With its unapologetic green color and earthy flavor, spinach is not a vegetable about which most people are indifferent.
Particularly in the frozen spinach category, too many fall into the “you’ve got to be kidding” category, most likely based on memories of grade school lunches past where the innocent green was boiled to brownish-grey oblivion (I think I can still recall the smell).
It’s because of this that I relish the challenge of winning over a larger subset of the population to this healthy, convenient, and, yes, potentially scrumptious, vegetable.
If a single recipe can aid in the conversion, it is my spinach almond (not meat)balls. They are tender, delicious, and easy to make—all of my favorite dinner criteria. They work especially well for me and my husband because I can make them in advance, store them in the refrigerator or freezer, and reheat later. Plus, they are baked! Easy peasy.
You can enjoy the spinach balls in multiple ways, too. Try adding them to a simple soup (chicken broth, small pasta, more of the spinach and a few other vegetables—in the style of Italian wedding soup), make a spinach ball sandwich, pita or pizza, or go classic by simmering in marinara sauce and then spooning atop pasta. A final option is to serve the meatballs (again, simmered in marinara) on a bed of rice (brown or regular); that’s how I grew up eating them.
For even balls, I use a cookie scoop (specifically a 2-tablespoon size scoop for this recipe; it’s the OXO medium size cookie scoop).
These are loaded with good nutrition and deliciousness–gobble some seconds if you are really hungry!
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1 16-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of all excess liquid
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- large pinch red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup almond flour/meal
- Optional: warm marinara sauce (purchased or homemade)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl or cup, combine the water and flaxseed meal. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, green onions, flax mixture, oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and almond flour. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
- Using a cookie scoop, make 14 medium balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until well-browned and cooked through.
Nutritional Yeast Sub: If you eat dairy, feel free to use 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese in place of the nutritional yeast.
Flaxmeal Sub: If you eat eggs, feel free to use 1 large egg in place of the flax-water mixture.
Make Ahead: The unbaked balls can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days or the freezer for 6 months.
- Category: Dinner
- Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 56
- Sugar: .3 g
- Sodium: 172 mg
- Fat: 3.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.6 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 3.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg