of flavour, hidden healthy veggies, and is a great weeknight family dinner. Serves 4-6 people, depending on your appetities.
- 1 pound ground chicken* (or other ground of choice)
- 1/2 cup shredded yellow onion
- 1/2 cup shredded peeled carrots
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (leave skin on)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs**
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
Combine all ingredients together (except the oil) in a large bowl and mix well (use your hands if needed)
Form 1 inch balls with mixture, using your hands.
Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat with oil. Pan fry in the skillet 6-8 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Serve with pasta if desired and a sprinkle of parm!
*use ground beef or turkey instead if desired.
**sub for gluten free if desired.
I love to bake my meatballs in the oven. If I wanted to do that for this recipe, what would you suggest for oven temperature and time? thanks!
So, I tried these in the oven (400 degrees for 20-24 minutes) and they turned out great!
Tori W. says
Great thanks Kristy!
We followed the recipe to a T, but baked them as the comment above did. We baked at 400°F for 20 min and then broiled for 4 more — these are a total keeper! So easy and very moist & flavorful. Even my BF who doesn’t love meatballs went back for more. These will be our go-to meatballs from now on! Thank you for the recipe!
Tori Wesszer says
That’s so awesome thank you McKenzie for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review! Glad you loved them :). Tori
These are honestly amazing. I like to use 1/2 ground pork, 1/2 ground chicken. So moist, never chewy!
Tori W. says
Yay! I am so happy to hear this! Thanks for sharing and reviewing the recipe too. xx Tori