I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #LaurasLean campaign, sponsored by Laura’s Lean. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.
I am a complete sucker for zucchini noodles and any dish where I can sub them for regular noodles. Now don’t get me wrong, nothing can truly replace good ol’ pasta for me, but when I’m craving something lighter, this is my go-to substitution. However, if I’m substituting regular noodles for zucchini noodles, I’m probably whipping up some robust veggie packed meatballs using Laura’s Lean Ground Beef.
I’m just going to cut right to the chase- Laura’s Lean Ground Beef might be the most delicious ground beef I’ve ever cooked with. Period. Full stop.
Truthfully when I was approached with this opportunity I was like “Oh, yeah sure, I like cooking with ground beef, let’s give it a go.” But I didn’t realize how great it would be for all of our cooking needs. Laura’s Lean has a policy of “Never Ever”, meaning they source their protein from farmers that are never raised with added hormones or antibiotics and are always vegetarian fed.
You can absolutely taste the quality and freshness.
Whether you are cooking up delicious veg and ricotta-filled meatballs, making a quick taco bake, or just have a hankering for some freshly cooked ground beef with salt and pepper, this beef adds the freshest flavor to whatever dish you’re dishing up.
I’m also shocked that this is 96% lean ground beef because it has the flavor profile of full-fat ground beef. It’s going to make an excellent substitute in my ground turkey chili this fall.
But back to the meatballs!
I couldn’t decide on one particular way to do zucchini noodles and meatballs, so I experimented with two presentation methods that are both delicious and fun while still packing that same pasta-like punch!
The meatball gets mixed up with low-fat ricotta, parmesan cheese, an egg, carrots, parsley, oregano, thyme, and garlic. Then we served it two ways: one wrapped in zucchini slices like a ravioli and the other traditionally over zucchini pappardelle.
The zucchini noodles were really just an opportunity to sop up more delicious ground beef flavor from this meal! I could have made an entire meal out of these meatballs and they would be EXCELLENT nestled between a hoagie roll for gameday.
Check out the recipe below and get to making these delicious meatballs with Laura’s Lean Ground Beef!
Sneaking veggies in wherever I can with these Ricotta and Veggie Packed Meatballs.
- 1 lb Laura's Lean Ground Beef
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup low-fat ricotta
- 1/4 cup parmesan finely grated
- 1/8 cup parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots grated
- 1/2 zucchini grated
- 1 tsp garlic diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili flake
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups prepared pasta sauce
- 2 zucchinis spiralized into noodles
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands ensuring that everything is incorporated well.
Form a 1.5-inch meatball in your hand and place into a shallow dish for baking leaving a little room between each for the sauce to get inbetween the meatballs.
Using your preferred prepared pasta sauce, add to the baking dish so that the meatballs are half covered by pasta sauce.
Bake for 25 minutes, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes before serving over zucchini noodles.
Serve this dish over zucchini noodles for extra veggie punch!