Zucchini Balls



Zucchini Balls

For many children, meatballs are the only way to eat vegetables and the street food trend has revived their success. They are an evergreen of recovery cooking and indeed there are endless versions, especially those of grandma! Today we prepare together one of the simplest and tastiest variants: zucchini balls. We will reveal all the secrets of preparation and cooking for a golden and crispy result, so tasty that dinner will turn into a last meatball competition! And you, will you let the kids win or will the irresistible goodness of zucchini balls make you forget your manners?! If you prefer a lighter cooking method, don't miss the zucchini balls alla pizzaiola or the baked zucchini balls, also in a version with ricotta or enriched with speck.


For about 22 balls of 0.7 oz each
Zucchini 1.75 lbs (800 g)
Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese 3.5 oz (100 g) - to be grated
Cow's milk ricotta cheese 2.8 oz (80 g)
Breadcrumbs 4 tbsp (30 g)
Eggs 1
Thyme to taste
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
For dusting
Remilled durum wheat semolina to taste
For frying
Peanut seed oil to taste
For serving
Salt to taste

How to prepare Zucchini Balls

To prepare zucchini balls, start by thoroughly washing the zucchinis and cutting off the ends 1. Grate them with a medium-hole grater 2, place them in a colander above a bowl, and lightly salt them 3.

Place a small plate on top of the zucchinis, and put a weight on top of that 4. Leave the zucchinis covered like this to drain for at least an hour: this way, they will lose a lot of water 5. Press them down further with a spoon 6.

Then tip the zucchinis onto a clean tea towel 7; roll it up around the zucchinis like a candy wrapper and squeeze well 8. The zucchinis will thus lose the last traces of water. Place them in a bowl and add the ricotta (that you have drained and sieved) 9.

Also add the Parmigiano Reggiano 10 and mix well 11, then add the thyme leaves 12.

Finally, add the egg 13 and the breadcrumbs 14. Mix thoroughly to blend all the ingredients together 15.

Adjust the salt and pepper 16. Work the mixture with your hands again until it is uniform and firm enough to be able to form a ball 17. Now proceed to form your meatballs by taking 0.71 oz of the mixture for each one and shaping them to obtain the classic round and slightly flattened shape 18.

Roll the meatballs in the semolina 19 and place them on a tray: you should get about 22 meatballs 20. Pour the seed oil into a pan and heat it to 355°F, then dip a few meatballs at a time 21.

Fry the meatballs until golden 22. Drain them and place them to dry on a tray lined with straw paper or paper towels 23, then sprinkle with flaky salt. Your zucchini balls are ready to be enjoyed hot 24.

How to store

It is advisable to consume the zucchini balls as soon as they are ready. However, they can be stored in the refrigerator covered for 1 day.

If you want to prepare them in advance, you can store the raw and already floured meatballs covered in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Alternatively, they can be frozen raw for about 1 month.


You can flavor your zucchini balls with the aromatic herbs you like the most: mint for a touch of freshness, parsley for all tastes, basil for a Mediterranean touch... the choice is yours!

Using a medium-small hole grater will give you a texture similar to blended zucchinis; however, if you prefer to speed up the process, you can comfortably use a grater with larger holes.

We chose to use semolina to achieve a crispy and golden result just right, but if you prefer, you can opt for the classic breading with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

You can alternatively bake the zucchini balls, for about 30 minutes at 355°F in a convection oven, turning them halfway through cooking for an even browning. In this case, we recommend cooking a few meatballs as the first batch, to better adjust times and temperatures.