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Two plates of spaghetti being served with the zucchini pesto meatballs served with wine.

Zucchini Pesto Meatballs with Pasta

A vegetarian pasta dish with all that comfort food goodness you’ve been craving. These deep-fried zucchini meatballs feature fragrant basil pesto, garlic and Parmesan cheese—a great recipe for a Meatless Monday meal.

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a mixing bowl with cheesecloth. Grate the zucchini and add it to the bowl. Season with salt and gently toss. Pull up the sides of the cloth and squeeze the zucchini until most of the excess moisture is removed.
  2. Transfer the dried zucchini to a clean mixing bowl. Ready the Panko Breadcrumbs by placing in a shallow dish. To the zucchini mixture, mix in the garlic, pesto, egg, panko breadcrumbs, cheese and pepper. Form into 1” balls. Roll in seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and set aside on a separate dish to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instruction. Drain.
  4. Fill a saucepan with about 3” of the frying oil. Set heat at medium-high. Once the oil is hot, place zucchini balls in the pan using tongs. Fry in batches, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry zucchini balls until golden brown, turning occasionally to fry each side. Remove from oil and place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
  5. Heat marinara sauce in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once cooked, add the zucchini meatballs. Cook for 2 minutes to marry flavors. Transfer pasta to a large serving dish, add zucchini and sauce and toss to combine. Serve divided onto plates or family-style.

Zucchini Pesto Meatballs with Pasta

A vegetarian pasta dish with all that comfort food goodness you’ve been craving. These deep-fried zucchini meatballs feature fragrant basil pesto, garlic and Parmesan cheese—a great recipe for a Meatless Monday meal.