These delicious zucchini balls make the perfect appetizer! Made with Italian herbs and parmesan cheese, they’re loaded with flavor while still being bite-sized and easy to eat. Serve them as a healthy snack or vegetarian meatball substitute.
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It’s zucchini season, and I know that many of you are probably making breads, muffins, and zoodles! I’m here today to throw a less common zucchini recipe into the mix.
These healthy zucchini balls use grated zucchini, similar to many other recipes that feature this vegetable, but have a savory twist instead of a sweet one. I bulked them up with bread crumbs and grated cheese and added fresh basil, parsley, and garlic.
Each little ball is bursting with Italian-inspired flavors. I thoroughly enjoyed dipping them in marinara sauce and had to stop myself from gobbling up the whole tray!
Whether you serve this healthy zucchini snack as an appetizer for a holiday party, an after school snack, or just as part of dinner one night, you can’t go wrong. I highly recommend making a batch of my Canned San Marzano Tomato Sauce to go with them!
How to Make Zucchini Balls
- Use a hand or box grater to grate a zucchini to produce ~2 cups, then squeeze out any excess water between paper towels. Add this to a mixing bowl with the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, beaten eggs, and seasonings. Stir until the mixture comes together.
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have 12 balls. Place them on a lined baking sheet.
Pop the balls in the oven until golden brown. Prepare some marinara for dipping while they’re cooking, and enjoy!
- Be sure to squeeze the water out of the grated zucchini as best as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of the zucchini balls becoming soggy, and/or they may not stay together.
- Feel free to mix up the seasonings to include herbs other than parsley and basil. If using dried herbs instead of fresh ones, use about 1 teaspoon dried for every tablespoon of fresh (1:3 ratio).
- To make these gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs. I suspect oats would also work, but I have not tried the recipe with them.
- These are best enjoyed right away but stay really well in the fridge. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days. You can eat them cold or reheat in the microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes.
- If you are making these for a crowd, serve them with toothpicks for easy grabbing! This method can also prevent the spread of germs.
Zucchini cheese balls make a delicious appetizer or snack, but you can also serve them as a vegetarian meatball option. Place them on top of pasta, and toss in tomato sauce for a plant-based meal. You could even go so far as to use them in a vegetarian meatball sub!
More Zucchini Recipes
If you like these delicious Italian zucchini balls, you may also want to check out the Zucchini Overnight Oats, Healthy Olive Oil Zucchini Bread, Summer Squash and Dill Salmon Burgers, Zucchini Carrot Oat Muffins, and Creamy Peanut Zucchini Noodles with Chicken.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Baked Italian Zucchini Balls Recipe
- 2 cups grated zucchini - from ~1 zucchini
- ½ cup bread crumbs - sub gluten free if needed
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs - beaten
- 2 cloves garlic - minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil - or 2 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley - or 1 teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Marinara sauce - for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the grated zucchini in between two paper towels and squeeze out the excess water. You may want to repeat this step a second time to get out as much water as possible.
- Add the grated zucchini to a mixing bowl with the bread crumbs, parmesan, and beaten eggs. Mix until it comes together, then stir in the garlic, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Scoop out ~2 tablespoons of the batter and roll it into a ball. Repeat until you have 12 balls. Place them in even layers on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the balls are golden brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
- These are best enjoyed right away but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Enjoy cold or reheat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high.
- I highly recommend making my Canned San Marzano Tomato Sauce as the dipping sauce for these bites! They would also taste delicious with tzatziki or even hummus.
- Other serving ideas include using these balls as a vegetarian substitute for meatballs, on top of pasta tossed in sauce. You can even use them in a vegetarian meatball sub.
Have a great first week of September! – Lizzie
Do you think these would do okay frozen and reheated?
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Ashley, I have never tried freezing them but I think it’s worth a shot! Let me know how it goes if you do freeze and reheat.
Of course you can freeze…but before you bake or deep fry