Home » Appetizers & Snacks » Easy Baked Spinach Balls Recipe

Easy Baked Spinach Balls Recipe

This recipe for baked gluten-free spinach balls is both easy to make and packed with flavor. Unlike other spinach ball recipes, these bites are gluten-free and don’t contain bread crumbs or stuffing mix. Instead, they’re loaded with spinach and chopped almonds, making them a healthy and delicious appetizer or snack that will be a huge hit.

baked spinach balls on a tray

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These spinach balls are the perfect appetizer for your next party, and perfect for veggie lovers. Try these delicious sweet potato fritters for those looking for a different kind of vegetable appetizer.

🤍Why you will love this recipe

  • Healthy! They are made with spinach and almonds so they are gluten-free too!
  • Easy to prepare! These appetizers are simple to make with simple ingredients, and you can make them beforehand.
  • Versatile! Spinach balls are so versatile and can be served as an appetizer, on a charcuterie board, or as a side dish or entree for dinner.

Here is what you will need

This overviews the ingredients and steps to make this great recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.

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🛒Ingredients

🥄Equipment

How to make this gluten-free spinach balls recipe

Prepare the ingredients. Mince the onions, garlic and herbs with a knife or a food processor. Thaw and drain the spinach, shred the cheese, whisk the eggs and make the almond crumbles in a food processor or blender.

onions and garlic cooking in a skillet

STEP 1: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook them for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

STEP 2: Add the thawed and drained frozen spinach to the skillet and cook spinach with the onions and garlic until all of the moisture disappears.

spinach cooking in a skillet

spinach onions and spices cooking in a skillet

STEP 3: Stir the nuts and spices into the skillet and cook for about five minutes; then stir in the parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off place the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool off for 5 to 10 minutes.

STEP 4: Stir in the eggs and place the bowl into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, heat the oven to 350 degrees f and remove the mixture from the fridge. Roll the chilled spinach mixture into 1-inch balls and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

uncooked spinach balls on a baking sheet
spinach balls baked

Step 5.

Bake the spinach balls for 30 minutes until they turn golden brown and serve.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Frozen chopped spinach – I prefer fresh ingredients, but frozen spinach is best to use in this recipe. It should be thawed and drained entirely before cooking it.

Almonds – Are mild tasting and they add a nice texture and protein to these healthy, gluten-free spinach balls. Almonds can be substituted with equal walnuts, pecans, cashews, or almond flour.

Parmesan cheese – Gives these spinach bites a salty flavor, and it can be substituted with your favorite shredded cheese such as cheddar cheese, provolone cheese, mozzarella cheese or feta cheese.

Fresh garlic and onions – Can be substituted with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Fresh Herbs – Fresh sage and thyme can be substituted with 1 teaspoon dried sage and 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme.

baked spinach balls on a baking tray

How to make healthy spinach balls ahead of time

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and there are a few ways to do it.

Prepare the spinach balls according to the recipe instructions, but don’t bake them. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day.

Just before serving, bring the spinach balls to room temperature; heat the oven to and place the unbaked balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

You can also bake the spinach balls ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat the cooked spinach balls in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving.

a close up view of baked spinach balls on a white plate

Storing and Freezing Spinach Balls

Store leftover spinach balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 4 days. You can also freeze these delicious spinach balls by placing them on a baking sheet and placing it in the freezer. 

Once the spinach balls are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and store them in a freezer container, such as a stasher bag.

Once it’s time to bake them, place the frozen spinach balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until cooked through.

Serving suggestions

Spinach balls are more than an appetizer!  Make up a batch of them and enjoy them for lunch stuffed into a crusty roll, with pasta topped with marinara sauce or a quick, healthy snack. 

They also taste great dipped in a dipping sauce such as marinara sauce, homemade onion dip, ranch dressing or homemade blue cheese dressing.

Are you too tired to cook dinner?

If you’re feeling uninspired when it’s time to cook dinner, this free guide will help you make a quick and healthy dinner with ingredients you have in your kitchen.

Recipe Variations

Greek spinach balls – Skip the parmesan cheese and add a tablespoon or two of any combination of these to the spinach mixture: chopped kalamata olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkle of oregano or Italian seasoning.

