Spinach balls Healthy Appetizers

Are you looking for easy party appetizers? Let’s talk about those cute Spinach Balls!Spinach balls easy appetizerAs you guys all know by now I grew up in France in a healthy foodie family with a grandma growing all our vegetables and mums cooking ALL our meals. Mums always had an obsession for spinach and I think she passed it to me. I mean, the amount of spinach I buy each week is absolutely absurd, but there is worst food to be obsessed on in life! SO those spinach balls are another of my spinach recipe to fix my all day spinach craving!

Spinach balls, great savory snacks or easy make ahead appetizers

Did I said that those cute spinach balls are actually easy to make ahead and freeze? With my busy 2 year old running around the house all I (don’t) have is time to make fresh meals everyday so that is another thing I love about this recipe, I can easily froze those spinach balls ! Yeah! I started this blog 3 years ago to show how to feed my family for health but I won’t lie to you! While I cook all our meals LOTS of them goes to the freezer!  I usually love to freeze those spinach balls on a plate covered with parchment paper leaving half thumb space between each to avoid them to stick together. After an hour they are hard enough to be transfer into an airtight plastic box (I am a HUGE fan of Tupperware! it save my life as a busy mummy).

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Honestly, I am not always defrosting the balls before baking. It works really well to bake them frozen – well, it took a wee bit longer to get crispy and hot – but works like a charm!  This store very well and I always have a batch in my freezer. Last time I served those as a last minute appetizer to some friends who pop up to say hi. You should have seen them! SO impressed to know that those spinach balls was homemade. It is clearly your BEST alternatives to potato chips for your next party!

Spinach balls healthy appetizersAnd YEP, I am a lazy fit mum too and sometimes I do prepare those cheesy spinach balls with frozen spinach :) Confession : you will not taste the difference so if you are on a rush just go for frozen spinach, really this is a time saver as it takes only few minutes to defrost the spinach in boiling water. OUPS! forget to say make sure you dry out the frozen spinach very well before using. I usually pat dry the spinach on absorbent paper until no more water left. I make about 30 spinach balls with this recipe – NOPE, it is not a lot because i is super addictive food and you will eat them super quickly. Don’t feel guilty about it this is clean eating food it is OK to slightly ‘overeat’ healthy food don’t you think? Well that is my philosophy! You guys know me enough now to  know that I HATE diet, and I love to indulge myself on great food sometimes. I simply believe that if I eat 80% clean food during the week – so 5 days a week – I can enjoy 20% of less healthy food during the week end. HEY! I am French I can’t have a week end without a glass of red wine :) BALANCE is the key some day I will eat cupcakes, put my old pregnancy pants and stay on the couch and the next day I will eat salads and run a marathon! ahaha! Whatever those spinach balls  are simply SO tasty that you can easily eat 10 per person. If the batch is too large, do not worry this recipe freeze super well too as I said before in this post. (scroll up!!!)

spinach balls

NEXT how to make lovely round balls. Simple use your hands! or if you are a kitchen geek like me buy some tools to make the process mess free. I personally use a small cookie scoop like this one:Good Grips Small Cookie Scoopspinach balls with cheese

Last note for my New Zealand followers – yep, I am French but lives in Auckland with my French husband and Kiwi girl  – I used gluten free panko crumbs from Bakeworks in NZ. However any panko crumbs would work well too, just go for what you can found and enjoy !!!

 

spinach balls easy make ahead appetizers

Top 5 Dips & Sauces recipes to eat with your Spinach Balls

Just a little addition here for those like me who love to dip any finger food in sauce. I listed below my top 5 dips & sauce recipes that I often serve with those spinach balls. All are easy peasy to prepare and I love how it create a beautiful table for our finger food night.

1- Pesto chili hummus. It is my favorite combo spinach balls and pesto chili hummus are made to be together. Get the pesto chili hummus recipe on the blog here.

2- Creamy spinach dip. If you are a spinach lover dipping spinach balls into a spinach dip is simply heaven! Get the creamy spinach dip recipe on the blog here. 

