Last updated on March 23rd, 2023 at 10:44 am
These delicious healthy spinach balls are easy to make, vegan, incredibly tasty and can serve as an appetizer or even a main dish when served with some salad. They’re the perfect spring recipe to make as they combine lots of spinach, green onions and green garlic, but with few adjustments, you can make them any time of the year. This simple spinach recipe is vegan, gluten-free and perfect for meal prep!
Fine, I see their shape. They’re not really balls, but they’re good and they’re made with a lot of spinach and love. In my defense, I did shape them as balls. Then the heat treatment finished them. And now they look like this.
Spring Is Coming
I don’t know about you, but I’m just overly excited that spring is coming. Not just because my pollen allergies are going to wake up again and leave me with red eyes that look like infected raisins. No no no. I’m excited because I get to actually start gardening outside during spring. For the very first time!
The patience it took this entire winter. OMG. I want to see if I can do it. I just want. And so, I’ve already planted some things directly outside – radishes, parsley, kale, garlic, and those mini onions that grow into bigger bulbs. What I can’t wait for is that spinach. Popeye’s food.
You know what I’ve discovered recently, something that I never, ever realized: The name Popeye comes from one of his eyes popping and being bigger than the other. Pop-Eye. I mean, it’s so obvious, kinda mean at the same time, but also funny. Did everyone else know about this? Am I again behind?
Like if I tell you I’ve been having dreams, DREAMS, about recipes with spinach. Rice with spinach, spinach soup, spinach balls…spinach spinach spinach. I know I sound so boring, but I don’t care, like at all. Spinach doesn’t judge. So, before my spinach grows I went and bought spinach – frozen and fresh. Frozen for my smoothies, fresh for my main dishes. I’ve been making many many spinach-based lunches and dinners like these tasty balls. And there will be more to come in the future.
And don’t get me started with stinging nettle. If I get my hands on that magical anti-inflammatory plant I obviously will sting them and get a rash, but also make recipes with it too. Basically, I’m super excited for spring and all the spring foods that come along and these spinach balls are just the start. Now let’s finally get to the recipe!
Spinach Balls Ingredients
Here’s what you need to make these tasty vegan spinach balls, it’s only healthy ingredients:
- Spinach. This is the main ingredient in the recipe and gives them that nice green color. The green color from cholophyll actually masks all the carotenoids that you can find inside spinach. I recommend fresh spinach for the recipe.
- Chickpeas. This is kinda what gives substance here and helps to keep the balls together. We don’t use eggs, flour or any other binding agents – so we need chickpeas. You can also use cooked beans or if you wish, this would be a great recipe to try with rice. That’s actually something I’m looking forward to making next. Wonder if it will work without an egg. We’ll see.
- Green onions and garlic. Now, I guess not everyone can find green garlic, so you can use just regular garlic for the recipe. If you’re also into gardening, you can grow some green garlic yourself – all you need is some soil and garlic cloves. Each garlic clove will within time turn into green garlic – and with even more time can turn into an entire garlic head. You know the saying – the more garlic, the merrier.
- Flax seeds. I added some ground flaxseed to the mixture to thicken it and because I wanted some extra omega-3s!
- Herbs and spices. Here we’re going for mint, hot paprika and cumin! The one thing I regret is the fact I didn’t have any fresh mint. I love fresh mint in dishes like these spinach balls. It’s just such a nice touch and pairs really well with garlic and onions. If you do have fresh mint – use it here. If you don’t dried will also do the job!
How To Make The Healthy Spinach Balls
The process is super easy! Basically, all you need to do is wash and mix the ingredients, shape the balls and either bake them or fry on the stove with some olive oil. Here’s the step by step:
Wash spinach and the green onions and garlic thoroughly. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
Chop the green onions and garlic thinly, then add them to a large bowl and add the chickpeas, spinach, flax meal, mint, cumin and hot paprika or chili powder. Don’t forget to add salt too!
Mash with an immersion blender until the mixture is about 3/4 blended, then give it a good mix to combine everything. You want to have a few chunks in there for some texture.
Now, make your hands wet or oil them and start shaping balls with your hands. You can probably also use an ice cream scoop to do that. I just took them out with a tablespoon and got my hands dirty.
