Zucchini Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ with Marinara

Zucchini Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ with Marinara is one of those savory comfort foods that you can enjoy guilt-free because it’s chock full of delicious goodness!  Roasting these nutrient dense vegetables adds a whole new depth of flavor to one of my very favorite foods!

Zucchini Mushroom 'Meatballs' with Marinara | Simply Fresh Dinners

I just love it when an experiment is successful!  I’ve been looking at zucchini meatballs on the  internet but something was missing for me.  You know I love roasting my veggies and mushrooms, garlic and onions are at the top of that list – and so an idea was born.

Zucchini Mushroom 'Meatballs' with Marinara | Simply Fresh Dinners

This meal came together so easily because I used Uncle Steve’s organic, gluten-free marinara sauce that is so much deliciousness in a jar you’ll lose your mind!  I make my own spaghetti sauce but when I discovered this product I was completely sold.  Did you know that they only use unpeeled, whole tomatoes imported from Italy?  Oh yes, they do!  (This is not a sponsored post for Uncle Steve’s, I just want to share this fantastic find!)  And yes, he looks familiar – that’s Steve Schirripa from Sopranos and Blue Bloods.  Too cool!

Uncle Steve's Marinara Sauce on 'Meatballs' | Simply Fresh Dinners

I used my wonderful extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar from Capizzano Olive Oils and Vinegars.  This is another secret of mine that I want to share.  This company has the most exquisite olive oils I’ve tasted.

Capizzano Olive Oils and Vinegars with Pasta | Simply Fresh Dinners

Did I tell you the story where I stood at the kitchen counter and devoured a salmon fillet that had just come from the oven after it was roasted in their Cobrancosa?  Fantastic!  And – wait – for it – you’re going to get a chance to win all these amazing items at the end of this post!

Vitamix | Simply Fresh Dinners

And here it comes – did I mention you can win a VITAMIX too?!  Surprise!!  This one is from the newest Ascent Series and I call it my ‘tank’!  This bad boy will serve up super creamy sauces, soups, chunky salsas – any thing you want – it delivers.  I get excited every time I use mine.

Veggie meatballs in Vitamix | Simply Fresh Dinners

The blender looks murky because the veggies are hot.  I have no patience to wait for cooling and I love it that Vitamix can take any heat your throw at it.  After those yummy veggies were roasted in the oven I tossed them into the blender and about 45 seconds gave me just the consistency I needed for the ‘meatballs’.

Zucchini Mushroom 'Meatballs' with Marinara | Simply Fresh Dinners

It’s that simple!  Add my favorite Chickapea Pasta and you’ve got the full meal deal. Are you making some healthy comfort food this fall?  I’d love to hear about your favorites.  Hashtag me on Instagram #simplyfreshdinners so I can see what’s going on in your kitchen.  Cheers!

This post is sponsored by Chickapea Pasta who has collaborated with these brands to bring you all these goodies today.  My opinions of this scrumptious pasta are strictly my own.

Zucchini Mushroom 'Meatballs' with Marinara

Zucchini Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ with Marinara is one of those savory comfort foods that you can enjoy guilt-free because it’s chock full of delicious goodness!

  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 8-10 large, button mushrooms, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into large slices
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch oregano
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 28 ounces high quality, marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces Chickapea Pasta penne
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • parmesan reggiano cheese, grated
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  

    Combine zucchini, mushrooms, garlic and red onion in a large bowl.  Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and toss with vegetables.  

    Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven.

  2. Add vegetables with spinach to high powered blender or food processor and blend until broken down but not mushy.

  3. Place mixture in wire strainer and squeeze out any extra water before adding remaining ingredients.  Store in an airtight container overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 425 F.  

    Roll meatballs into preferred size. (I went a little big on mine because that’s how I like them)  I would recommend about half that size.  About a 2 tablespoon scoop should do it.

    Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  I use parchment paper to help with clean up.

  5. Meanwhile, cook according to instructions.  Drain and rinse.

  6. Heat up marinara sauce in large saucepan.  

    When meatballs are baked, add them to the marinara sauce and heat through.

  7. Distribute pasta to plates and top with meatballs and sauce.  Garnish with your choice of basil, cheese, and/or red pepper flakes.

    When you’re cooking up vegetable meatballs, healthy pasta and organic marinara sauce you can cheat on the cheese topping!

Leave out the cayenne if the kids don’t like spicy.

