Ricotta Basil Meatballs

 Ricotta Basil Meatballs

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys today! Those ricotta basil meatballs are so good!! Solal and I have recently decided to drastically reduce our meat consumption.  We did not become vegetarians but we basically only eat meat about once a week or when we go out. There are plenty reasons for that choice but it’s primarily for our health. We figured we had plenty of options to get our daily dose of protein without having to eat meat. Plus, I have to admit that preparing and eating meat was starting to disgusts me a bit, especially chicken. I’m becoming more and more sensitive to what I eat. I really can’t stand some combo and smells and the food has to be super fresh.  But that doesn’t stop me from trying all kind of food and eating at small Asian restaurants for which hygiene doesn’t seem to be the number one priority (without being gross either…)

Ricotta Basil Meatballs

So your question is: why is she talking about going meatless and still posts a meatballs recipe? Well, as I mentioned we eat meat about once a week and when we do, I want this meal to be super good! There’s no way I’m going to cook boring plain chicken breasts or something like that. Those meatballs are instead super tasty not to mention really easy to prepare. I first got the idea of using ricotta in meatballs thanks to Erin from Texanerin Baking. She used ricotta instead of breadcrumbs to make them gluten free (brilliant, right?) I decided to use breadcrumbs anyway and add ricotta to allow my meatballs to stay moist and delicious. They are also loaded with basil, which can only be super good. You can serve them as appetizers, with a salad, pasta, mashed potatoes, veggies… I bet they would also be delicious with marinara sauce (I will actually try that tonight and let you know! I tried with leftovers, and it’s perfect!).
Bon appétit!

Ricotta Basil Meatballs

Ricotta Basil Meatballs


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 (makes 25 meatballs the size of one tablespoon)

Serving Size: 4 meatballs

Cal: 165 - Protein: 21g - Fat: 6.04g - Carbs: 5.4g - Fiber: 0,4g - Sugar: 0.4g
WW Old Points: 4 pts - Points+: 4 pts


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (5% fat)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fat free ricotta
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet (or dish) with parchment paper for easy cleaning.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well (use your hands, it's fun and works better than a spoon or fork).
  3. Form meatballs the size of one tablespoon and line them on the baking sheet or dish. Make sure they all have about the same size for an even cooking. You'll get about 25 meatballs if you did your job well.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning them halfway, until cooked through. You might need to adjust baking time if your meatballs are bigger or smaller.


You can cook those meatballs on the stovetop as well. Heat a non-stick skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil and cook them until done, turning them regularly so they don't burn and keep their round shape.


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  1. Erin says

    My daughter is allergic to eggs, and egg-free meatballs tend to fall apart really easily without the egg to bind them together. I wonder if the addition of the ricotta (in addition to being delicious) would act as a binder and make the egg less necessary. I see there is an egg in your recipe, while I’m sure its easier with the egg, do you have any sense of how it would work egg-less? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Erin! I couldn’t be 100% positive since I haven’t tried but yes I think it would work without an egg! I would add more ricotta though. I’m thinking about 1/2 cup, or a bit less. Let me know how it works out if you try so I can add a note for people allergic to eggs!

  2. AndreaB says

    Aaaahhhh! Another beautiful dish – and one with basil, no less! I’ll be saving this recipe, for sure!

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