Calabrian Style Cheese Balls

These light, dumpling like cheese balls are inspired by a traditional Calabrian dish made with ricotta cheese. I swapped ricotta for low-fat cottage cheese which cuts the calories in half. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 10 minuts
  • Total Time 20 minutes
  • Serves 3-4
Calabrian Style Cheese Balls


  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1¾ cup low-fat small-curd cottage cheese, STRAINED (see “Note” below)
  • 1¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 tbsp Pecorino Romano (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley or 1½ tbsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 32 ounces of store bought or homemade tomato sauce
  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pesto sauce optional


Note: If your cottage cheese is watery, place a cheesecloth-lined, fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Place cottage cheese in strainer, cover with plastic wrap, then place a heavy object (like a large plate) on top. Let sit in the refrigerator for an hour.

  1. Add all of the ingredients to large bowl. Use your hands to mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Roll into 1½ inch round balls and set aside.
  3. To a large skillet (it does not have to be cast iron) add the sauce. Once the sauce begins to simmer, add the basil. Once the basil has “melted” into the sauce, add the cheese balls.
  4. Ladle a bit of the sauce over each cheese ball. Let cook for 10 minutes, flipping each ball half way through.
  5. Top with a bit of pesto and eat warm.