Zucchini and Meatballs

If I can eat healthy and have it taste good, I’m all over it. Zucchini and Meatballs is a favorite of mine: it’s easy to make, and it can be ready in about 30 minutes. And some days, 30 minutes is about all I can wait. While you can make everything from scratch, this recipe focuses on eating in short order, which means premade ingredients: frozen meatballs, jarred spaghetti sauce, etc.

Zucchini and Meatballs

First off, did you know zucchini is actually a fruit? Yeah. Check out all these cool facts about zucchini here.

The best part of Zucchini and Meatballs is that it’s loaded with flavor. Seriously loaded.

I add a special ingredient into the spaghetti sauce that takes it over the edge…and it’s so simple.

One of my BFFs, Kimberly, told me about this easy trick. What is it? Read on, my friend, read on.

Romano cheese sprinkled on a classic Italian dish made healthier.

Making Zucchini and Meatballs

If you want this meal ready in 30 minutes, start with what takes the longest, right? That would be the frozen meatballs.

Open a jar of spaghetti sauce, preferably one that does not add sugar, then add the magic ingredient…wait for it…salsa.

Yes, salsa. Buy it mild, medium, or hot, whatever you love the best. So, is this meal Italian or Mexican?

I add about 1 cup, but if you’re feeding lots of people, you can add more to stretch the sauce a bit.

Then add the frozen meatballs. I use turkey, because it has less fat and less cholesterol than beef, although beef is pretty yummy, too.

Add 2 – 3 meatballs per person to the sauce.

The package will tell you how long to heat it up for, but mine says 25 – 30 minutes on low heat, and stir occasionally.

Cover the pot with your lid, or you might have a mess to clean up.

Zucchini and Meatballs

Let’s start the zucchini.

The zucchini replaces pasta in this recipe. How healthy is that?!

I love pasta, don’t get me wrong, but pasta is processed, so using zucchini is just a healthier version.

So, here’s what I do. Spiral (grate, shred, or thinly slice) about 2 – 3 small zucchini per person.

Also, chop 1/4 onion and 1/4 green bell pepper per person.

Don’t worry when it looks like you’re making too much, it shrinks down as it cooks.

Then you’ll wish you’d made more. LOL

Spiraled and chopped veggies.

Add some olive oil to a large saute pan, and set the heat to medium.

Add in the zucchini, onion, and bell pepper. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir occasionally and watch as the water cooks out of the veggies, and the zucchini starts to brown on the edges.

This takes about 20 minutes.

Once the zucchini has started to brown, it’s time to eat.

Zucchini on the bottom, throw on some meatballs, then spoon on some sauce.

Where’s the cheese? Yes, sprinkle on some Parmesan or Romano cheese, by all means.

Zucchini and Meatballs

Making Zucchini and Meatballs from Scratch

I have a few recipes that you can substitute in this recipe. It will take a little longer, but homemade is always worth it.

Instead of buying frozen meatballs, you can make just the meatballs from my Meatballs and Gravy recipe.

Also, if you’d rather make your own spaghetti sauce, check out this recipe for Homemade Marinara Sauce. Scrumptious!

Side Dishes

For a more formal dinner service, start the meal with an Italian Pasta and Lettuce Salad.

Serve some Parmesan Garlic Toast on the side, then finish it off with some Italian Spumoni Cookies for dessert.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate this Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Zucchini and Meatballs

A healthy meal of sauteed zucchini in place of pasta, served with meatballs and spaghetti sauce.
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mexican
Keyword: easy dinner, healthy, quick and easy, zucchini
Servings: 4
Calories: 366kcal
Author: Sweet Ordeal


  • 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce, no sugar added
  • 8 oz. salsa, mild, medium, or hot
  • 12 frozen meatballs, or homemade
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 medium zucchini, more if small
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Parmesan or Romano cheese for topping.


  • In medium pot, mix spaghetti sauce, salsa, and meatballs. Cover with lid and heat on low. Cook meatballs according to package directions, approx. 30 minutes.
  • In large saute pan, heat to medium. Add olive oil, zucchini, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until zucchini starts to crisp on edge, approx. 20 minutes.
  • Serve zucchini on the bottom, then meatballs and sauce, and then top with Parmesan or Romano cheese. Enjoy!


Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1572mg | Potassium: 1767mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1903IU | Vitamin C: 109mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweetordeal or tag #sweetordeal!

Zucchini and Meatballs

Follow me on Pinterest and sign up for emails to get the freshest recipes as they fly out of my kitchen.

Most of all, thank you for stopping by my blog and I sincerely hope you have a wonderfully blessed day.

Veggies replace pasta in this classic Italian meal.Zucchini and MeatballsCopyright © Sweet Ordeal. All content and images are copyright protected. Do not use any images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, make sure to re-write the recipe in your own words and only list ingredients making sure to link back to this post for the original recipe and directions.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating