Search the Site

Spinach Balls, circa 1975

Spinach Balls, circa 1975

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

No need to adjust your screen. These are, in fact, green.

And it’s true. There are children who will not eat anything green. If my oldest weren’t nearly 10, she’d count herself among them.

Try these anyway, homes. This one’s for all the non-spinach eaters out there. The 70’s are calling. And that decade knows how to spin spinach.

These spinach balls make the house smell so good, you’ll be fighting your kids off, hoarding a few for yourself like they were Rainbow Cookies [not that I hoard those you can’t prove it I’ll deny it to the death].

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

Start with a pound of frozen chopped spinach. So cheap! Just microwave it and drain it like you mean it. That spinach better be bone dry.

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

Throw in a handful of fresh parsley, chopped, if you have it. It adds some freshness. But it’s, like, totally optional. You’re the boss. I just work here.

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

Add the parsley to the eggs, butter and grated cheddar.

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

Then add the spinach and bread crumbs …

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

Don’t forget about the finely grated Parmesan. That there is some deep, flavorful cheese.

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

Roll ’em up, put ’em on your rimmed baking sheet …

Gluten Free Spinach Ball Appetizers

And bake to perfection. The smell when they’re baking will have the neighbors coming early for that New Year’s Day party you throw every year.

Spinach Balls, circa 1975
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 24
Gluten-free spinach ball side dish or appetizer
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 ounces grated cheddar cheese (or other hard cheese, grated)
  • 3 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained well
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 175 grams) breadcrumbs of any sort (I used crushed Chex cereal, my favorite for this recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, place the butter, eggs, cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese, and beat until well-combined. Add the oregano by holding it in the palm of one hand and rubbing it with your other hand to release the oils in the dried herb. Add the (optional) parsley, and mix to combine. Add the spinach and breadcrumbs, and mix until it comes together. Add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, and incorporate into the mixture.
  3. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a rimmed nonstick baking sheet 1 inch apart.
  4. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake, for about 15 minutes or until the balls have begun to brown on the bottom & are cooked through, rotating once during baking. They will expand a bit during baking because of the eggs in the mixture.

These are a great make-ahead appetizer if frozen once formed and before baking. Just freeze the balls separated on the baking sheet, and, once frozen, place in a freezer safe ziploc bag and store until ready to use. Bake them right from frozen. They may need a few extra minutes in the oven, but you’ll be able to tell — and you can’t ruin them unless you outright burn them, which takes quite a while.
Don’t have any breadcrumbs or cereal crumbs? Replace with the same amount (by weight) Better Batter all-purpose gluten-free flour. Or try Better Batter’s seasoned flour.


P.S. I need your support to keep the blog going and going! Please pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy!

Like this recipe?

Comments are closed.

  • […] tomato sauce etc. the way traditional crumbles do. You can also try lentil "meat"balls or spinach balls to go into your tomato sauce. Some really good vegetarian sandwiches/wraps that I eat sometimes […]

  • January 2, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Thanks for the coconut milk tip, Nicole. I recently bought some coconut oil, too, for those times when walnut oil will not adequately replace butter.

    • Nicole
      January 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Coconut oil is great as a butter sub, Farida. I wish my husband liked coconut flavor more. I’d use it in lots of things. As it is, I only use it when there are other strong flavors in the dish to overpower the coconut. Then he doesn’t even notice. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • December 30, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Yes! I love spinach. I will make these spinach balls. These spinach balls might be a good alternative for my “I don’t eat meat except for bacon, restaurant hamburgers, and hotdogs” daughter.

    P.S. My gf/df sister-in-law was appreciative of our mostly gf/df Christmas dinner. (The one exception was dessert– when I can figure out a satisfactory alternative to dairy custard, I will attempt a gf/df trifle.) She said it was hard going to holiday parties and not being able to eat most of other people’s offerings.

    • December 30, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      P.S. With this recipe, I might throw in some pine-nuts.

      • Nicole
        December 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

        Oooh interesting. Like spinach pesto. It’s a very adaptable recipe.

    • Nicole
      December 30, 2011 at 6:39 PM

      Only restaurant hamburgers, Farida? That’s a new one.
      For dairy-free custard, try using (full fat) coconut milk for the milk. Check out my Dairy-Free Egg Nog. You’ll get the idea. Easy.
      The holidays can be a really hard time to celebrate with others when you’re GF. I usually end up bringing everything mostly made from home, and assembling and warming the meal at someone else’s home (at their invitation, of course). Not a perfect solution, since I’m always always cooking and baking, but at least then everyone can eat and eat the same food.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Peggy
    December 30, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Oh, and i love the new look! Very classy!