Vegan spinach balls Replace the eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg) and replace the parmesan cheese with equal nutritional yeast.

Mushroom spinach balls – Add 6 ounces of finely chopped mushrooms for and earthy flavor.

Spicy spinach balls – Add a kick to your spinach balls by incorporating chopped jalapenos, or red pepper flakes.

💡Tips

  • Squeeze water from spinach by pressing it in a strainer or wrapping it in a paper towel before adding it to the skillet.
  • It’s important to refrigerate the mixture before forming it into balls. If you’re short on time, you can freeze it for 15-20 minutes instead.
  • The easiest way to form the spinach balls is to use a small cookie scoop or ice cream scoop.
If I don’t have a food processor or blender, how can I chop the almonds?

Even though you will get the best results for finely chopped almonds with a food processor or high-speed blender, you can use a sharp knife, but the almonds will not be as crumbly.

Can I make spinach balls with fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach?

Yes you can! Here is how to do it: add one pound of fresh spinach into a pan of boiling water, turn off the heat. The fresh spinach should wilt fairly quickly. Once the spinach starts to wilt, drain it and pat it dry. Add it to the pan with the onions and garlic; continue with the recipe instructions.

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baked spinach balls on a tray

Easy Baked Spinach Balls

A healthy and tasty appetizer that's vegetarian and gluten-free. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free spinach balls
Servings: 20 spinach balls
Calories: 51kcal
Author: Anne
Scale this Recipe 20 spinach balls

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon avocado or [Olive Oil]
  • 12 ounce package of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon of [nutmeg]
  • 2 eggs beaten

Instructions

  • thaw the spinach at room temperature or place it in a microwave to thaw. Once it is thawed out, set it aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
  • heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the garlic and onions and cook them until they become translucent  – about 3 minutes.  
  • stir in the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • mix in the nuts, sage, thyme and nutmeg; cook for a few minutes longer
  • turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool off for a few minutes before adding the parmesan cheese and eggs.
  • once the mixture is close to room temperature, add the two beaten eggs and stir well in the grated parmesan cheese.
  • place the mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This will firm up the mixture which will make it easier to form it into balls. 
  • once the spinach mixture has been chilled, use your hands to form the mixture into 3/4 inch balls and arrange them on a parchment-lined sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

Notes

Ingredient Notes/Substitutions
Frozen chopped spinach. This the best spinach to use in this recipe. It should be thawed and drained completely before cooking it (see the tips below for draining the spinach).
Almonds. Are mild tasting and add a nice texture and protein to these healthy, gluten-free spinach balls. Almonds can be substituted with an equal amount of walnuts, pecans, cashews or almond flour.
Parmesan cheese. Gives these spinach bites a salty flavor, and it can be substituted with your favorite shredded cheese such as cheddar, provolone, mozzarella cheese or feta cheese.
Fresh garlic. Can be substituted with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
Onions. Can be substituted with ½ tablespoon of onion powder.
Fresh Herbs. Fresh sage and thyme can be substituted with 1 teaspoon dried sage and ¾ teaspoon dried thyme.
Recipe Tips
  • Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach before adding it to the skillet. You can do this by placing the spinach into a strainer over a sink and pressing down on the spinach with your hand or a spoon. Or wrap the spinach in a paper towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • Don’t skip the refrigeration step. Once the mixture is cold it’s so much easier to form it into balls. If you are pressed for time, place the mixture into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You will get the best results for finely chopped almonds with a food processor or high-speed blender. If you don’t have either one of those, you can use a sharp knife, but the almonds will not be as crumbly.
  • The easiest way to form the spinach balls is to use a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop.
Variations
Greek spinach balls – Skip the parmesan cheese and add a tablespoon or two of any combination of these to the spinach mixture: chopped kalamata olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkle of oregano or Italian seasoning.
Vegan spinach balls – Replace the eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg) and replace the parmesan cheese with an equal amount of nutritional yeast.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ball | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 2045IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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4 Comments

  1. Planning to make your Easy-Baked-Spinach-Balls; wondering about how many spinach balls this recipe will make? They look delicious.
    Jackie