BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Spaghetti with Broccoli Balls

  • Prep Time 0:25
  • Cook Time 0:15
  • Estimated Cost $15.50

I have never understood vegetarian food that is intended to pass as meat. Please—don’t insult my intelligence.

Rather than fretting about how to disguise the meatlessness of a dish, I choose to celebrate it and make it as delicious as possible. So no, these are not “meatless meatballs.” They’re crisp-on-the-outside-moist-on-the-inside, flavorful, healthy and delicious broccoli balls, loud and proud. Feel free to add other veggies, or try making these with zucchini.

Note: if you’re in a hurry, pan-fry the broccoli balls in a little olive oil.


  • 8 oz dried spaghetti $1 for 16 oz.
  • 2 cups Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce (or other meatless tomato sauce) $5.50 for 5 1/2 cups sauce
  • 1 head (stalk included) fresh broccoli, chopped $1
  • 1/2 onion, chopped $0.50 for 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed Pantry
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pan Pantry
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves $1 for a bunch
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten $1.50 for 12
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs $1.50 for 8 oz.
  • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish $3.50 for 8 oz
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry

Recipe Serves 2-4


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Cook spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package directions. Warm sauce in a small saucepan over low heat.
  3. Combine broccoli, onion, garlic, olive oil and parsley, in a food processor or blender until very finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Form mixture into golf ball-size balls and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly brown. Flip halfway through baking to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.
  6. To serve, toss spaghetti with warmed tomato sauce and divide amongst plates or transfer to a serving platter. Top pasta with broccoli balls and more Parmesan if desired.

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What They're Saying

Kristen, on Oct 6, 04:05 PM, wrote:

Broccoli balls?!?!? You may have just won my undying love for eternity.

Jess, on Oct 7, 06:36 AM, wrote:

I completely agree with you on the vegetarian front. Love this idea – so radically creative! :)

Lydia, on Nov 4, 05:24 PM, wrote:

Definitely making this on the weekend with some garlic bread. I think I’ll add some crumbled tofu to the sauce for protein, yum yum!

Katie, on Feb 10, 05:43 PM, wrote:

I’ve made these a bunch of times in the past year, and always had trouble getting the balls to stick together (maybe because my heads of broccoli have been too big). They’ve always been tasty, but crumbled apart when I reheated them in sauce. This last time I had a “duh” moment, and added an extra egg, and they came out perfectly. Just a heads up for anyone who has a similar issue!

Fireplace Repair-Edmonton, on Mar 2, 06:05 AM, wrote:

Learned a lot on this website.