Spinach Meatballs with Spaghetti

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on October 22, 2010

Look at these green babies simmering in homemade spaghetti sauce. After rummaging through the freezer and pantry last week, I discovered that I had everything on hand for these Spinach Meatballs.  A reader mentioned them on Facebook recently, and I had to make them.

I was really worried that the boys wouldn’t eat the meatballs because they had “green stuff” in them, but it turned out to be useless worry.  All 3 of the boys gobbled them up. Hopefully your little ones will too!

A two dish, one plate dinner for ya!

Prepare the spinach and drain it. Drain it good. (Well, I mean.) I used the bottom of a measuring cup to press out the liquid.

In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, spinach, bread crumbs, egg and garlic cloves.

Form into 1 inch meatballs.

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and brown the meatballs on all sides.

Once browned, set them aside on a plate and drain any excess grease.

Prep sauce ingredients. Crush the garlic. Rinse the fresh herbs, pat dry and run your knife through them.

In the same skillet that you browned the meatballs, add the canned tomatoes with the liquid.

Stir in the tomato paste plus 1 cans worth of water.

Stir in the fresh herbs, garlic and salt and pepper.

Place the meatballs back into the skillet with the sauce.  Spoon the sauce over the top and cover.  Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Serve over noodles.

A one plate dinner. A delicious one plate dinner. A kid-friendly one plate dinner. A mom-approved one plate dinner.  Enjoy!

Spinach Meatballs with Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz box frozen spinach, cooked and well drained ($.25) Sale price and coupon
  • 1 lb. ground beef ($1.59)
  • 1 cup homemade bread crumbs ($.25)
  • 1 egg ($.10)
  • 2 garlic cloves ($.10)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($.20)
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning ($.24) Sale, store promotion and coupon
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste ($.19) Sale plus $1 Muir Glen coupon
  • 2 garlic cloves ($.10)
  • Parsley, oregano and rosemary from the garden
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About 3/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti ($.38) On sale with coupon for $.50/lb.

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, spinach, bread crumbs, egg and garlic cloves. Form into 1 inch meatballs.
  2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and brown the meatballs on all sides. Once browned, set them aside on a plate and drain any excess grease.
  3. Crush the garlic. Rinse the fresh herbs, pat dry and run your knife through them. In the same skillet that you browned the meatballs, add the canned tomatoes with the liquid.  Add the tomato paste plus one cans worth of water. Stir in the spices, garlic and salt and pepper.
  4. Place the browned meatballs back into the skillet with the sauce. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve Spinach Meatballs over noodles.

Cost $3.48

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Rona October 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

This looks amazing.
Oh, I attended your FB chat yesterday and wanted you to know I had a great time.

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Debbi October 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I have everything to try this! Looks yummy!

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Maria October 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I love the spinach in there! Great meal!

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Alea October 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Love, love, love the idea of adding spinach to meatballs! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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Debbi Does Dinner Healthy October 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I would LOVE spinach meatballs! Unfortunately, my husband would wrinkle his nose at spinach without even trying it! I’ll make these for me and the kids, they look delicious! Thanks!

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Tricia @Hodgepodge October 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm

How smart!! I will be trying these too. Thank you.

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Wendy October 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I’m not a spinach fan (although I do love spinach and artichoke dip), but for some reason I do like collard greens. I wonder if they could be used instead (or Swiss chard). Aren’t they all basically alike nutritionally?

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Claire October 22, 2010 at 11:04 pm

This looks amazing, I can not wait to make this. Thank you for creating and sharing!

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Candi October 23, 2010 at 6:39 am

I do this too, but I puree the spinach in my Magic Bullet so the hubby doesn’t know the meatballs, meatloaf or hamburger patties are filled with spinach. :) I have to be sneaky so he’ll get his vitamins :)

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Mary W October 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Wendy -I ‘m sure it would work with swiss chard. I’ve found you can substitute swiss chard for spinach in any recipe where it’s cooked. Swiss chard grows year round in my garden. Not sure about collard greens…I don’t grow ‘em so don’t ear ‘em.

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The Prudent Homemaker October 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I love meatballs! And I love spinach! Swiss chard and beet greens grow more readily for me, so we’ll hav to try it.

You didn’t say if that price for ground beef was a sale price, but I have never seen ground beef that low here in Las Vegas. On a good sale it is $1.99 a pound.

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Christina Baita October 23, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I made them tonight! I have made other meatballs that used the “green puree” from the Sneaky Chef cookbook. Steamed spinach, broccoli and peas all pureed then added to tomato puree (it turns brown wink wink) then the rest of the stuff and voila! The are so good and all three kids loved them. Each one doesn’t like one of those veggies alone.

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Samantha October 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

While I already have a favorite meatball recipe, I love the idea of adding spinach to sneak some more vegetables into our diet, I like to use some bran in place of some of the bread crumbs in my recipe to up the nutritional level, some spinach would really make them something great to serve! These look delicious!

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Nicole October 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Looked good, but just made this – blech – not a hit in this household, sorry.

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meghan November 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I am so making these.
I know my little guy won’t eat them, he doesn’t do meatballs.
Sigh.
I, though, will devour them!

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MH in OH November 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Why cook the frozen spinach? I just thaw, squeeze the water out, and add to the meat mixture.

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Nadine November 15, 2010 at 12:57 am

I used ground turkey instead of ground beef with fresh steamed spinach … The recipe was a hit!
We also included a salad and garlic bread with this meal. :-)

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Heidi January 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm

We liked these and I love the idea of spinach in them, but I thought the meatballs were a bit bland. I would make these again, but I would add some more seasoning to the meatballs.

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Allison Rushton March 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

This looks so good! I printed this off awhile ago and am determined to make them one of these days! I’ve never tackled meatballs before and haven’t found any in a store that are without dairy or soy – thank you for being so thorough with the photos. I will share my outcome on my blog once I give it a go. :)

PS – I just started following you on Twitter and have been passing this website on to a lot of people!

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Julia August 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Last year for Christmas I made spinach meatballs VERY similar to this recipe. EVERYONE said they were the best meatballs they’d ever had. I’m sold, spinach meatballs are the best meatballs! This reminds me I need to make them again!!!

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Erica June 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I made these tonight for my fiance and his sister (had to impress her, but with a college student budget). They were a hit! I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, but I did have dried Italian seasoning. Worked like a charm! Thank you so much! I will definitely be making these again.

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