These meatballs are full of flavor and packed with sneaky nutrition thanks to the finely chopped carrot, onion, garlic, and parsley. Our entire family loves them!
When I make these, I usually double the recipe and freeze half of them for future lunches or dinners. They make such a great freezer meal!
- 1 medium carrot, finely shredded or minced in food processor
- ½ small onion, finely chopped or minced in food processor
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (by hand or in food processor)
- ⅓ cup fresh loosely packed parsley, finely chopped or minced in food processor
- ½ cup fresh, finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (How to make your own)
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan that has sides or a 9x13 casserole dish with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up.
- In a large bowl, combine the carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt and pepper.
- Mix in the ground beef. Use your hands to combine well.
- Roll meat mixture into meatballs, using about 2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball. They will be about 1½ inches in diameter. Place on sheet pan, leaving a little room between each one.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Cut one open and make sure there is no pink in the middle to assure doneness. Internal temp should be 160 degrees F.
Option 1: Do not bake meatballs first.
After rolling out meatballs (step 4), freeze in a freezer bag or container in a single layer. Or, if stacking meatballs in a container, divide single layers with parchment paper.
When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then bake according to directions (step 5). Or, if cooking directly from frozen, increase baking time by about 30 minutes (total baking time: about 50 minutes); cover with foil if they are getting too brown on the outside.
Option 2: Bake meatballs first.
After baking meatballs (step 5), freeze in a freezer bag or container in a single layer. Or, if stacking meatballs in a container, divide single layers with parchment paper.
When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then warm up over low to medium-low heat on the stove in some marinara sauce. If you warm frozen meatballs in sauce it will take longer, so stir continually so sauce doesn’t scorch. Another option, although not the preferred method, is to warm frozen meatballs by themselves in the microwave in 30 second increments until warmed through, being careful not to overcook.
Use them to make our Healthier Meatball Sub Sandwiches or serve on top of some whole wheat spaghetti with our Homemade Marinara Sauce.