Asparagus and Zucchini Balls Recipe

Zucchini Meatballs


  • small zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons  pine nuts
  • 1 1/4 Cup  fresh white breadcrumbs
  • free-range eggs
  • asparagus spears, sliced 
and cut into paper-thin disks
  •   a large pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • garlic cloves, crushed
  •   teaspoons sea salt

Grab some early-season zucchini and combine them with mid-season asparagus to make a tasty veg ball. It’s important to remove as much liquid as possible from the grated zucchini to prevent sogginess and ball collapse. Simply wrap the grated zucchini in a clean dish towel and wring it out. Be careful when toasting the pine nuts—keep them moving around the skillet so they don’t burn. I am the king of distraction here. Whole pans of pine nuts have ended up in the garbage can because I left them on the stove and forgot about them. You have been warned.

From The Meatball Cookbook, by Jez Felwick.


Coarsely grate the zucchini into a bowl and scatter with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes to draw out some of the liquid, then squeeze the zucchini in a clean dish towel. This is important, because you want to remove as much liquid as you can in order to help the mixture combine 
and stick together.

Put the pine nuts into a dry skillet and toast them over medium heat, shaking the pan from time to time and making sure they don’t burn. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as they start to turn a light brown color and then tip them onto a cutting board. When they’ve cooled down, crush them into small pieces.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the asparagus, zucchini, garlic, dried red pepper flakes, white breadcrumbs, Parmesan, crushed pine nuts, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Combine with a wooden spoon, then mix thoroughly using your hands, squeezing the mixture together as you go. The mixture will be fairly wet, so chill it into the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse and the mixture to set.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF, and line a large baking pan with nonstick parchment paper.

Pour the panko breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl. Form the zucchini mixture into 12 balls, each about 1¾ inches diameter, then roll them in the panko breadcrumbs and place them on the prepared baking pan. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through—the balls should begin to brown on the top and be firm to touch. Keep an eye
on them to make sure they don’t burn underneath.



Calories per serving:

150 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Balanced Sugar Conscious, Dairy Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 30g 46%
  • Carbs 121g 40%
  • Saturated 6g 30%
  • Fiber 14g 55%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 23g
  • Monounsaturated 8g
  • Polyunsaturated 11g
  • Protein 41g 82%
  • Cholesterol 372mg 124%
  • Sodium 3,497mg 146%
  • Calcium 417mg 42%
  • Magnesium 213mg 53%
  • Potassium 1,962mg 56%
  • Iron 13mg 73%
  • Zinc 6mg 43%
  • Phosphorus 757mg 108%
  • Vitamin A 253µg 28%
  • Vitamin C 92mg 154%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 118%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 96%
  • Niacin (B3) 13mg 65%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 65%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 361µg 90%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 23%
  • Vitamin D 2µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 5mg 23%
  • Vitamin K 79µg 99%
See detailed nutritional info Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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