Baked Parmesan Spinach Balls Recipe

Imagine all your favorite tastes and flavors from an Italian meal, all rolled into one bite, dipped in a generous helping of marinara sauce. Sounds delicious, right? That's the magic these Parmesan spinach balls are going to deliver for you. Brought to you by registered dietician and recipe developer, Kristen Carli, these cheesy, bread-y appetizers are the perfect appetizer for tiding over hungry people waiting on a delicious Italian meal. They could also be filling enough as a meal on their own. As Carli points out, "This is a great recipe for vegetarians that want a meatball option!" 

If you make a batch of these so you've got some now, and a little extra for later, rest assured that they make great leftovers. Per Carli, "These will store best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days."

Continue reading for more details on how to create these tasty Italian (and meat-free!) apps. 

Gather your ingredients

The first thing you should do is assemble your ingredients to make sure you've got everything necessary to make the Parmesan spinach balls. For this recipe, you'll need frozen spinach, Italian style bread crumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, butter, salt, and pepper. That's it! It's super easy to toss these together. We'd also definitely recommend grabbing a jar of marinara sauce (or making your own marinara sauce) to serve with the Parmesan spinach balls. 

The recipe calls for frozen spinach, but if you prefer the fresh variety (it's just as healthy either way), Carli says, "You can use fresh spinach instead. You would just need to blanch and drain it before using in the recipe."

Melt the butter and beat the eggs

The butter and eggs need the tiniest amount of prep work when you start making your Parmesan spinach balls. Melt the stick of butter in a small bowl. Then in another small bowl, add the four eggs and beat them together with a fork. These two ingredients will next be combined with the others in a larger bowl. 

Thus far this recipe is gluten-free, with just butter and eggs. We'll add bread crumbs in the next step but if you want to ensure it's gluten-free, Carli recommends, "...using gluten free breadcrumbs," as opposed to regular ones or Panko. "Some panko is made from wheat flour, so I wouldn't recommend that," she explains.

Get all the ingredients mixed together

Now all you have to do is mix everything together (we told you there was minimal prep work). Once the butter has been melted and the eggs beaten, it's time to move onto the next step in the Parmesan spinach balls recipe. In another large bowl, use a spatula to combine the spinach, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter; beaten eggs, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together until it's thoroughly combined. 

It's important to mix these ingredients well so they become almost a paste-like texture, and are then more cohesive when you form the balls.

Use your hands to form 1-inch Parmesan spinach balls

Now it's time to form the actual balls in this Parmesan spinach balls recipe. Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly combined as called for in the previous steps, use your hands to form several small balls, about one inch in diameter. 

Place the Parmesan spinach balls about two inches apart on two large baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. This foil will save you so much hassle with clean up later on. Spray the foil with cooking spray to if you want to up the non-stick factor even more for these.

Bake the Parmesan spinach balls, then serve

In the final step, bake the Parmesan spinach balls in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the balls are "lightly browned" and "firm to the touch." Keep an eye on them and be mindful of your own oven's cooking times (some are faster than others).

All you have to do now is serve them up!  If you don't like marinara sauce, or don't have any in your kitchen, there are other options for dipping. Carli tells us, "Besides marinara, I'd recommend garlic aioli (can't ever go wrong!) or mustard too!" 

Parmesan Spinach Balls
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These Parmesan spinach balls are the perfect appetizer for tiding over hungry people waiting on a delicious Italian meal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Parmesan spinach balls
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 24 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional Ingredients
  • Marinara sauce, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl, melt the butter.
  3. In another small bowl, add eggs. Beat until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, add spinach, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Stir to combine. Using your hands, form several small balls about 1-inch in diameter.
  6. Place the balls on two large baking sheets lined with foil.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Calories per Serving 265
Total Fat 16.1 g
Saturated Fat 9.1 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 98.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 1.8 g
Sodium 442.2 mg
Protein 12.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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