Vegetarian meatballs with garlic red sauce

Gluten Free Low Sodium

These "meat" balls have an unexpected twist - they’re full of fiber! Eating more fiber promotes healthy digestion and may help to lower cholesterol.


4 cups broccoli florets, large stem removed
2 tablespoons chia seeds
6 tablespoons water
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh arugula
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup diced white onion
1 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes (Do not drain.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli for 10 minutes or until florets are tender and bright green in color. Set aside to cool.
  3. Use a blender (or food processor) to pulse chia seeds into a rough powder. In a small bowl, combine the powder and water. Stir. Set aside.
  4. Pulse almonds into a fine powder. Place powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Pulse the steamed broccoli until it is roughly chopped. Add to large bowl with almond powder. Add cheese, parsley, basil, arugula, 2 cloves minced garlic, cayenne pepper, and chia and water mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Shape mixture into 12 balls. Place balls on lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Make the garlic red sauce: Pour olive oil into a large saucepan. Add onion and remaining garlic. Cook on medium-high for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Add tomatoes (in juice). Continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce reaches desired thickness.
  8. Pour sauce over meatballs and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe contains: Nuts, milk

Carb choices per serving: 2

First Published: 04/15/2014
Last Reviewed: 04/15/2014

meatballs on a plate

Make sure the parchment paper you have is for baking. The box should say that the paper can withstand a temperature of 400 F or higher.

vegetarian meatballs with garlic red sauce label