October 23, 2020
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These cheesy, savory spinach balls are the easiest way to get kids to eat spinach! Serve them as a party appetizer or packed into a lunch.
These baked spinach balls are so easy to make and a hit everywhere they go. Watch how they’re made in this quick recipe video.
Spinach Recipes for Kids
Not many kids are jumping to eat spinach and let’s be serious getting my kids to take a bite of steamed spinach? Please!
However, getting them to eat one of these cheesy, spinach bites? Now we’re talking! Like spinach dip, this is one of those spinach recipes anyone will gladly inhale and ask for more.
Healthy Spinach Balls
These spinach bites can be packed into a container for a fun lunch or served at a party for a healthier alternative to regular appetizers. Since they’re made with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs I like to serve them with marinara sauce.
If gluten is an issue in your family, swap the regular breadcrumbs for gluten-free, it doesn’t make a difference in taste and you can feel safe about serving it to guests with sensitivities.
How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat Spinach
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, but still, most kids and even some adults won’t budge on their spinach intake.
While most won’t eat a spinach salad, I find that blending it into a Pineapple Green Smoothie or cooking it down into a soup or thick slow cooker chili are great ways to disguise the flavor, texture, and color, whatever it is they don’t like about spinach.
Another favorite way to hide the leaves but lean into the green is with my famous spinach pancakes. They prove once and for all that spinach doesn’t have to be yucky!
Frozen Spinach Recipes
Frozen spinach works best for this recipe, it’s already been chopped and cooked down so all you need to do is defrost and add it to the bowl. Easy enough right?
Once defrosted you can add frozen spinach to a number of recipes like:
Spinach and Bacon Mini Quiches
Spinach & Tomato Tortellini
Easy Skillet Beef Tacos
Or swap it with kale to make:
Butternut Squash & Chorizo Hash
Buffalo and Kale Tacos
Can You Freeze Spinach Balls?
Need another reason to love these spinach bites? Here goes, they can be made ahead and frozen! You and I both know, that making meals from scratch isn’t always possible every. single. day.
It’s one of the reasons many families in the MOMables community love the family meal plans. We take all the hard work off your plate by providing a complete meal guide for the week with recipes, shopping lists, and prep tips so you can work ahead. It’s too good not to share, get a sneak peek of all our family meal plans offer, here.
But let’s get back to the spinach balls. To freeze, you will make the recipe as directed but omit the baking step. Place them onto a baking sheet, leaving space in between each bite. Freeze for 4 hours or until solid, then transfer to a large zip bag and keep frozen for 3 months.
How to Form Spinach Balls
Shaping spinach balls is a lot like making meatballs. I prefer to use a small cookie scoop or large spoon to scoop a generous amount of the mixture into the palm of my hand and roll into a ball.
How to Cook Spinach Balls
How do spinach balls get that crispy on the outside, soft on the inside texture? They get baked! You can bake them fresh or straight from the freezer. Don’t bother waiting for frozen spinach balls to defrost, these are better when baked directly from the freezer.
I’m curious, how do you like to eat spinach? What recipes have you had the most success? Let me know!
Parmesan Spinach Balls
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup onions chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 10- ounce packages frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained*
- 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the spinach, breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and butter mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the mixture into your hands and roll into a ball and place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
- If you’re using a 2-teaspoon scoop, this recipe will make approximately 45 Spinach Bites.
- You can add more breadcrumbs if necessary; just add 2 tablespoons at a time and mix well.
- If you want to use fresh spinach, you’ll need about 6 cups of fresh spinach leaves (packed).
My kids do not like Parmesan cheese. Is there a substitute like maybe shredded Colby Jack etc?
Yes, you can try this recipe with shredded Colby Jack.
Would olive oil work? Also what is the dipping sauce in the picture?
MOMables - Laura
Yes, you can use olive oil to cook them down. The sauce is just a yogurt dipping sauce or you can use homemade ranch.
Can you use PANKO crumbs instead of breadcrumbs?
Yes, you can use Panko breadcrumbs to make these Easy Spinach Balls.
I made these today and they’re delicious. I didn’t have quite enough spinach so I added in some shredded carrot. Sautéed it with the onion and it worked great.
