Eat-Your-Veggies Italian Meatballs

Amp up spaghetti night with these clever veggie-packed meatballs. Convenient frozen collards and canned black beans are easy to sneak into the mix.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 18 meatballs (6 servings)
  • Nutrition Info
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2 cups frozen chopped collards

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup black beans, drained and mashed

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti, cooked

2 cups jarred marinara, warmed


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and coat with cooking spray.
  2. Cook the frozen collards in a large bowl in the microwave according to package instructions. Let cool slightly.
  3. Add the beef, black beans, Italian seasoning, garlic, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the collard greens. Mix with your hands until just combined. Mix with your hands until just combined. Scoop mounds of the meat mixture (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheet. With damp hands, roll the mounds into balls and space them evenly apart on the baking sheet. Bake until completely cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes.
  4. Serve the meatballs with warm pasta and sauce. 
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