It’s crucial to use quality marinara sauce.   The meatballs are a labor of love so let’s give them the best sauce!

I went a little heavy on the garlic in the meatballs, you can cut back on that if you’re not a fan.


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Zucchini Mushroom 'Meatballs' with Marinara | Simply Fresh Dinners


  • Reply
    October 3, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Robyn I absolutely LOVE all the flavours you’ve got going on here!!! I know I love me some Chickapea Pasta, and I’m sure I’ll love that marinara sauce too! YUM!
    Taylor recently posted…One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken CurryMy Profile

  • Reply
    jenn peas and crayons
    October 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I need to get my hands on a vitamix, yo! Loving this healthy happy recipe and cannot wait to give it a try with tasty chickapea pasta – my favorite!!! <3
    jenn peas and crayons recently posted…Buffalo Shrimp Lettuce Wrap TacosMy Profile

  • Reply
    October 3, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I’ve seen many meatless meatball recipes, Robyn, and this is one of the most creative!
    Gena recently posted…Weekend Reading, 10.1.17My Profile

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen
    October 3, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    LOVE the look of this entire meal!! Mushroom meatballs sound like a rockstar dish, especially with the Chickapea Pasta!!
    Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen recently posted…Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free)My Profile

  • Reply
    eat good 4 life
    October 3, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    This recipe looks terrific. I must try this at once. Such a great idea with the vegetarian take for the zucchini meatball 🙂
    eat good 4 life recently posted…Whole wheat chocolate pecan coconut cookiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Yum! This sounds wonderful Robyn and what a great way to use your Vitamix!
    Chris Scheuer recently posted…Candy Corn Swirled FudgeMy Profile

  • Reply
    October 3, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Roasting the veggies to get more flavor was genius! I can’t wait to try these “meatballs” with Chickapea Pasta and Uncle Steve’s marinara!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    October 3, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Robyn, beautiful dish! I also really love Uncle Steve’s — you can tell the quality with each bite. And Chickapea is so perfect for veggie meatballs– you have all the protein you need already.
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine recently posted…Teriyaki Salmon Millet BowlsMy Profile

    • Reply
      October 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

      I’m with you, Michelle, and using Capizzano olive oils and vinegars makes it that much better!

  • Reply
    Jessie Gunaseelan
    October 3, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    So easy to make and looks delicious!

    • Reply
      October 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Thanks so much, Jessie!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    October 4, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I will definitely be sharing this one with my daughter, who will absolutely love these veggie meatballs! They look fabulous 🙂
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers recently posted…Roasted Vegetables with Maple PecansMy Profile

    • Reply
      October 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

      So happy that they turned out so flavorful, Jennifer 🙂 I hope she likes them!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    October 4, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I am fascinated with these verge meatballs – they sound wonderful! Love everything about this recipe 🙂
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert recently posted…The Best Pumpkin PancakesMy Profile

    • Reply
      October 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Thanks, Tricia! There were a few finger biting moments wondering if they were going to turn out as I had imagined, lol

  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

    This vegetarian, gluten-free pasta looks absolutely delicious! Loving this recipe and can’t wait to try it!
    nocrumbsleft recently posted…Gluten-Free Lasagna and Lagostina GiveawayMy Profile

    • Reply
      October 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

      It’s especially good because of Chickapea, Teri. Gosh, I love this pasta – so darn tasty!

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    October 7, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Love the sound of your veggie “meatballs”. Once we return home from Europe and I start cooking again, these will be on my must try list.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…Wanted: Apple Technician, Must Love To TravelMy Profile

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    October 11, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Somehow I’ve totally missed zucchini meatballs! I didn’t even know they were a thing. Neat idea! And neat dish — thanks.
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted…Lamb Rogan JoshMy Profile

    • Reply
      October 12, 2017 at 4:14 am

      I have been seeing them for awhile now, John, but I never thought they sounded very appetizing. I needed some mushrooms and garlic in them 🙂 Thanks for popping by!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    This is a must make for me! Thanks for the jarred sauce recommendation as well. I make a big batch and freeze portions but when I am out I would like an easy alternative.
    Mindy recently posted…Giving Thanks Friday (on a Monday): Spring EditionMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 1, 2017 at 4:37 am

      I make my own too, Mindy, but I truly love Uncle Steve’s. So great to have a healthy jarred alternative that delicious!

  • Reply
    Njomza B.
    October 12, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    I have never tried Zuchini Meatballs with mushrooms. This looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

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