Beef and Arugula Meatballs

Beef and Arugula Meatballs on a platter with a side of harissa-yogurt sauce

When life gives you wilting arugula, make meatballs! These Beef and Arugula Meatballs are my go-to for an easy weeknight meal/appetizer and a swift rescue for a bag of arugula that is quickly yellowing, on the verge of becoming slimy, in my fridge. We’ve all been here, right? Yellow? Sad? Yes.

Sad-looking arugula for Beef and Arugula Meatballs

No worries – this stuff has a new home in these meatballs. Much like I pointed out with this Arugula Salsa Verde, ain’t no way I’m going to sidle up to a mountain of arugula for snacking. But, turn it into crsipy, beefy little meatballs and I’m in all day! By the way, do you ever just NEED a meatball? Like, you just want a meat snack? Me TOO! Luckily, here are these little balls, packed with flavor from lots of garlic and shallots, a little pop of crunch from toasty walnuts, and all that good, healthy green stuff for a little zip of freshness.

a bowl of ingredients for Beef and Arugula Meatballs

If you are a true meatball queen and are up for a mess in the kitchen, fry these in a frying pan. I am not at that place right now. I’m in a hands-off, keep my floors (mostly) grease-free place at this moment. So, I baked them and they’re still wildly delicious. The secret is oiling the baking sheet a bit and flipping the meatballs over halfway through so they do still kinda fry in the oven and develop those crispy brown bits we love. Hey, speaking of hands-off, all of that choppy chop stuff in the bowl was done by my trusty friend, the food processor.

How to eat these? My top pick is with a little harissa/yogurt action on the side. But, a tomato sauce and pasta would be a no-brainer as well. OMG, the arugula salsa verde mentioned above? Amazing with this, and you’d have a week’s worth of greens in one sitting. Win-win. Meatball Win!

Beef and Arugula Meatballs on a platter with a side of harissa-yogurt sauce

*This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link to my kitchen best friend – the food processor, from which I may earn an income!


Beef and Arugula Meatballs

Beef and Arugula Meatballs on a platter with a side of harissa-yogurt sauce

Oven-baked meatballs packed with tons of arugula, garlic, and shallots, plus a handful of toasted walnuts for nutty crunch. A perfect way to use up a bunch of arugula and satisfy your meatball cravings!

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: approximately 20 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 C walnuts, toasted
  • 3 C arugula, packed
  • 2 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer them to a bowl.
  3. To the bowl of the food processor, add the arugula and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer it to the bowl with the walnuts.
  4. To the bowl of the food processor, add the shallots and garlic, and pulse until a paste is formed. Add this to the bowl with the walnuts and arugula.
  5. To the walnut/arugula/shallot/garlic bowl, add the ground beef, salt, pepper, and 1 TBS of oil. Use your hands to mix until combined.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, form your meatballs and place them on the oiled baking sheet. Bake the meatballs on the lowest rack of your oven, for 12 minutes, using a spatula to flip them over halfway through.


Try serving these with a harissa yogurt sauce on the side; just mix a 1/4 C greek yogurt with 1 TBS of harissa!

Keywords: baked meatballs, how to use up arugula, ground beef recipe, harissa yogurt sauce

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