Eggplant Meatballs with Spicy Marinara

an eggplant meatball covered in red sauce
Prep Time: 
60 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Serves 6
Recipe Source: 
Fast. Simple. Delicious. by Tara Ippolito ($22.99, Page Street Publishing, 2022)


Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Eggplant Meatballs

  • 2 lb eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 cup flour
  • 14 cup shredded Parmesan 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making tomato sauce, so it can simmer while meatballs cook. Heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion and garlic. Stir about every 30 seconds. After 2 minutes, add crushed red pepper flakes and continue to cook, still stirring every 30 seconds, for another 3 minutes. Now add tomatoes, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Let simmer on lowest heat setting while making eggplant meatballs.
  3. In a large pot, boil water and add eggplant. Cook until cubes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain eggplant cubes when done and gently press them into a dish towel. Try to remove as much moisture as you can from them.
  4. Add eggplant to a large bowl. Then add salt, pepper, garlic powder, breadcrumbs, egg, flour, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Roll eggplant into medium-sized meatballs. The consistency can be a little wet to work with. Just do your best; they don’t have to look perfect. Place them onto parchment paper–lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. The eggplant meatballs are delicate, so gently toss into sauce when done. Serve alone or over pasta or rice.
Nutrition Info: 
294 Calories, 12 g Protein, 48 g Carbohydrates, 12 g Total sugars (0 g Added sugars), 9 g Fiber, 7 g Total fat (2 g sat), 565 mg Sodium, ★★★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), ★★★ Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Folate, Phosphorus, ★★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc


Tara Ippolito

Tara Ippolito, the Al Dente Diva, has been the head cook in her family for 20 years. After all that time testing, tweaking, and just cooking, she found her passion in sharing these unique recipes with families everywhere.