Cooking in a Crunch: Eggplant Spinach Meatballs

eggplant-spinach-ballsEggplant Spinach Meatballs
Yield: About 12 large or 24 small meatballs




  • 1 1/4-pound eggplant (about 1 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup raw walnut halves
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 quarts Marinara sauce



Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Peel eggplant and cut into ½ inch pieces. Place the eggplant and onions on a baking sheet, then drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt, red pepper and garlic. Toss to combine, then spread in an even layer. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Finely ground the walnuts and add to a mixing bowl. Fold ricotta, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, basil, parmesan cheese, eggplant, and spinach with the ground nuts.

Adjust salt and red pepper to taste, then stir in the egg.

Form the mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the Eggplant Spinach balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Serve with marinara sauce.

diane-floyd-21-427x640-1About the Chef!

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Diane developed her passion for food at a young age. She was inspired by time in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother preparing family meals as with graduating from culinary school. Having worked in various faucets of the food industry such as restaurant, hotels, catering and schools, Diane elected to open Meal Makers, Inc. a personal culinary service.

As a chef preparing in home customized meals for special occasions and instructing with clients in their kitchen basic cooking lessons. Chef Floyd infuses her food with passion and joy determined to give customers an experience that satisfies the palate along with great service.

Meal Makers is a Personal Culinary service. They offer customized dinner gift services, in home events, cooking parties and teach cooking classes in the client’s home. They serve the Greater Philadelphia area including South Jersey and Northern Delaware.

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