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Rice, spinach and ham meatballs

Rice, spinach and ham meatballs

people icon For 8 euro icon € 1.1 /pers. calories icon 230 kcal/100g


  • 100g. fresh spinach
  • 200g. SOS round rice
  • 800 ml. chicken broth
  • 1 onion
  • 100g. parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 80g. ham tacos
  • Salt and pepper (to the taste of each house)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Oil for frying
  • 150g. all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 150g. of breadcrumbs
  • 200 ml. fried tomato
  • 120 ml. cooking cream
  • 5g. of oregano

Although traditionally meatballs are made of meat , we have named these delicious rice and spinach meatballs with the same name . A healthy recipe that allows us to eat cereals and vegetables in a different way, to get away from our routine daily dishes a little.

We have added some small cubes of ham to the sauce that give it a delicious, very tasty touch and the result could not be better. Our meatballs are big, if there are many of us, we can make them smaller and we will have more units. Although if you want to make a vegetarian version , you just have to remove the ham and poultry broth from the ingredients.

An easy way to introduce spinach to the menu without it being barely noticeable, perfect so that the little ones at home don’t leave a single one on their plate. We can accompany it with a good salad, meat or fish and have a very complete dish. It is not a difficult recipe and the ingredients are simple and inexpensive.

Preparation of the meatball dough base. Vegetables

  1. Peel and chop the onion. We also peel the garlic and chop or slice it. We put a good splash of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a frying pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and sauté it until transparent, stirring occasionally so that it does not burn. 
  2. Add the garlic and ham with a little more oil if necessary. Sauté for 3 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn. We add the spinach little by little, they will lose their volume quickly. Add salt and pepper to taste and sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rice preparation. Shape and coating of the meatballs

  1. We add the rice and stir well so that it absorbs all the flavors of the sauce. Pour in the broth and cook until the rice is done and has absorbed all the broth. To be more exact in the amount of broth, we can add it little by little.
  2. We remove the rice from the heat, transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool. When it is no longer hot, add the grated cheese and mix very well with the rice.
  3. We form balls with portions of rice, pressing with our hands so that they do not fall apart and maintain their round shape.
  4. Coat each meatball with flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs. We let it rest for 15 minutes so that the batter dries well.

Frying and presentation of rice and spinach meatballs

  1. We fill a saucepan with olive oil or sunflower oil and wait until it is hot but not smoking. Fry the meatballs little by little without adding too many at once until they are evenly golden brown. And we leave them on absorbent paper to remove excess oil.
  2. We move on to prepare a quick tomato sauce. We add a little oil in a frying pan, the fried tomato, salt and pepper to taste and the oregano. We mix and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the cream and stir until well integrated and cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. We add the meatballs to the tomato sauce to give a final touch of heat and serve hot.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for rice and spinach meatballs . Don’t miss any details so that they turn out perfect.

Tips for perfect rice and spinach meatballs

  • If we want an even healthier version we can brown the meatballs in the oven instead of frying them. They are also very rich.
  • We can do without the ham for a vegetarian version or use another type of cheese that we like more.

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