Two bowls of ricotta zucchini meatballs, served over soft polenta. Topped with fresh basil leaves.

When it comes to family meals, versatility and convenience are key. These ricotta zucchini meatballs not only satisfies taste buds but also caters to your busy schedule.

Cook Once, Enjoy Twice

Imagine preparing a dish that not only feeds your family now but also makes enough for a delicious dinner for another day. These Ricotta Zucchini Meatballs offer just that. This recipe yields enough meatballs for two hearty meals for a family of four. That’s right, cook once and enjoy the fruits of your labor on multiple occasions.

A Perfect Duo: Meatballs and Polenta

These Ricotta Zucchini Meatballs can be enjoyed with gluten-free pasta, salad or roast veg, but for the ultimate in comfort food we recommend pairing it with a side of cheesy polenta. The hearty meatballs add a savory touch, while the polenta provides a warm and comforting base that complements the dish flawlessly. If you don’t have a polenta recipe, don’t worry. This cheesy polenta recipe (from our slow-cooker beef stew recipe) is the perfect accompaniment to these meatballs.

Ricotta Zucchini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 500 g extra lean beef mince
  • 500 g extra lean pork mince
  • 1 large zucchini grated
  • 150 g finely diced mushrooms
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • cup flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers rinsed and chopped
  • 115 g ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 700 ml jar gluten-free tomato passata puréed tomatoes
  • basil leaves to serve


  • Add the beef, pork, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic, parsley, capers, ricotta, eggs and pepper to a large bowl. Mix with your hands until well combined. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball.
  • Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Gently fry the meatballs in several batches until browned all over, adding a little more oil to cook each batch if necessary.
  • Return all of the meatballs to the pan and pour in the tomato passata. Half-fill the passata jar with water and shake to loosen the remaining tomato, then pour into the pan. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the sauce is rich in colour.


Images and text from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan with Melissa Clark, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00.
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