3- Avocado dip. Everything taste better when dipped into a simple avocado dip. Get the simple avocado dip recipe here.

4- Sugar free ketchup. Who don’t love ketchup? even better if it is omemade and sugar free! Get the sugar free ketchup recipe here. 

5- Homemade Sweet & Sour BBQ sauce. The last perfect food pairing with spinach balls is a sweet & sour BBQ sauce, no refined sugar in this recipe! Only good stuff! Get the sweet & sour BBQ sauce recipe here. 

Although note that those spinach balls are also very tasty when cold I only recommend to store them at room temperature after being baked because they tend to harden in the fridge. If stored at room temperature eat them within 24 hours. For more spinach appetizer recipe check my Low Carb spinach pizza recipe.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Now, tell me what’s your favorite food pairing with spinach balls ?

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Spinach balls

Ingredients

  • 220 g fresh spinach leaves,, trimmed, washed - about 6 cups. It makes about 160g (2/3 cup) of cooked, squeezed and packed spinach
  • 3 eggs, size 6
  • 1/2 cup (60g) grated cheese - I used noble cheedar from Mainland
  • 1 cup (75g) Gluten Free Panko Crumbs,
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs of your choice - I used coriander

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Trim and wash the fresh spinach leaves.
  3. Place the leaves into a saucepan, add salt and cover with boiling water. Cover and set aside for 3 minutes.
  4. Rinse the spinach with cold tap water. Drain using your hands to squeeze all the remaining water. You should obtain about 2/3 cup (160g) of packed cooked spinach leaves. If you are using frozen spinach, defrost and measure this quantity.
  5. Place on a chop board and finely chop the cooked spinach. Transfer into a mixing bowl.
  6. Add eggs, cheese, herbs and panko gluten free crumbs. You can also add salt and pepper if your cheese is not very salty. I did not add salt.
  7. Combine with a spoon or your hands, until it forms a batter from which you are able to form balls with your hands or use a small cookie scoop maker to avoid the mess
  8. If too moist add slightly more crumb until easy to roll as ball with your hands palms.
  9. Place the balls on a non-stick cookie tray covered with baking paper.
  10. Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until golden on the top.
  11. Serve immediately or cold in luchboxes.
  12. Serve with dips of your choice like pesto, hummus or homemade ketchup.

FOR THIS RECIPE I RECOMMEND TO USE

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Comments

    • Carine says

      Hi Tanya, You can make them in the morning and keep them in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. Then bake within 12 hours it should be fine. Or also, you can freeze the ball (un baked) on an airtight container. Then defrost few hours before baking them. That is how I do for my toddler afternoon snack. It defrost super fast about 2 hours. Enjoy :)

  1. Cristina says

    Hi Carine,

    Just curious if your website is written in a different language than English? There’s just some grammatical blips here and there that make the wording a little off sometimes. Not trying to offend you or anything! Also, I lloooovvvveee these spinach balls❤️

    • Carine says

      Hi Cristina, I am French and French is my first language so all the recipe I do are firstly written in French in my kitchen. As I live in New Zealand for 5 years now I choose to write my blog in English. It is a daily challenge for me as it is not my first language so yes I know, there is some grammatical errors and I apologize for that :( I really do my best here and I hope it does not cause you a problem to make my recipes. I love sharing my passion of cooking on this blog. I created the blog 2 years ago after I gave birth to my girl in New Zealand and trigger diabetes. This blog is my challenge to share my experiences in the kitchen while saving my fav recipe somewhere in English for my girl to read and show her friends when she grows up. Enjoy the spinach balls ! it is a hit in my house too. Carine xx.

  2. Jill says

    Made these today and they were good, but I added garlic and would add more cheese next time. Glad I found the recipe.

    • Carine says

      Hi Karen,

      I made a batch of 15 balls (golf ball size) with this recipe. My little family of 3 (including a 2 1/2 years old) eat the whole batch for dinner :) I hope you try those lovely balls they are delicious! Carine.

