Italian-style meatballs and a mix of veggies get baked at the same time on one sheet pan and served over a lemony ricotta (and yogurt) mixture so that you can scoop up that delicious creamy sauce with every bite. Be sure to have a nice thick slice of bread on the side to wipe your bowl clean!
Ricotta cheese! This soft, mildly sweet cheese is loaded with calcium and selenium and is a great source of protein, packing in 14g per 1/2 cup.
For the meatballs:
- 6 cups chopped non-starchy veggies*
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley or basil, plus more for topping
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Crusty bread
- Lemon wedges
For the lemony ricotta:
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese**
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1-2 cloves garlic, grated or pressed (optional)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- *Use any combination of quicker cooking veggies like snap peas, asparagus, radishes, carrots, celery, broccoli, fennel, bell pepper, etc…
- **Or use whole milk cottage cheese and reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon. You could blend this up in a blender to make it extra creamy/less lumpy.
- Tip! ~ Once your bowl is empty, drizzle some olive oil into it and now you have a delicious olive oil ricotta combo to dip your bread into. So good!
- Preheat oven to 450F or 425F convection. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Add veggies, oil, and ½ teaspoon salt to the baking sheet and toss to coat.
- In a medium bowl, add the turkey, zucchini, herbs, cheese, tomato paste, oregano, garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly, then roll into golf ball-sized meatballs.
- Nestle the meatballs into the veggies. Top each meatball with a light drizzle of olive oil to encourage browning on top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are browned on top and cooked through.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, yogurt, lemon zest, garlic (if using), and salt.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into your bowl and smear it around with the back of your spoon. Add the veggies + meatballs on top. Sprinkle with parmesan, herbs, black pepper, and a drizzle of your best olive oil. Squeeze lemon all over and serve with a side of bread.
Items you can prep ahead (optional)
- Chop 6 cups non-starchy veggies
- Grate 1 cup zucchini
- Chop ½ cup chopped parsley or basil
- Grate ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Make lemony ricotta
- To make vegetarian, try making these Beetballs in place of the meatballs.
- To make vegan, see above + make my Sunflower Ricotta and thin it out with a touch of lemon or water to your desired consistency.
- To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free bread on the side.
- For the ricotta, you could just use ALL ricotta and you could also use whole milk cottage cheese in place of ricotta (reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon). You could blend this up in a blender to make it extra creamy/less lumpy.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer:
- Ricotta mixture: up to 5 days in the fridge (generally lasts longer without garlic)
- Meatballs: up to 4 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 2 months
Leftovers + Repurposing:
- Warm up leftover veggies + meatballs. Serve over the ricotta mixture with all the toppings.
- Make it a toast! Spread the ricotta on toast and top with the veggies or anything else.