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Beef & Ricotta Meatballs


Many years ago, I used to be a figure skater. I was pretty good at it…for a chubby girl. I mean that in the most endearing way because truly, weight is a barrier, as in most things, but especially when we’re talking about jumping, spinning, endurance and most importantly, balance. I was a figure skater for a lot of years, from about the age of 7 to 13, if I had to guess. From there, I transitioned into ice-hockey and have been in love with the sport ever since.

Despite how badly figure skates tear up a beautiful sheet of ice, I have an immense amount of respect for the sport — even if hockey is clearly a better sport. 😉


This past weekend, I was feeling a bit nostalgic and watched the women’s figure skating Nationals competition that was on TV. It was definitely entertaining and the women are undoubtedly very talented. It got me thinking about my past and my figure skating and childhood days.

And then yesterday, I ran across this link — a video about Gen Y. If you were born in the 80’s, had kids born in the 80’s, or just want a good smile, you should click.

I had trolls, pogs, a fanny pack, and lived for Oregon Trail. Word Munchers and Number Munchers, too…but they weren’t in the video. I can tell you, however, that that haircut on boys — the “bowl cut” — is so very, very wrong.


Not everything about the past needs to come full circle, but classics are classics for a reason. Some things get better over time.

Like spaghetti and meatballs, for instance. It’s a classic and it is taken to a whole new level in this recipe. Ricotta in a meatball? Why, oh why, didn’t I think of that?! Doesn’t matter.

I’ve never made meatballs and spaghetti…at least not that I can recall. I bring you back this new and improved classic that brings back some memories of youth for most!



Beef & Ricotta Meatballs from The Lemon Bowl

1 lb ground sirloin (90% lean)
2/3 cup low-fat ricotta
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 egg whites, whisked
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl. combine beef with ricotta, parmesan, egg whites, garlic, parsley, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Be careful not to over-mix – that causes dense, dry meatballs.

Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop out the meat mixture and roll into balls and place in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Add to pasta sauce of choice and serve over whole wheat spaghetti.

Yield: 28 meatballs (7 servings, 4 meatballs each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 156 calories; 9.0 g. fat; 9 mg. cholesterol; 285 mg. sodium; 1.4 g. carbohydrate; 0.1 g. fiber; 17.6 g. protein

Result: Between the herbs and ricotta, these lean meatballs are incredibly moist and deep with flavor. I think what surprised me most about this meal was how quickly it came together — certainly a weeknight meal. Mr. Prevention gave these a thumbs up and I do believe I won’t be waiting so long to have spaghetti and meatballs…these totally hit the spot!


Early morning meeting, busy day, and hockey tonight 🙂

Be well,



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  1. January 29, 2013 / 5:34 am

    I am pretty sure we are the same person ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also figure skated from 8 or 9 until 13 when I phased out of the levels and had to get a private coach. When I was 14 I started playing hockey in a girls travel league. I wanted to play hockey all along but my parents were worried about the commitment. Hockey has always been my true love ๐Ÿ™‚ my first year of college I played on an intramural team but then I transferred to VA tech- only a guys club team there! They weren’t very open to girls when I checked, so I am jealous you still get to play!

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2013 / 9:13 am

      I love it! I played club in college, too…so fun. Got to skate without the pressure! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kate
    January 29, 2013 / 6:23 am

    Your skating, and my ballet:) those were the days….Bertha and Martha. This recipe looks delish…and we won’t have to walk to Berwyn to feel good about eating it! Ha.

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2013 / 9:12 am

      LOL! This is hilarious! Why did we think that was funny? ๐Ÿ™‚ Okay, it’s kind of funny!

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2013 / 9:21 am

      Liked it? LOVED it!!

  3. January 29, 2013 / 9:42 am

    You already know this, but I still figure skate, and it is clearly the better sport. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re ever in town, we can go skating sometime!

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2013 / 9:21 am

      Haha, I kid…both are clearly awesome sports! Ice is great…maybe except when it’s used for curling ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. January 29, 2013 / 10:27 am

    I love the idea of using ricotta in meatballs!!! They look delicious.

    And I think it is sooo cool that you used to figure skate, I always wanted to but…I wasn’t very good so…yeah lol

  5. January 29, 2013 / 10:40 am

    Clearly your figure skating ability shows that chubby bodies can perform many of the same feats as thinner ones. You weren’t good for a chubby kid you were just good. I’m sure there were lots of skinny kids who weren’t very good at all.

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2013 / 9:20 am

      Thanks, girl ๐Ÿ™‚ My best friend just sent me a link to a site…something like “fat body in a skinny girl” – so me!

  6. January 29, 2013 / 11:17 am

    Can you believe my Italian husband doesn’t like meatballs? WTF?! The only way he’ll eat them is sliced thin on a pizza.

    I am actually making meatball subs for my office on Friday – I may have to make your version, I bet the ricotta makes them super moist!

  7. January 29, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    This looks fantastic! I love love love the idea of mixing in ricotta with the meatballs…sounds so tasty! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. January 29, 2013 / 3:49 pm

    First, that video makes me so happy. I remember all that stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Second, those meatballs look amazing. I made meatballs for the first time in my life a couple weeks ago, and I had forgotten how good they are.

  9. Nancy
    January 29, 2013 / 6:15 pm

    my husband has been putting ricotta in his meatballs for years – thinks it is his “secret recipe” ha ha. But they are very good and I recommend it!

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2013 / 9:19 am

      It was a secret to me before seeing this recipe on Liz’s blog! Let him think he’s the only one ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. January 29, 2013 / 11:17 pm

    I’ve never put ricotta in meatballs but I love that idea! This looks amazing!

  11. February 5, 2013 / 11:10 am

    I will definitely try this recipe! Thanx for sharing

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  13. June 11, 2013 / 10:12 am

    LOVED these!
    I really can’t cook but when I made these my family thought my mother had come over!
    Thank you for making a simple and amazing recipe.
    I did use one-whole egg instead of the 2-egg-whites. and I used ground beef instead.
    This is now a family favourite.
    Thanks again.

  14. Debbie
    November 20, 2014 / 5:50 pm

    Just made these today and they are very moist and very good! I will definitely make them again!!!!! Nutmeg is an interesting item to put in there.

    • Nicole Morrissey
      November 20, 2014 / 11:49 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them, Debbie! ๐Ÿ™‚

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