Looking for a new meal prep idea? In this guest post, nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan and caterer Melissa Clark share their zucchini meatball recipe from their new book The Feel-Good Family Food Plan. It makes two batches, enough for a family of four, so you can serve half for lunch and freeze the rest for your next meal.

Dr Joanna and Melissa put their expertise together to create family meal solutions that are easy, practical and healthy. In their book, The Feel-Good Family Food Plan, they focus on easy ways to make healthy eating a habit at home, from quick breakfasts to lunch box ideas to tips on getting kids to love veggies.

Zucchini Meatball Recipe with Dr Joanna McMillan and Melissa Clark

Their zucchini meatball recipe is a great meal prep idea that lets you enjoy a good meal even on a busy day. As this recipe makes enough meatballs for two meals for a family of four, Dr Joanna and Melissa suggest serving half of it with cooked polenta then freezing the rest for later. Admittedly, if you have hungry teenagers, they may devour it in one meal! Give this delicious recipe a go and serve a healthy meal for your family to  enjoy.

Zucchini Meatball Recipe from the The Feel-Good Family Food Plan
Images and text from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan with Melissa Clark, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00.



Meatballs (serves 8)

  • 500g extra lean beef mince 
  • 500g extra lean pork mince 
  • 1 large zucchini, grated 
  • 150g (1½  cups) mushrooms, finely diced 
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • ⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and chopped 
  • 115g (½ cup) ricotta cheese 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for frying, plus extra if necessary
  • 700ml jar tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 
  • Basil leaves, to serve

Soft polenta (serves 4)

  • 1L (4 cups) water
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 190g (1 cup) polenta 
  • 40g (½ cup) parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the beef, pork, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic, parsley, capers, ricotta, eggs and pepper to a large bowl. Mix with your hands until well combined. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Gently fry the meatballs in several batches until browned all over, adding a little more oil to cook each batch if necessary.
  4. Return all of the meatballs to the pan and pour in the tomato passata. Half-fill the passata jar with water and shake to loosen the remaining tomato, then pour into the pan. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the sauce is rich in colour. 
  5. After the meatballs have been cooking for 15 minutes, cook  the polenta. Combine 4 cups (1L) water and the salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Slowly pour in the polenta while whisking to ensure there are no lumps. Simmer the polenta, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Stir in the grated parmesan and the oil.
  6. Serve the polenta immediately, topped with the meatballs and basil leaves.

Nutrition per Serve

  • Energy 2060kJ      
  • Protein 39g      
  • Fat 19g (Sat Fat 6g, Poly 2g, Mono 9g) 
  • Carbohydrate 39g      
  • Fibre 3g

To start your meal prep for the week, try incorporating this meatball recipe with other healthy meal prep ideas from this article.

recipe image
Recipe Name
Zucchini Meatball Recipe
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time

In This Recipe (0 items)

4 Replies to “Zucchini Meatball Recipe by Dr Joanna McMillan and Melissa Clark”

  1. Beef, pork, zucchini, ricotta cheese along with tomatoes make an amazing combination. I really liked this recipe that you have shared in this article. Thank you for sharing it with us. Keep sharing.

  2. Zucchini Meatball seems like a all-in-one recipe, it is rich in proteins,carbohydrates and fat(good fat) :P. This is a complete meal when it comes to the amount of nutrients it has plus its easy to make.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.