Meatballs Gone Veggie

Healthy Living, Recipes

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may increase your dietary fiber intake and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. Fiber comes from plants, so substituting traditionally meat-heavy recipes for a veggie-rich version may help increase your daily fiber intake. This healthy twist on the classic meatball recipe provides 5 grams of fiber per serving to help you reach your goal of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.

Dietary fiber has several health benefits and can be found in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, peas, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It can help you feel fuller longer after meals, which may help you achieve a healthy weight. Adequate fiber intake can help lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease. It also promotes bowel regularity and may reduce the risk of diverticular disease and colorectal cancer. Lastly, fiber may help improve blood sugar levels.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. By substituting veggies for meat in this classic dish, you can give your body the nutrients it needs without sacrificing the flavor you crave.

Christine Capruso

Registered Dietitian , Sisters of Charity Hospital

⏲️ Ready in: 45 mins.
Prep: 30 mins.
?️Servings yield: 8


  • 1 Wegmans Organic Carrot, peeled, trimmed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup organic raw shelled sunflower seeds (Bulk Foods)
  • 1 pkg (8.8 0z) Wegmans Steamables Seasoned Whole Grain Brown Rice & Quinoa 
  • 1 can (15 oz) Wegmans Organic Light Red Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 Wegmans Large Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Classics Basil Pesto Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Wegmans White Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup Italian Classics Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Cheese Shop)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Wegmans Pure Olive Oil
  • 1 jar (23.5 oz) Italian Classics Organic Grandpa’s Sauce Goes Vegetarian 

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition information is per serving
Protein: 9g
Added Sugar: 0g
Fiber: 5g
Carbohydrate: 29g
Sodium: 570mg
Cholesterol: 25mg
Saturated Fat: 2g
Fat: 13g
Calories: 260


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add carrot to food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add sunflower seeds; pulse 2-3 times, to coarsely break up seeds. Add rice blend; pulse 3-4 times. Add beans, pulse 2-3 times. Stir; replace lid. Pulse 2-3 times. Stir.

Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add egg, pesto, Panko, oregano, and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Pour olive oil into small dish to lightly moisten hands as you work. Scoop about 2 Tbsp (1 oz) mixture to form balls; roll in cupped hands to smooth.

Arrange veggie meatballs on nonstick foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with any remaining oil. Bake 10 min. Remove from oven; turn veggie meatballs over for even cooking. Return to oven; bake 10 min until browned. Remove from oven.

Add sauce and 1/2 jar of water to large pan on MED-LOW; stir. Simmer until sauce is warm; transfer veggie meatballs to pan with sauce and serve.

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* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content

Copyright  ©2021. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This recipe was posted with permission from Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., however, all special diet claims attributed to this recipe were determined and referenced by Catholic Health.