    • Nicole
      December 30, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      Thanks, Peggy. :)

  • Peggy
    December 30, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    I remember the 60’s & the 70’s. I’m old enough to be both Nicole & JoAnn’s mom…never too old to learn new ways of doing things. Love all the great ideas/suggestions on this blog! Hope all had a great Christmas with family and/or friends! I know I did… Now to pick up some frozen spinach to make these delightful bites! Always have Chex in the house as it’s my favorite morning ceral! 2012 is going to be a really awesome year as I make more and more of Nicole’s awesome recipes! Looking forward to the new cookbook this fall! Thanks again, Nicole, for all you do for us in your kitchen for us!!!

    • Nicole
      December 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

      Peggy, all I need to know is that you’re young at heart. And nothing could be more clear. I’m so glad you enjoyed the holiday.
      I’m with you. 2012 is going to be better than ever. Thank you for all your support, Peggy. I couldn’t do it without you!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Marilynn
    December 30, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Garlic in these sounds great, and I think I`ll roast it first, so it gets really mellow, then you just squeeze it out like toothpaste.

    • Nicole
      December 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      Hi, Marilynn,
      It totally squeezes out like toothpaste. So gross, yet so delicious, all at the same time. My son would eat a whole head of roasted garlic like that. Ew. And yum.
      xoxo Nicole

  • JoAnn C
    December 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Hey Fancypants, yeah, that’s right Fancypants! I’m totally digging the new header. Very classy. I’m going to have to put on my new sweats and slippers the next time I come to the blog. I’m feeling a little underdressed today to be here. Spinach balls are way yum. I haven’t had them in years. Probably since the seventies, when I was just a baby and you weren’t born yet. ;)


    • Nicole
      December 29, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Hi, JoAnn,
      I’ve been called worse. ;) Yeah, I’ve been meaning to tell you to wear nicer sweats. I was born in 1972, I’ll have you know. I miss the 70s. Why do we reprise the 80s, but the 70s are ignored? Feathered hair, The Eagles, corduroy and spinach balls. What’s not to like?
      Happy New Year to you too, JoAnn. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anneke
    December 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Hey Nicole! Thanks for the Chex “breadcrumbs” tip! I always have multiple boxes in the house, and children who don’t like to eat the broken bits in the bottom, so this will be my new plan. Gosh, you’re awesome. I have recipe similar to this one, which is kind of a relief, since I am so far behind in trying all your good stuff. I won’t have to try these until I actually need them, which keeps other things higher on the list! I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but I know what I mean. I can’t even remember all the tasty treats I have waiting in the wings to try — now I have my new rolling pin, so I’ll be busy!
    Like the new header, too, you classy babe!

    • Nicole
      December 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      Hi, Anneke,
      I know exactly what you mean — it’s the fine line between inspiration and burden. ;)
      I’m so glad you have a french rolling pin. It really does help matters immensely.
      So glad you like the new header. Sarah of Dodeline Design is really talented. She hit it on the first try!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Ashley
    December 29, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    These look delish! I love the idea of adding garlic mmmm. And Nicole, I like the new blog header – very cute! :D

    • Nicole
      December 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Thanks, Ashley. So glad you like the new header! I’m trying to class things up around here. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Amanda M
    December 29, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Hold the phone…Chex cereal for bread crumbs? This opens up a new realm of possibilities in this world for me! How many recipes have I avoided because I have not been satisfied with my gf breadcrumbs? Oh Happy Day!

    • Nicole
      December 29, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Oh yes, Amanda. They’re my default “breadcrumb.” I’ll buy a few boxes on sale, pulse them in the food processor and store the crumbs in a reusable container in the pantry. And you can make them as fine or as coarse as you like. Here’s to new possibilities!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Nancy Derby on Facebook
    December 29, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Just received a great recipie for grilled calamari via a FB post message– the spinach balls will go great with it…when’s dinner? Not soon enough!

Back to Top

Download this free guide

Enter your email to immediately get the Top 5 Gluten-Free Recipes to Master and get new gluten free recipes to your inbox.

We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.