  3. Erin says

    Thank you for the recipe — I’m going to make these for my son’s Hslloween party at school this morning. I was wondering … If I use garlic, could I sub Italian seasoning or basil for coriander? Or which herb, and how much, would you suggest? Thank you!

    • Carine says

      Hi Erin, I wish I could have reply earlier but I was away for the week end. I hope it is not too late. Anyway I am sure coriander will works perfectly. I recommend to finely chop the fresh leaves and use 1/4 cup of chopped coriander. I will not use more than 2 garlic cloves finely crushed to keep a balance of flavour, specially with kids they tend to do not like a too strong garlic flavour. I hope your son loves them. My little girl is a big fan of those :) Enjoy! Carine.

  4. Denise says

    These sound easy and delicious! I am going to make these ahead of time and freeze them for Christmas Eve!
    Thank you for this recipe!

    • Carine says

      no problem Denise! I love sharing my recipes here and I am glad you love those simple spinach balls. Such a delicious make-ahead appetizer recipe! See you soon on the blog. Carine.

  5. Kate says

    Hi Carine, I made the spinach balls this evening and they were great. I will have to play around with the ingredients a little, but thank you for sharing a tasty, versatile, and easy to make recipe.

    • Carine says

      Hi Kate, Thanks for your lovely comment. It is so great to hear you love them! I did those spinach balls this week end for my house warming party and I added some fresh garlic. It taste amazing! Give it a try next time :) I hope you will come back on the blog soon ! Carine.

  6. steve says

    fIRST i WANT TO SEND MY SYMPATHIES TO YOUR HOMELAND AFTER THOSE HORRIFIC TERRORIST ATTACKS.. WE NEED SOME JUICING UP, AND i THINK THESE BALLS WILL BE DELICIOUSLY ADDED TO MY cHRISTMAS PARTY BUFFET THIS YEAR.. GOD BLESS..

    • Carine says

      Hi Steve, Thank you for your sympathies to my friends and family back in France. It has been a rough time for them and hopefully the Christmas magic will bring some smile and happiness to the country again. I am sure you will love those simple spinach balls. It is such a great appetizer for Christmas. I love making them ahead too and froze them. I always have a batch in the freezer for those night when some family or friends comes around. So easy! Enjoy and merry Christmas to you and your family. God bless. xoxo Carine.

  7. Lui Marfori says

    I just came across your Spinach Balls and can’t wait to try this! I always have guests at home and am sure they will love this! My son, who is now married and in his thirties, has always loved spinach as a child and up to now, continues to love my spinach omelet. I can almost see his reaction to this new spinach dish…probably another addition to his list of favorite spinach dishes. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    • Carine says

      Hi Lui, I really enjoyed reading your story! It is also why I love sharing my experience in the kitchen on this blog. It makes me so happy to know that a recipe will makes people smile. I really hope your son will love those spinach balls. It is one of my favourite appetizer! It is breakfast here in New Zealand and you just gave me an idea for breakfast, spinach omelette on it is way :-) thanks again for this lovely message Lui! Carine.

  8. karlie says

    Hi CarineI

    This recipe sounds delicious and i can’t wait to try for a Christmas party! Just wondering though, is there an alternative to using Panko Crumbs? A few of my friends are watching their carbs and though a cup doesn’t sound like much, im not sure they would eat them still. Im wondering about any type of nut or coconut flour? Any suggestions?
    Thanks and Merry Christmas!!

    • Carine says

      Hi Karlie, Sounds great!I will make those for Christmas too :) I did not try to use something else than panko crumb in this recipe so it is always difficult to provide alternatives that works. Spinach are a bit moist when you make this recipe and panko crumb help holding things together while not completely drying out the mixture. I think coconut flour will absorb all the moisture and simply makes a crumble. Maybe a trio mix of almond meal for texture, tapioca flour to bring things together and coconut flour to balance the carbs ?!! Also I found a low carb bread crub on here maybe it is another option! They are using wheat bran and corn starch in their mix it looks like a great low carb option too. Enjoy and merry christmas Karlie! Carine.