Now while that’s going on, preheat the oven to 370F/190C.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread olive oil over to prevent the spinach balls from sticking to the surface.
Gently place each spinach ball on the paper, leaving a little bit of space in between, so that it’s easier when you’re taking them out. (They’re not super dense and will fall apart easily if you make “the wrong move” with a spatula)
Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping them (carefully) once halfway through to allow more even baking.
Alternatively, you can also fry the balls on the stove with some olive oil – I found this to be a bit more challenging, as it has hard to flip without hitting the neighboring balls.
And that’s it! I forgot to count, but by the end, you will have around 20-25 spinach balls waiting to be eaten by you!
Baking Vs Frying
Here you can see a difference between the two batches – baked (the rounder and greener) vs fried (the darker “balls”). I must say that the pan-fried spinach patties had a bit more intense flavor than the baked ones. However, it wasn’t such a big difference and because of how easy the baking method was – I prefer this way for cooking the balls.
How To Serve The Spinach Balls
Now, depending on what’s in season and what you like for vegetables you can serve the spinach patties with whatever type of salad you love! I made a tasty radish salad (which I will be sharing here later on) using radishes, parsley and avocado. But a tomato cucumber salad or a lettuce-based salad will work too if you want to have the spinach balls for lunch.
For a tasty appetizer or just to turn them into a complete, full-on lunch bowl – prep some garlicky yogurt sauce, or if you’re dairy-free – this garlicky cashew sauce or this avocado dill sauce.
To make the garlic yogurt sauce simply mix 1/2 cup of yogurt with some salt, fresh herbs like dill or parsley and 2 cloves of minced garlic. It’s SO good.
I made cashew sauce with a little bit of parsley and mint, but while it was good, I wasn’t overly excited about it – so I’m not sharing the recipe. Still, with the salad and the balls – the meal was amazing overall!
These spinach balls are perfect for meal prep! They will stay good in the fridge for about 3-4 days and all you need to do before you serve them is reheat in the oven. Serve with salad and some sauce of choice!
More Healthy Spinach Recipes
I truly hope you’re as excited for spring as I am and I hope you celebrate the start with a tasty recipe like these flavorful vegan healthy spinach balls! In case you get obsessed with this leafy green like I did – try these amazing spinach recipes as well:
Healthy spinach balls - easy to make, vegan, gluten-free, tasty, great as an appetizer or even main dish with some salad, it's the perfect spring recipe and it's good for meal prep too!
- 4 cups spinach
- 2 1/2 cups chickpeas, canned, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 tbsp mint, dried
- 3 green onions, thinly chopped
- 1 green garlic, thinly chopped*
- 2 tbsp flax meal
- 1 tbsp hot paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- Wash spinach and the green onions and garlic thoroughly. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
- Chop the green onions and green garlic thinly, then add them to a large bowl and add the chickpeas, spinach, flax meal, mint, cumin and hot paprika or chili powder. Don’t forget to add salt too!
- Mash with an immersion blender until the mixture is about 3/4 blended, then give it a good mix to combine everything. You want to have a few chunks in there for some texture.
- Now, make your hands wet or oil them and start shaping balls with your hands. You can probably also use an ice cream scoop to do that. I just took them out with a tablespoon and got my hands dirty.
- Now while that’s going on, preheat the oven to 370F/190C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread olive oil over it to prevent the spinach balls from sticking to the surface of the baking pan.
- Gently place each spinach ball on the paper, leaving a little bit of space in between, so that it’s easier when you’re taking them out. The cooked balls are not super dense and can fall apart easily if not handled properly.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping them (carefully) once halfway through to allow more even baking.
- Alternatively, you can also fry the balls on the stove with some olive oil – I found this to be a bit more challenging, as it has hard to flip without hitting the neighboring balls.
- Serve immediately with some salad and garlicky yogurt sauce (1/2 cup yogurt mixed with salt, 1 tbsp thinly chopped fresh herbs, and 2 minced cloves of garlic) or cashew sauce for a dairy-free alternative. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
*you can also use 2 minced garlic cloves
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 140mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 14gSugar: 6gProtein: 16g