Sicilian Cod Meatballs make a delicious healthy family meal and are so easy to put together in just 30 min – Toss them with delicious homemade italian tomato sauce for authentic Mediterranean flavors delivered straight in your mouth!
My mum’s meatballs are one of my favorite things ever, but I know sicilian cuisine pretty well, and let me tell you it’s not a light one. So, I’ve decided to give a healthier twist to this traditional dish, swapping beef with cod fish and adding few more aromatic herbs instead of cheese, for an extra burst of flavor.
Cod and swordfish are the most common fish consumed in Sicily. Known for its great nutritional properties, cod is cheap and has a wonderful and versatile meaty flesh, making it a fantastic alternative to beef. It’s an excellent low-calorie source of protein and vitamin B12 ( very important for our heart health), and can bought and consumed fresh, frozen, smoked or salted – for this recipe I’ve used fresh steamed cod fillets, but you can of course use a frozen alternative.
Making these delicious cod meatballs is such a breeze and takes less than 30 mins start-to-finish. All you need is 8 simple ingredients: fresh cod fillets, free-range egg whites, whole wheat/plain/gluten-free flour, lemon zest, panko breadcrumbs, spring onions, fresh aromatic herbs and of course freshly cooked tomato sauce.
The recipe is easy-to-follow and totally stress-free. Start by mixing together all the meatballs ingredients in a large bowl. Taste the mix before adding egg whites. Add more herbs if you like. If it’s a bit dry, add a splash of olive oil. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
Then shape the mixture into small balls (
Once meatballs are ready, drain the pan from oil in excess, add in some homemade tomato sauce ( I usually make a big batch the day before and freeze the excess), and gently cook for a further 5 mins until piping hot.
These tasty cod meatballs are fork tender and have an irresistible texture that flakes off in the mouth. Light, citrusy and deeply aromatic, they make a great starter or main course on their own, but are also fantastic tossed with pasta or in a sandwich. However you enjoy them, I’m sure you’re gonna love this recipe!
I hope you guys will give these awesome cod meatballs a try! Don’t forget to leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Even better, snap a picture, tag it #thepetitecook and share it on Instagram – I can’t wait to see all your delicious creations :).
Sicilian Cod Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- 400 gr /10oz fresh cod fillets steamed
- 4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- 2 free-range egg whites lightly beaten
- handful of fresh basil and oregano leaves finely chopped
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp flour rice, wholemeal or plain, for coating
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups homemade tomato sauce
- In a large bow fold in the fish together with panko, basil and oregano, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until roughly combined. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and grate over a good bit of zest.
- Taste the mixture and add more panko or a litte oil if too wet or too dry. Finally fold in egg whites and mix until combined through.
- Shape the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and gently roll them over a little flour.
- Heat a large pan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Sizzle the meatballs for a few mins, until crispy and golden brown.
- Remove the oil in excess and fold in previously made tomato sauce. Cook over low-med heat for a further 5 mins.
- Scatter basil leaves over the top, a glug of olive oil and some extra freshly ground black pepper, and serve.
- Enjoy on their own, with toasted bread or toss in with pasta.