Low Fat Meal Prep

Low Fat Beef Meatballs with zucchini noodles marinara.

This recipe is , , , with main ingredient

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Meatball Weight Loss Meal Prep

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 meals
Author: Bobby Parrish


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef 90:10 beef to fat ratio
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1.5 teaspoons each of garlic & onion powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ teaspoon each of dried oregano & dried thyme
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few cracks of fresh pepper

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 medium size onion chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 2 carrots peeled & chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained from their liquid
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 28 ounce can whole or chopped san marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil or parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Olive oil

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound of broccoli cut into bite size florets
  • 1 orange pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ a yellow onion diced
  • ½ teaspoon fried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 large green zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper


  1. Cook’s Notes: 90:10 ground beef means it has 90% beef and 10% fat. You don’t want to go any leaner than this or the meatballs will dry out and lack flavor.
  2. It is very easy to make zucchini noodles, I have a link below the recipe for a noodle maker on Amazon.
  3. To save time, you can buy your favorite marinara sauce from the store, just make sure it’s not loaded with sodium.
  4. Begin Cooking:
  5. For the meatballs, pre-heat oven to 350 F. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to thoroughly mix. Wet your hands and form the mixture into 15 balls and move them to a tin foil lined sheet tray. The water will prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands. Bake the meatballs for 18-20 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. You can cut 1 meatball in half to make sure they are cooked through.
  6. Pre-heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and next 3 ingredients along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a couple cracks of pepper. Cook for 7 minutes then add the next 4 ingredients. Cook 4 minutes so the base can develop deep flavors. Add the wine and stir well. Cook for 3-5 minutes until almost all the wine has reduced. Add the tomatoes along with 1 cup of water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Bring to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes. After 20 minutes stir in the honey and check for seasoning. It is probably going to need more salt. If the sauce gets too thick, add more water. Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree the sauce so it is smooth. Add the fresh basil or parsley and check for seasoning. Can be made days ahead of time.
  7. To make the veggies for the pasta, pre-heat a large pan over medium heat with 2 teaspoons of olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the onions, orange peppers, broccoli, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and a couple cracks of black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until everything has cooked down, but the veggies still have some crunch. Check for seasoning, you may need more salt. Take off heat and set aside.
  8. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, make zucchini noodles. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water and cook the noodles for 30-45 seconds total. Drain the zucchini and move them to a bowl filled with ice water for 1 minute. Remove and let the zucchini thoroughly drain before adding them to a large bowl. You can skip this step and eat the zucchini noodles raw, but I like to quickly blanch them to remove the raw flavor and then stop the cooking process immediately by plunging them into ice water. The zucchini can only stay in the ice water for 1 minute maximum, or they will become soggy.
  9. Add enough hot marinara sauce to coat the zucchini noodles along with all of the cooked veggies, zest of ½ a lemon, 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon parsley, and mix well.
  10. Everything will keep in the fridge for 5 days. You can freeze the meatballs and marinara sauce, but not the zucchini pasta. The zucchini will last longer if you store to cooked noodles separately from the sauce & veggies, and combine them the day you want to eat it. You can reheat the meatballs and zucchini noodles in the microwave, but make sure to cover the lid with a wet paper towel to keep the food moist. Or you can cover with tin foil and reheat in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

397 calories per meal
23.6 grams of fat per meal
17.6 grams of carbs per meal
34 grams of protein per meal
5.2 grams of fiber per meal

6 thoughts on “Low Fat Meal Prep”

  1. This meal is so good I could hardly get it packed for eating the “spaghetti”. Such bold and intense flavors. Bobby Parrish you are my lifeline. Thank you.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this meatball recipe. Seriously the best I’ve come across so far. I will use this receipe for my Whole30 except swap cheese for nutritional yeast! 🙂
    Thank you, Dessi and Bobby for always providing such amazing meals!!!!

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