          • Donna says

            Hello,

            You said to cover the spinach balls in the oven with baking paper. Is that aluminum foil? Not sure what baking paper is.

            Thanks,
            Donna

          • Carine says

            Hi Donna, I said ‘place the spinach balls on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper’ it means that you have to cover the cookie sheet or oven tray with baking paper. Baking paper in New Zealand is what you probably know as non stick parchment paper or wax paper in USA. It is not foil paper. It will avoid the spinach balls to stick to the tray. It is a white thin paper. Have a look here on amazon to see how it looks like. Enjoy Donna. Happy New Year. Carine.

  9. beth says

    What a lovely blog! I happened upon this recipe on pinterest today and am excited to experiment with them! Trying to get more greens in for my little family and also think these would be a great savory appetizer for upcoming holiday parties. Love the idea of adding garlic and trying different options for the crumb texture – curious if you’ve tried any other cheeses or have ideas about other options. My wee one is sensative to cheese but seems to handle fresh mozzerella, feta and goat cheese better than harder cheeses like cheddar. Thoughts?

    • Carine says

      Hi Beth, I am so happy when I read comments like yours! It is always great to know that people are trying the recipes I experiment in my kitchen. I tested the spinach balls with hard cheese only like edam, mozarella, cheddar and parmesan. Yes, I make those very often because it simple, freeze well and my toddler love spinach this way :) I like the idea of goat cheese with spinach! It should work too. You may have to add a bit more crumb to get things together to form balls – soft cheese is a bit more moist than hard cheese so I am just guessing! Always add extra panko crumb 1 tablespoon at a time, combine with a spoon (or hands, I do use my hands in this recipe). Then when you are able to shape balls like on the pictures above it means you have enough crumb. Now I also add 1 crushed garlic clove in this recipe as it taste amazing! I hope you enjoy them! See you soon on the blog. Carine.

  10. Mandy says

    Hey Carine
    This is a wonderful recipe! I am organising my daughters 1st birthday party and really want to include these. Could you suggest an alternative to the egg because we do not eat it.
    Thank you very much!
    Mandy

    • Carine says

      Hi Mandy, This is amazing! My daugther love them and she is 2 1/2 years old. So I am sure your little one will love them too. I never tested this recipe egg free. Eggs really helps the batter to hold together. What I do use as egg substitute is usually tapioca flour. To replace one egg, I mix 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour in 2 tablespoon of lukewarm water in a bowl. Set aside 10 minutes, stir every so often to avoid the flour to stick at the bottom. It will become sticky and make a egg like mixture. It may work in this recipe but again I did not try it yet so you will have to tell me ?! :) Another option would be to use sticky soft cheese like goat cheese! But again, I am not very sure how much you should use to replace a egg. If your batter is too moist simply add more panko crumb until you are able to form balls. Let me know if you try an egg free option. I am sorry I can not help you more. Merry Christmas! Carine.

      • Riddhi says

        Hi Mandy and Carine

        I’ve tried this recipe with a bit of twist and it turned very delicious. I also have a toddler and it always comes to my mind that in which I provide her the best nutritious food. She gets bored with the. Same form of vegetables and breads :( thanks for inspiring young mums like me :) 👍🏼.
        As we are 100% vegetarian , I chose to substitute egg with mashed potato. Still tastes the best 😛. I added ready mashed potato flakes, just mix it in a boiled water and Added fresh spinach,garlic, coriander, green chilli, shredded cheese and fresh corn and my all time fav basil pesto … The only thing I didnt expect was, my spinach balls turned into patties during baking in oven… Anyway, shape didn’t bother us. (Wish I had taken the picture of it)
        As it was looking cute lil same size patties 😛😛👌🏼. Thanks Carine for a wonderful recipe… Please

        • Carine says

          Hi Riddhi, What a lovely comment! I never thought about using mashed potato in those spinach balls! What a lovely idea. I am sure you just inspired lots of people around here always wondering what to do with leftover of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving !!! :) It may explain why the shape was a bit different and flatten. Eggs really helps gathering all the ingredients together. But like you I do not really care about shape as soon as it taste good so I will defo try your variation.

