Recipe: Florentine Meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs, right? Meaty goodness rolled up into to a ball served in a variety of ways: in tomato sauce over pasta, in soup, on a sandwich, as a snack, or as protein on your dinner plate, YUM! Meatballs are usually made with fatty ground beef and TONS of cheese, and then fried, yes they taste great but are not that good for you, trust me I have no problem with indulging during special occasions or holidays, but I had to figure out a way to make them healthier. What if I told you that you can have meatballs whenever the mood strikes you, wouldn’t you love that?! (Yes I am talking to my Sunday Sauce peeps, LOL.)

So here is my healthy version of the meatball, I like to call it a florentine meatball because I sneak in tons of spinach for an extra vitamin kick. They have a lot less fat, a lot more protein and fiber, and have amazing flavor, trust me you are not going to miss the beef.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1lb. ground chicken thighs
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 5 slices of Ezekiel bread toasted
  • 1 – 10 oz. package of organic frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • ½ cup Romano cheese
  • ½ cup aged parmesan cheese
  • Spices: 2 tsp Mrs. Dash Italian medley, 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend; 1 tsp sea salt; 1 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp granulated onion, 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cage free eggs plus two additional egg whites

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees for convection or 375 degrees for regular ovens.

So I like to do some ingredient prep first, I find it easier to have everything measured out, so then I can dump it all into one bowl and get cracking. First you need to make the bread crumbs. Take the 5 slices of toasted Ezekiel bread and put them in a food processor, pulse until it’s all completely pulverized and add all the spices and pulse one last time to incorporate.


Next I like to set up a dish with all remaining ingredients except the ground chicken. So measure out the cheese, dice your onions, mince your garlic, and cook your spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (if you don’t squeeze out the liquid your meat mixture will be too soft and you won’t be able to roll meatballs).


I take this dish and dump all the contents into a mixing bowl that has the ground chicken, then I also dump in the homemade breadcrumbs. Now it is time to get your hands dirty and mix! Once you feel everything is evenly mixed, start rolling your meatballs. I make them about the size of golf balls. Make sure you have your cookie sheets ready next to you greased with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.


Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the meatballs, once flipped cook for another 10 minutes. If you make smaller or bigger meatballs adjust cooking time accordingly.


Don’t they look amazing, they were so darn good I was greedy and ate 6 of them as a snack. Yes they are THAT GOOD and healthy, so no guilt. These freeze well, so I usually make a double or triple batch so I have them on hand in case I need to whip up a quick meal. These are great with pasta and sauce, in a wrap, or just served with veggies and a healthy grain. ENJOY!


Make sure you check out our past recipes. And if you try this one, share it with us! Either here or on social media by using the hashtag #nerdandlace.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    These look lovely! I wonder if I could make them vegetarian somehow?!?! Maybe a mixture of beans with the same seasonings…yum! 🙂

    1. Dee Shore says:

      Give it a try? Tofu if all else fails.

      1. Liz says:

        Yes! Or even a mixture of the two lol

      2. Dee Shore says:

        Why not! The beauty about cooking is that you could honestly play and mix in. I was following our resident foodie around yesterday as she created recipes and we have one in the works that is crab free and vegetarian. Can’t wait to share that!

      3. Liz says:

        Love it!!! When I’m creating recipes I feel like a kitchen chemist! When you get the mixture right it’s magical 🙂

      4. Dee Shore says:

        You know what? That’s exactly what it felt like watching Ange cook yesterday lmao! She starts with a basic idea and then she keeps adding as she goes. And her kitchen has seasoning and ingredients all over the place. So she’s here there and every where. One day I’ll Periscope a cooking session 😄

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