Orecchiette with Mini “Meatballs”


Tired of the same ol’ spaghetti and sauce? Kick your pasta dinners up a notch by topping fun noodle shapes with this light, cheesy sauce and homemade vegetarian meatballs. If you’re really pressed for time, use one 12-oz. package of frozen prepared veg meatballs instead.

  • SERVINGServings


  • 2 cups dried orecchiette pasta, or your favorite short pasta
  • 2 cups soy crumbles (about 6 oz.)
  • 6 Tbs. finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.), divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place soy crumbles in bowl and microwave 1 1/2 minutes on high. Add 2 Tbs. cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 tsp. garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Mix together until fully combined.
  2. Heat 1 tsp. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Roll 1 Tbs. soy crumble mixture into ball and place in pan. Repeat with remaining mixture. Cook meatballs 3 to 5 minutes, or until evenly browned. Add peas and broth, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
  3. Drain pasta and toss with lemon juice, chives, thyme and remaining 1 Tbs. oil in serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add meatballs and peas, sprinkle remaining cheese over pasta, and serve.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 6
  • Calories: 258
  • Carbohydrate Content: 30 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 45 mg
  • Fat Content: 8 g
  • Fiber Content: 4 g
  • Protein Content: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
  • Sodium Content: 474 mg
  • Sugar Content: 2 g