MOMables - Laura
Could you use coconut or canola oil instead of butter??
MOMables - Laura
You sure could. Enjoy!
Hi – my son has an egg allergy. Is there anything I can substitute for the eggs that would have a minimal effect on the recipe? Thanks!
MOMables - Laura
I have not tried making this with a flax egg but a lot of our members have with success.
If I use 6 cups fresh spinach, should I cook it before mixing it with the other ingredients?
MOMables - Laura
You don’t have to. it will cook down easily. Just chop it small so it mixes well. Enjoy!
Breadcrumbs: Do you mean canned, or fresh, or ‘fresh-but dried’. If ‘fresh’, what kind of bread works best?
dried bread crumbs. if you make them yourself, they are not “fresh” they are made from dry/toasted bread then ground.
Do these leftovers freeze and reheat well?
I’ve never frozen them but I’ve stored in them in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated them without any issues.
I’m not a mom, but a proud daddy to a 9 month old. Once he started eating solid foods, I’ve started to follow the diet his doctor suggested for him… lots of fruit, veggies, and my new favorite…Greek Yogurt! I found your website while searching for a banana chips recipe and really enjoy your awesome website. These recipes sound yummy, but do you have basic nutrition information for them? I’ve realized some “healthy” yogurts can be as sugar packed as a 12 oz. soda, so just trying to get an idea for how good for you these can be!
I think the nutritional information is in one of the comments above. something like less than 1g of fat per ball. I use unsweetened plain yogurt with nearly all recipes. I am delighted to have you here Scott. MOMables isn’t just for “moms”… we have hundreds of dads in our community too.
Hi, if I want to make a smaller batch do the ingredients get halved?
Yes, just cut the recipe in half and you’re good to go!
Does it HAVE to be frozen spinach?
I dont know why but i have this phobia of canned and frozen spinach. BLECH!
Nevermind- I didnt see the note about fresh spinach at first. Sorry!
Has anyone tried to make these gluten free? If so, what did you use to substitute the breadcrumbs?
gluten free breadcrumbs is what people have been using. Good luck!
Wow! Just was I was looking for! I’m going to try this today for my no-vegetable-ever-boy Would anyone happen to have the nutritional facts on these? (Or maybe they are posted here and I just don’t see it?) Thanks!
April, you are welcome to plug the ingredients and serving size into any recipe nutritional facts calculator. I believe if you check the comments you will find some previously posted.
Would goat cheese work instead of the Parmesan? If not, any recommendations? He’s allergic to cows milk.
colleen, yes, try it with goats milk. i bet that would be delicious!
I made these tonight because I had fresh rainbow silverbeet (Swiss chard?) that needed to be used up. It was fabulous. The recipe was really easy so I made it at the same time as cooking dinner. They were ready after dinner but everyone wanted to try them straight away because they smelled so good. They were a big hit with everyone, especially my two boys, 5 and 8 who ‘hate spinach’!
Great use of the chard!!
I love the idea of using swiss chard! Glad your boys loved them! :)
made this week-cut the receipe in half-sooooo good!!!!
So glad you enjoyed them! :)
Love this idea! We love your recipes and I became a subscriber today! Can you make these in a mini muffin tin? How would you alter the cooking time? Thanks for the great recipes!
Hi Lydia! yes, you can make these in mini muffin pan. make sure you grease the pan, press down and bake. don’t fill them to the top, just half way. baking time is going to be a little bit different (but not by much if you are using a 2tb scoop). check around minute 17-18. enjoy!
Is there a way to cut down on the fat in this recipe that won’t alter the flavor too much? My main concern I guess would be the butter. Thanks.
1/2 cup of butter = 110grams by weight. 110 grams of butter = 89.7 fat grams. This recipe yields 45 bites (when measuring accurately with a 2 tablespoon scoop). That means that each bite has roughly 2g of fat from the butter. You can substitute coconut oil, which many believe is a healthier fat, but fat is fat. I have not made this recipe with less. I’ll take these real ingredients over unidentifiable things in the store-bought bites. Please let me know if you make these successfully with less.