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Lean Baked Italian Meatballs Marinara

Lean Baked Italian Meatballs MarinaraThis simple recipe offers a healthier take on a classic Italian dish loved by young and old alike — spaghetti and meatballs!

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of choline.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (96% lean)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 large egg whites or 1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups marinara or your favorite pasta sauce
4 cups hot cooked pasta
4 tablespoons freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg whites, water, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twelve 2-inch meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Bake in 400°F (205°C) oven 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Heat pasta sauce according to package directions in medium saucepan. Add hot cooked meatballs to pasta sauce; stir to coat evenly. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef.
  • Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71.1°C).
  • Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe; without the cheese): 458 calories; 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 726 mg sodium; 62 g carbohydrate; 5.9 g fiber; 35 g protein; 8.1 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 5.5 mg iron; 59.6 mcg selenium; 6.1 mg zinc; 89.2 mg choline.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.