Mini Meatball Minestrone Salad

Mini Meatball Minestrone Salad - All the elements of classic minestrone soup, in a colorful and healthful salad! |

This is the first summer in a very long time where I’ve had to step away from the soup ladle. You see, I generally eat soup for lunch all year ’round. It’s a food I never really get tired of, since there’s so many varieties. My grocery store always tempts me with a variety of homemade soups, but I’ll often whip up a big batch of my own, too.

But this summer has been strange in Michigan. It hasn’t been hot, but it’s been humid. And sitting around my house, sweating for no reason other than the suffocating amount of moisture in the air, does not put me in the mood for hot soup. So I’ve decided to take many of the elements of one of my favorite soups and turn them into a cold salad that will keep me cool.

Mini Meatball Minestrone Salad - All the elements of classic minestrone soup, in a colorful and healthful salad! |

Today, I’m partnering with The Beef Checkoff  today to bring you guys this great Mini Meatball Minestrone Salad recipe. Not only is lean beef easy to prepare and delicious, but it contains ten essential nutrients that your body will appreciate, like iron, zinc and protein. With so many different cuts of beef to choose from, it’s simple to create a healthy meal the whole family can enjoy.

When I started coming up with the idea of a minestrone salad, mini meatballs popped into my head right away. This recipe would also be great with thinly sliced steak, but aren’t mini meatballs more fun? They make me laugh for some reason. And laughing while eating a cold salad is better than sweating while eating hot soup, right?

For more tasty recipes celebrating beef, make sure you follow the Beef – Let’s Celebrate Pinterest Board. You can also find The Beef Checkoff on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Mini Meatball Minestrone Salad - All the elements of classic minestrone soup, in a colorful and healthful salad! |

Mini Meatball Minestrone Salad


For the Mini Meatballs:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper

For the Salads:

  • 6 ounces ditalini pasta

  • 1/4 cup prepared Italian, Greek or balsamic salad dressing, plus additional for serving

  • 8 cups mixed greens

  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and roughly chopped

  • 1 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings


  1. Make the Mini Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In medium bowl, mix beef, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper until well combined. Form into 1-inch meatballs and place on parchment-lined rimmed baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Transfer to medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup salad dressing.

  3. Divide mixed greens between four plates or bowls; top with carrots, green beans, kidney beans, sundried tomatoes, cheese, meatballs and pasta. Serve with additional salad dressing.

Making one of my recipes? Please let me know by sharing a photo on my Facebook page, or uploading to Instagram or Twitter with the tag #foxeslovelemons. It would make my day!


This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. 




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