Lightened-Up Meatballs

Lightened-Up Meatballs

4.1 of 5 (51)
member ratings
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 295.4
  • Total Fat: 10.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 156.3 mg
  • Sodium: 177.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 36.9 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Lightened-Up Meatballs calories by ingredient


View the original recipe for Slow Cooker Meatballs

Introduction

Lean but packed with flavor, these meatballs are a comfort food favorite. Lean but packed with flavor, these meatballs are a comfort food favorite.
Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients

    1 large white or yellow onion, quartered
    4 garlic cloves
    1 red bell pepper, cored and cut in half
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    16 ounces lean ground beef (94% lean)
    1 slice whole wheat bread, crust removed and processed into bread crumbs
    1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    2 1/2 cups prepared low-sodium marinara sauce, divided (optional, not included in nutritional breakdown)
    Fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Tips

Use a food processor to make quick work of chopping all those veggies. If you don't have one, you can mince them instead. You want the veggies to be finely minced--this will ensure moist but not soggy meatballs.

If cooking longer than five hours, increase the water in the recipe to 3/4 cup.


Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pulse the onion in a food processor until finely chopped.

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about four minutes, until it starts to soften.

Meanwhile, add the remaining vegetables to the food processor (no need to clean it after chopping the onions) and pulse until they are finely chopped.

Add the veggies to the pan, stir and cook for another four minutes, until their juices start to evaporate. Add the herbs and spices, stir, and remove from heat.

Transfer the pureed veggies from the food processor to a medium bowl. Refrigerate for five minutes to cool slightly.

Add the beef, bread crumbs, egg yolk, and one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese to the bowl with the pureed vegetables. Using a fork or slotted spoon, thoroughly mix. Scooping two tablespoons at a time into your hands, roll the meatballs between the palms of your hands.

Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Serving Size:Makes 4 servings, 3 meatballs per person

Member Ratings For This Recipe


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    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
    Ground turkey is cheaper & has fewer calories. And cooked Quinoa makes a great filler for meatballs & meatloaf & packs more nutritional punch than whole wheat bread. - 4/1/14


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    Very Good
    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I INCLUDE PARSLEY OR BASIL INSIDE OF MY MEATBALLS, NOT AS A GARNISH AND USE EITHER CHICKEN OR TURKEY INSTEAD OF BEEF! :-) - 4/3/16


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    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    I too sub ground turkey, and I prefer panko bread crumbs if I'm going to use bread crumbs. Sometimes I sub rolled oats (raw). I alwo add a dash of worcestershire. - 4/5/18


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    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    The whole reason for a recipe is recreate a meal. Changing major components changes the recipe into something unrecognizable. If you want a turkey recipe, don't open a beef recipe. - 4/5/18


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    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    sounds amazing with turkey or chicken. - 10/25/15


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    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Sound very good with chicken. - 5/30/17


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    Incredible!
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    I am more of a teriyaki flavor fan, so left out Italian seasoning added fresh ginger and made a light teriyaki sauce instead of marinara. I think the super lean beef is soo much better than ground turkey! - 1/27/17


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    :) - 6/21/21


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    Looks yummy! - 4/5/21


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    Excellent directions - 4/5/21


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    There is a note about cooking for longer than five hours, I assume that's cooking them in the marinara sauce, but there aren't any directions for that, just cooking the meatballs themselves. - 4/5/21


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    Very Good
    Made this with ground turkey - 4/5/21


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    looks good
    - 4/5/21


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    Incredible!
    yum - 3/28/21


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    Very Good
    Used turkey and panko. Lots of work, but worth the trouble. - 1/18/21


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    Incredible!
    got to try this - 1/15/21


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    Incredible!
    Yummy - 11/1/20


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    why cut the crusts off the slice of bread? It seems negligible - 9/20/20


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    very tasty - 8/24/20


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    I am going to try this out - 8/5/20


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    Good
    Looks good - 7/21/20


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    Great - 6/12/20


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    thanks for sharing
    - 4/6/20


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    Going to have to make these they sound so good - 4/5/20


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    Will have to get some beef first - 4/5/20


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    Very Good
    Ok - 4/5/20


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    Will try this one - 4/5/20


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    Very Good
    Too many steps in the prep and too many pots/pans/bowls to clean. - 3/29/20


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    Good
    Good - 1/21/20


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    How odd to promote a recipe, list ingredients, and yet the instructions do not direct how to use 1 remaining tablespoon of parmesan cheese and the marinara sauce. I had to read the original slow cooker recipe to see their intent. I'd like to hear from those who have air-fried these meatballs. - 1/16/20


