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Food

Make this spinach balls recipe for a simple Thanksgiving appetizer

Johnny’s spinach balls
Johnny’s spinach balls.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Spinach, breadcrumbs, cheese, onion, a touch of garlic, eggs, more cheese and plenty of butter.  It’s hard to resist these simple spinach balls, whether served at a potluck, weekend gathering, or as a quick bite before you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal. It’s no wonder this recipe is one of our readers’ favorites. While this recipe makes about 4 dozen spinach balls, you might want to plan to double it — these disappear quickly. And of course you could add a little crumbled bacon just to take it over the top.

SPINACH BALLS

Total time: 45 minutes, plus chilling time | Makes about 4 dozen spinach balls

Note: From Johnny Thibeault. He sometimes adds bacon to the mixture before forming; if desired, stir in 1/2 cup chopped fried bacon before forming the spinach balls.

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2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese, more if you prefer (up to 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

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1/2 to 1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted

1. Squeeze any excess water from the thawed spinach and place the spinach in a large mixing bowl.

2. Stir in the bread crumbs, Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, eggs and butter until thoroughly combined.

3. Cover and chill the mixture until it is firm enough to form into balls.

4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil, and lightly oil the foil.

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5. With a spoon, scoop enough of the spinach mixture to form balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Roll the mixture into balls and place on the foil-lined cookie sheet, spacing them 1 to 2 inches apart. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

6. Bake the sheets, one at a time, until lightly browned and firm, 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Cool slightly before serving.

Each of 4 dozen spinach balls: 45 calories; 2 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 3 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 23 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 142 mg sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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