Gluten-Free Spinach Cheese Balls with Marinara Dipping Sauce


It’s party time.  Office parties. Family parties. Friend parties.  School parties.

It’s time to walk around, snack like you have elastic waistband pants on, and then wonder if maybe your dryer is shrinking your clothes. January is around the corner…let’s worry about it then.  OR….bring along a safety net.

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My safety net is to make sure that when I go to parties, I am prepared and bring something that I don’t feel too bad stuffing my face full of.  Being gluten-free during the holidays brings certain benefits and difficulties. I find that I have to walk away from the cookie table. So instead, I’ll bring my own sweet treat like these chewy ginger chocolate chip cookies or veggie loaded spinach cheese balls. Or both!

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These spinach cheese balls are a redo of last year’s spinach cheese balls that I made for Christmas. Unfortunately, they had bread crumbs and flour….not gluten-free. But, if you aren’t gluten free, then jump on them. So delicious…but, if you are gluten-free, try my new version where I simply replaced the wheat flour with almond meal from Trader Joe’s.  Serve with either store-bought marinara sauce or a simple homemade sauce.  My recipe for a homemade simple sauce is found below.

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Gluten-Free Spinach Cheese Balls with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Makes 20 to 30 1-inch balls

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen package of spinach (16 oz), thawed and thoroughly drained
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (may need more depending on moistness of spinach)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with homemade marinara dipping sauce (see below).

Homemade Marinara Dipping Sauce

  • 1 15 oz can of diced no salt tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. Process until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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