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    sounds good - 10/26/19


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    Good
    I used the suggestions by fellow Sparkers here and used normal Marinara sauce. I believe they were still healthy. - 9/28/19


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    Going to try this one. - 9/19/19


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    Good
    Great - 8/6/19


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    Good
    hubby's office loved these - 7/23/19


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    Great - 7/10/19


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    Good
    Good
    - 7/2/19


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    Incredible!
    YUM - 6/28/19


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    Meatloaf meatballs. They were good. - 6/7/19


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    Thanks - 5/15/19


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    Very Good
    yum - 4/5/19


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    I only see 1 of the 2 T cheese used in the recipe. Wgat about the other? - 4/5/19


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    My husband and I loved this recipe Thank you for sharing. - 4/5/19


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    O.K.
    Use a whole egg. Use any meat that you like. Use flaxmeal or almond flour. Old recipe, easy to change to suit yourself. - 4/5/19


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    Great! - 2/26/19


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    Yum - 1/27/19


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    Good
    Yum - 1/19/19


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    OMG, so delicious!!!! - 1/11/19


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    Look good!
    - 1/9/19


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    These look good. Going to try them with some of the comment additions. - 10/27/18


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    yummy - 10/10/18


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    Incredible!
    Very good! This can be made with gluten free bread crumbs. - 9/21/18


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    I really lightened up this recipe. I used veggie crumbles. - 9/13/18


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    Good
    Tasty - 9/13/18


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    Mixing half and half beef and turkey is another option. I really like turkey also. I like the idea of subbing oats or almond flour instead of breadcrumbs. I've made meatballs without any type of carb and they're still good! - 9/12/18


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    love meatballs - 9/12/18


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    great meatballs - 9/10/18


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    Incredible!
    This is good. I do add extra oregano and basil and parsley inside my meatballs. Also use egg beaters instead of egg yolk. - 8/18/18


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    Very Good
    Thanks for sharing - 7/26/18


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    Very Good
    I sub the beef with ground bison. Very good! - 7/10/18


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    tasty - 6/23/18


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    Meatballs are a big favorite of mine....gonna try these tomorrow night - 6/7/18


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    Incredible!
    I love these HM meatballs. Much healthier than store bought! - 4/27/18


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    Use this recipe with grounded turkey. Delicious! - 4/16/18


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    Incredible!
    Love these, but used 1/2 a baked potato mashed instead of bread crumbs... - 4/15/18


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    Incredible!
    Delicious - 4/5/18


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    These look good so I may try them. - 4/5/18


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    Lighter sounds good! - 4/5/18


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    NICE - 4/5/18


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    Why remove the crust of the bread? It will make great bread crumbs.

    - 4/5/18


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    This sounds great! I want to try this! - 4/5/18


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    Good
    Looks like everyone’s off ground beef. I’m surprised this recipe didn’t have ground turkey - 4/5/18


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    Incredible!
    I love this meatball recipe! I use turkey instead of beef! Yummy! - 4/5/18


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    Incredible!
    yum. - 4/5/18


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    great - 4/5/18


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    works with ground turkey - 4/5/18


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    Incredible!
    I have used lean turkey with this recipe also and they taste very good. You can play around with spices also to appease your taste. - 4/5/18


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    Good flavor! - 4/5/18


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    Light meatballs! Great! - 4/5/18


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    Very Good
    Tasty and moist. I generally love to chop veggies by hand but was happy with how the food processor finely chopped 'em. That was new to me. Nice texture resulted. - 4/5/18


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    very good - 4/5/18


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    This looks good and can be adjusted to suit several needs and tastes. - 4/5/18


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    I will have to try this. - 4/5/18


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    My hubby does not like store bought meatball but I will try these and see what he thinks. - 4/5/18


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    Sounds good - 4/5/18


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    Incredible!
    Very delicious, added a few extra vegetables - 4/3/18


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    Good
    Cool twist. - 3/27/18


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    nice - 3/23/18


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    I have to make these - 3/11/18


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    Incredible!
    Crock pot dinner - 3/7/18


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    Very Good
    These were tasty, I baked mine in the oven on a rack. Thanks for sharing - 3/5/18


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    Very Good
    Thank you..they were delicious - 2/25/18


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    thanks - 2/25/18


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    Must try this one. - 2/20/18


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    Turkey sounds like a great idea - 2/10/18


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    love meatballs, good take on them. - 1/31/18


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    Incredible!
    delightfully tasty - 1/31/18


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    I often use ground turkey and sometimes add turkey italian sausage to give more flavor. - 1/30/18


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    Ground turkey is a great substitute - 1/24/18


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    Excellent - 1/13/18