          Thanks again for sharing here Riddhi!

          Talk to you soon on the blog!

          Carine.

  11. [email protected] says

    I made these tonight some as frozen for appys later. Some baked up and added to tomatoe sauce for a vegetarian spaghetti, so yummy.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    I used basil, garlic and green onion

    • Carine says

      Oh basil is a great idea! I made those balls for Christmas and everyone loves them. I will definetely try your basil addition sounds lovely ! Enjoy and see you on the blog soon. Carine!

  12. Heidi says

    Excit d to try these! Just wondering though, do I have to go to the work of cooking the spinach prior. Can’t I just use the fresh spinach chopped since it will be cooking in the oven after I ball it anyways?
    Thanks,
    Heidi

    • Carine says

      Hi Heidi, It is a lovely recipe ! If you do not cook the spinach leaves, the batter will not come together very well. Cooking spinach make them soft, easily to blend. It is very quick to cook them though. I simply plunged them into boiling water :) enjoy! Carine.

    • Carine says

      Hi Crystal, I do not have a crockpot so I am not sure you can keep the spinach balls warm into it. When baked in the oven the outside of those balls is slightly crispy with a moist centre. I am worried that if you store them in a crockpot the texture will be different, adding moisture to the spinach balls and loosing their crispy texture. However it bake very quickly and you can easily prepare them ahead few hours before. Simply store them in the fridge up to 6 hours and bake when ready to eat! I hope it answer your question! Enjoy this lovely snack. Carine.

    • Carine says

      Hi Ems, I never tried the recipe dairy free but I am pretty sure it will work well if you substitute the quantity of cheese by another egg. Let me know if you give it a try ! See you soon on the blog. Carine.

  13. Ines says

    Hello Carina!! Thanks for your recipes!! I like all them. I don´t speak English very well because I live in Argentina and I speak spanish! but I think that you understand me! Regards!! Inés

    • Carine says

      Hi Ines, It is great to have readers from around the world! I would love to reply in Spanish but I don’t know much … I hope you enjoy the recipes and you are able to translate them easily to make them in Argentina! Love from NZ. Carine!

  14. christie pellow says

    I made these late last night because I was bored, froze them overnight, and today I baked them off and they are incredible! I used feta instead of cheddar since it was what I had in the refrigerator, and they are AMAZING! They a tiny veggie balls of goodness. I will absolutely make them again and experiment with different cheeses and herbs. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Carine says

      Hi Christie! You look like me, cooking when you are bored is such a nice way to relax and have fun! I love this recipe so much too. I tried many cheese and it always works very well. Even my toddler ask those spinach balls in her lunchbox ! Thanks for taking some time to write this lovely comment. This is so nice to know that my recipe bring some happiness in someone else house too. See you soon on the blog! xoxo Carine.

    • Carine says

      Hi Henali, Thank you SO much for taking some time to share your positive experience in the kitchen with those spinach balls! It makes me so happy to read comments like yours! I love when recipe works easily for people coming on the blog. I hope I see soon around here! xoxo Carine.

  15. Kirsty D says

    Hi, I made these for me and my one year old and we loved them. I like to do a lot of meal prep, so I was wondering could you freeze these after they have been cooked? Or only the raw batter?

    • Carine says

      Hi Kirsty, Sure you can but I prefer to froze them before baking and to bake them frozen – it took 5-8 minutes longer to bake as the spinach balls are frozen but at least you don’t lose the texture. I found them a bit more dry when frozen baked and rewarm in the oven – still good though :). I am so glad you find my blog an that your little one loves the recipe! It always great to see them eating greens! Have a great day and see you soon on the blog. Carine.

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