I feel like there are two types of dishes where I enjoy meatballs. The first is the absolute classic—big, fatty Italian meatballs with my grandmother’s homemade sauce *lips smack*. The second way I enjoy having meatballs is on a salad. I know it sounds a little unconventional, but trust me on this. Meatballs—especially if you buy them premade—are one of the easiest proteins to add to any salad you want for lunch. And given that I had some in my freezer this week, I decided to whip up a little meatball salad to share with all of you.
While I do love making my own meatballs from time to time, when it comes to putting together a lunch salad, I like to buy them premade. Frozen meatballs are by far the easiest to work with because they are already precooked and just need a little reheat in the oven.
For this meatball salad recipe, you can honestly buy any frozen meatballs you want. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey…choose whatever floats your boat. As for this particular bowl. I actually used these frozen Asian Style Pork & Veggie Meatballs by Applegate for my meatball salad. There are about 4 servings per box, so it makes for good protein when you’re meal prepping lunches for the week. I’ll let you decide which salad dressing you want with this, but for some inspiration, I like to use This Little Goat Went To Southeast Asia sauce.
Did you notice that this salad is the perfect example of a “healthy plate”? When it comes to eating healthy, there’s only one formula you really have to follow. Each time you set up a plate, fill 1/2 your plate with fruits and/or vegetables, 1/4 with a protein, and 1/4 with a whole grain. This formula comes from the USDA MyPlate Guidelines, which helps you to create a healthy, filling meal every time you cook.
In this meatball salad, half the plate is filled with romaine lettuce and roasted carrots. A quarter has those frozen meatballs, and the other quarter has roasted chickpeas. Topped with some feta cheese for that little extra dairy, and you got yourself the perfect healthy meatball salad for lunch.
Meatball & Chickpea Lunch Salad Bowl
For meal prep
- 16 frozen premade meatballs pork, beef, chicken, or turkey
- 8 carrots peeled & chopped into matchsticks
- 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas drained & rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper
For assembling an individual salad
- 1 cup romaine lettuce sliced thin
- 1 oz. feta cheese crumbled
- Dressing of your choice
- Sliced green onions for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain the cans of chickpeas in a strainer. Rinse them off.
- Move the chickpeas to a clean towel and pat them down. Some of the skins will fall off—that's okay. Just discard the ones that fell off but leave the others.
- Line a large sheet pan with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Add the cleaned chickpeas and carrot sticks to the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Spread everything out evenly on the pan.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add the frozen meatballs to another sheet pan. Roast everything for another 15 minutes—or until the meatballs are fully warmed through.
- Add a quarter of the chickpea and carrot mixture, four meatballs, romaine lettuce, feta cheese, dressing, and green onion to a bowl. Toss to coat, then serve.
Looking for more healthy lunch ideas?
- Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast
- Roasted Chickpea Greek Salad
- Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
- Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Goddess Arugula Bowl
- Buffalo Chicken Meatball Bowl
- Roasted Buffalo Chickpea Salad
- Classic BLT Sandwich
- Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Bake
- Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Oh also, this Green Goddess Dressing will go super nicely with this meatball salad. Just saying!
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