Meatless Zucchini Meatballs

“Never in my life did I think I would be eating a meatball made out of zucchini…”

This was the first thing my fiance said to me when we decided we were going to try to make these.  Quickly followed after his first bite with:

…but these are damn good!”

And you know that is a genuine Neil Ratigan quote, because I personally don’t normally use curse words in my day to day conversations 🙂

zucchini meatball

But I had to agree, I never really saw myself taking the time to make a meatless meatball.  I never really liked regular meatballs to begin with, and whenever I had a zucchini on hand it never made it five minutes at home before getting spiralized.  But one week I was too good of a planner and bought wayyyyy too many groceries.  We are usually more of the ‘stop at Publix on the way home from work every night’ kind of people because if we plan ahead we never want to eat what it is we planned for.  We buy based on our cravings.  Healthy cravings of course.

But this particular week we had some zucchinis that hadn’t made it into the meal rotation yet, and were about to go bad.  Having just eaten spaghetti squash the night before, were weren’t in the mood to get out the spiralizer and make a pasta (crazy I know!) so we decided to try something a little different.  And I think we are both so glad we did.

Who Needs Meat

Whether you are  vegetarian and never eat meat, or you are looking for a good “meatless monday” recipe, or even just want to try something delicious for dinner or a party appetizer that happens to not have meat in it, you are going to love this recipe.

Fair warning – This dish is not going to taste like your  traditional meatball made with ground beef.  But it tastes cheesy and delicious and you can top with your favorite sauce and make it taste just about any way you want!  I actually think I preferred mine without any sauce at all.  They are that good.

Easy as 1, 2, 3

You can really break this recipe down into three simple steps.  First you will grate your zucchinis with a hand grater, and remove excess moisture by patting with a paper towel (this will help the meatballs stick together better and release less moisture when cooking).

grating zucchini

Then you will take your bran cereal, pour it into your food processor and pulse until you have a breadcrumb-like texture (it can be really fine – almost flour like).


Once you have your dried and grated zucchini and your breadcrumb substitute, you are going to mix all of your ingredients in a large bowl, form into small meatball-sized spheres, and cook!

cooking meatballs

After that the only thing left to do is serve and enjoy 🙂

Meatless Zucchini Meatballs


  • 3 medium zucchini
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup bran fiber cereal
  • 1 egg
  • minced garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan


  1. Grate  zuchhini using a hand grater into a large bowl.
  2. Salt to taste, and then using a thick paper towel get as much moisture out of the zucchini as possible.
  3. Pulse bran cereal in a food processor until finely textured to create breadcrumb substitute.
  4. Add the cereal, egg, garlic, basil, and parmesan to the bowl with the zucchini.
  5. Mix until combined.
  6. Roll into small spheres for meatballs (I liked the smaller ones we made better than the larger ones, so just a tip).
  7. Using a frying pan sprayed with olive oil on the stove over medium heat, pan fry meatballs, consistently turning in order to brown all sides.
  8. Once evenly browned, plate and serve!


We served with our homemade marinara sauce, but  like I mentioned before, they are actually really delicious all by themselves.  You can put these on a plate with toothpicks and use as a great tailgate/party appetizer, or pair with pasta and have yourself a healthy “spaghetti and meatballs” meal (make it really healthy by pairing with zucchini noodle or spaghetti squash “pasta”).

I hope your family enjoys these meatless meatballs as much as we did!

meatless zucchini meatballs

Want more zucchini recipes?  Try my Italian-Style Zucchini Noodle Bake  or Sun Dried Tomato & Chicken Zucchini Noodles.

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