Healthy Meatball Recipe

Make this Healthy Meatball recipe that melt in your mouth and enjoy without the guilt! Use low fat ground beef to keep this recipe full of protein and super flavorful. 

An iron skillet filled with marinara sauce and meatballs.

**This post was originally published on May 2020. It has been updated to be more helpful.

I normally post Mexican recipes but this one must be shared as they’re so good! I love to make it when I’m craving something Italian.

Low Fat Italian Meatballs

This healthy meatball recipe is made with 96% lean ground beef for less fat but you wouldn’t know it! The beef meatballs come out very juicy, soft and they even melt in your mouth. Serve them with spaghetti or even as sliders with a side salad for a complete meal.

So good!

Ingredients Icon Graphic.

If you like healthy meatballs, try my Mexican Albondigas Soup! So delicious too. 

A white bowl with beef meatballs and a fork.

Ingredients

  • 96% lean ground beef – Don’t hesitate in using lean ground beef. The flavor comes from the fresh ingredients and you won’t miss the unhealthy fat! I promise.
  • The fresh ingredients:
    • Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
    • minced fresh garlic
    • Italian bread crumbs
    • eggs 
    • flat leaf parsley 
  • The spices: kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • We’ll also use lukewarm water to keep them moist.
  • Plus a little bit of olive oil to sear the meatballs.
  • The sauce: My favorite Organic Marinara Sauce is from Trader Joe’s. and use it on all of my Italian dishes. These days I’m also liking Rao’s Marinara sauce but you’re welcome to use your favorite kind.
All ingredients on a gray board placed in a bowl.
Simple ingredients it’s all you need for great beef meatballs.

How to make Healthy Meatballs

  • In a large bowl add all ingredients and combine with your hands until everything is mixed through.
  • Shape into meatballs.
  • Heat a large pot or skillet over medium high heat.
  • Fry meatballs in batches using 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the meatballs about 3 times and cook them 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove from heat and set aside on a plate. Repeat this process until all meatballs are cooked.
  • On the same pot or skillet, add the marinara sauce and deglaze until all of the brown bits from the meat blend into the sauce.
  • Return the meatballs to the pot and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until soft.

🍝 How To Serve

  • Enjoy over perfectly cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta.
  • These healthy meatballs also make great sub sandwiches too. Just toast or warm the bread over a skillet and fill it with the meatballs and sauce. Optional is to add your favorite cheese such provolone or mozzarella on top…..(I’m getting these tips from the hubby as this is how he eats it <wink>
A large serving plate with healthy beef meatballs and cooked spaghetti.

Chef's Hat Icon.

A few recipe notes

  • Searing the meatballs – many meatball recipes recommend placing the raw meatballs directly into the sauce instead of browning them first. I prefer to lightly fry them first as the brown bits add an incredible flavor to the sauce. Don’t be afraid to try this method. The results lend to very soft meatballs!
  • Fresh Garlic: For maximum flavor, use fresh and not from a jar.
  • How to Store the beef meatballs: Refrigerate in a airtight container for up to four days.  Or freeze in storage containers for easy weekday lunches or in a larger container for meal prep. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat on medium heat. 
Holding a healthy meatball with a fork.

💫 If you make this recipe be sure to leave a rating in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram at @anafriasb.🙏

An iron skillet filled with marinara sauce and meatballs.

Healthy Meatballs Recipe

Servings 8 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Melt in your mouth Healthy Meatball recipe without the guilt! Use low fat ground beef to keep this recipe full of protein and super flavorful. 
8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds 96% lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil For searing the meatballs
  • 2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl add all ingredients (except olive oil and marinara sauce) and combine with your hands until everything is mixed through.
  • Shape into 1 inch meatballs.
  • Heat a large pot or skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear meatballs in two batches using 1 tablespoon of olive oil each time. Turn the meatballs about 3 times and cook them 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove from heat and set aside on a plate. Repeat this process until all meatballs are cooked.
  • On the same pot or skillet, add the marinara sauce and deglaze until all of the brown bits from the meat blend into the sauce.
  • Return the meatballs to the pot and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until soft.
  • Serve warm.

*Ana’s Notes:

Serve with your favorite pasta or make a meatball sub. 

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NUTRITION

Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 57mg

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

A bowl with spaghetti and meatballs.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi! Im wondering if the water goes into the meat mixture? And does both TBSP of olive oil go in pan or 1T in meat and 1T in pan?

    Thanks!

  2. Hi! Just wondering if the TBSP of olive oil used to fry the meatballs is included in the two TBPS listed in the ingredients? In other words, how many TBSPs of olive oil are added directly to the meat mixture? Thanks for the recipe, looks amazing!