11 Amazingly healthy meatball recipes
Meatballs, and their vegetarian cousins, are surprisngly versatile little balls of goodness - if you have a great, healthy recipe to hand, that is. Enjoy them as appetisers, serve them atop a healthy bowl of veggie (we love courgette) noodles, munch them with salad or just as is! They're even great in a sandwich. We've got 11 amazingly healthy meatball recipes for you to try that will ensure you want to cook these every night of the week - honestly!
Paleo and gluten-free, these super-healthy Vietnamese meatballs are flavoured with fish sauce, lemongrass and mint. The recipe uses beef, but you could always use minced chicken, if you like. Light, tasty and with a delicious sweet and salty flavour from the fish sauce and honey, these are high in protein and best served with some salad, brown rice or even as an appetiser.
We can't think of anything we'd prefer to find hiding inside a meatball than a gloriously green, creamy chunk of avocado! Low-carb and gluten-free, these heart-healthy meatballs are loaded with good fats, vitamin E and vitamin B6 for glowing skin. Yum!
Yup, our obsession with courgettes has reached new levels, and what better way to keep turkey meatballs moist than with the addition of some green goodness? With no grains or breadcrumbs, these turkey meatballs are high in protein and contain plenty of tryptophan, which can promote a good night's sleep. Courgettes are loaded with vitamin C and phytonutrients that can help reduce your risk of cancer. The addition of chia seeds really boosts the protein content, making these the perfect post-workout meatballs!
Kale and sweet potatoes are not only two of the most nutritious vegetables out there, they also complement each other pretty spectacularly. So they're the perfect combination for these moist, crunchy balls which use Italian seasoning for added flavour and hemp seeds for a crunchy topping. Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A and slow-release carbs, these are as great for dinner as they are for a quick packed lunch at work.
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You might have embraced carrot noodles - if not, give them a go, they're amazing - but what about carrot meatballs? Yup, we agree, it sounds pretty odd, but moist, sweet carrots actually make really tasty meatballs not dissimilar to a Middle-Eastern falafel (that's traditionally made with chickpeas). The toasted cashews and Asian flavours of Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) and Miso add loads of flavour, whilst the creamy coconut sauce means these meatballs go perfectly with some steamed brown rice.
Meatballs with fish? Why not! Salmon is the fish of choice here and it's packed with omega-3 fatty acids to promote a healthy brain. This also ensures the meatballs stay lovely and juicy - the creamy avocado sauce is a fantastic way to up your healthy fat intake. Serve these with a light side salad and you've got dinner sorted!
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It might sound like a long ingredients list, but these protein and fibre-packed bean balls mostly rely on store-cupboard staples, so just keep some tinned beans to hand (not the kind in tomato sauce, mind) and you'll be good to go! With kidney beans, oats, carrots and walnuts, these are packed with flavour from the herbs and spices, and you can make the suggested spaghetti squash noodles as a lighter accompaniment than traditional carb-laden pasta.
Thanks to a short-but-sweet ingredients list, these meatballs are not only simple to make, they're also great if you're eating on a budget too. This is a fantastic way to get your kids to eat spinach, as the flavours of the beef, onion, garlic and oregano mask much of the taste of the veggies. We think these deserve to be served with whole-wheat spaghetti (or veggie noodles) and home-made tomato sauce.
Chickpeas are loaded with protein and fibre, they're gluten-free and they'll leave you feeling full for longer, as they're low on the Glycaemic Index. Whip up these creamy lemon and feta flavoured meatballs for a lighter take on traditional meatballs this summer. Perfect to serve to vegetarian guests - we love these!
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Orange chicken from the Chinese takeaway usually comes served in a sauce that's so sugary-sweet you're actually left feeling like a bar of chocolate would be a healthier choice! These baked chicken meatballs use hoisin sauce, orange marmalade and heart-healthy olive oil in the sticky, sweet sauce - there's no additional added sugar. You can substitute minced turkey if you can't find minced chicken at the supermarket. Rich in protein yet light and sweet, serve these with some boiled rice for a takeaway alternative, or pop them in a roll with some salad for a delicious lunch!
#11. Tuna Meatballs
Most of us pick up a can or two of tuna on our weekly shop, and now you can turn this staple into a speedy, delicious dinner. Tuna meatballs can be made with just a few ingredients and they're a great way to eat more fish - plus kids can get involved in preparing them, helping them learn about healthy eating!