These Spinach Balls with spicy sweet mustard dipping sauce are guaranteed to go fast. Learn how to make this easy, parmesan, herbed Spinach Ball recipe without having to use stuffing mix so they are naturally gluten free and spot on delicious!
It has come to my understanding spinach balls are retro. Who knew? However, our family clings on to this holiday appetizer, outdated or not.
Thanksgiving and Christmas wouldn’t be complete without these crispy, buttery, parmesan Spinach Balls. They were the highly anticipated finger food appetizer we all rushed to devour!
Even guests who don’t love spinach can’t resist this perfect appetizer. They are an irresistible buttery ball with a crispy, golden exterior and cheesy, warm interior. What’s not to love?!
Perhaps we should entertain the idea of Spinach Balls making an appearance at other holidays. Then, maybe, wouldn’t have to all throw elbows to get to them? Or maybe that’s part of the beauty of enjoying them. 🤔
The Best Spinach Balls Recipe
The spinach balls recipe I grew up on was super easy to throw together because it contained Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix, which provided the bulk of flavor in one mix.
Chopped spinach, eggs, parmesan cheese, butter, and green onions were mixed together with seasoned bread crumbs mix, portioned into balls, and baked.
Unfortunately there isn’t a gluten free version of stuffing mix readily available. I wanted to replicated that same old fashioned taste, but still keep the recipe simple to make.
The bread crumbs were replaced with crushed corn or rice chex cereal because it’s affordable, readily available, and naturally gluten free. A simple spice mixture of Italian seasoning, dried sage, and onion powder replicates the same flavors as stuffing mix.
Now all can enjoy gluten free spinach balls that taste identical to the iconic original recipe!
Can Spinach Balls Be Frozen?
Spinach Balls and the spicy sweet dipping sauce are the perfect make-ahead party appetizer. Freeze the unbaked balls on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a ziplock freezer bag until you’re ready to bake and serve them.
The mustard dipping sauce can also be made weeks ahead and stored in airtight container in the fridge.
Spinach Balls Mustard Dipping Sauce
Much like my full circle experience with Ginger Molasses Cookies, the spicy sweet mustard dipping sauce wasn’t something I was always keen on as a child.
Growing up, my sisters and I would dare each other to place the smallest drop of mustard on our tongues, claiming it burnt our nose hairs.
Maybe you just have to be mature (*cough, old) to get it because now I see the mustard dipping sauce as crucial to the spinach ball experience. It’s the ying to the spinach ball yang.
HOW TO MAKE SPINACH BALLS
- Squeeze the chopped spinach dry. TIP: Using a potato ricer works perfectly for squeezing water from thawed chopped spinach.
- Crush the corn chex cereal in a plastic bag using a rolling pin or mallet. Alternatively, crush cereal in a food processor.
- In a large bowl mix together lightly beaten eggs, melted butter, parmesan cheese, green onions, dried sage, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Portion out into 1 inch balls. Either bake immediately or place tray in freezer. Once the balls are frozen, transfer to a ziplock freezer bag.
HOW TO MAKE SWEET & SPICY MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE
- Place dry mustard and vinegar in a small bowl and let sit for a couple hours to develop “heat.”
- In a small saucepan place mustard / vinegar mixture, sugar, and egg.
- Cook over low heat until thickened.
Tips for Making Spinach Balls Recipe
- Bread crumbs may be substituted for the crushed cereal.
- If you prefer fresh spinach over frozen spinach use 2 pounds fresh spinach following these directions.
- Double the recipe for a crowd!
- Make spinach balls ahead and freeze balls on a baking sheet. Once they have solidified, which takes about 30 minutes, transfer balls to a ziplock freezer bag.
- If you don’t have onion powder, garlic powder may be substituted.
Looking for more amazing appetizer recipes?
- Baked Feta Dip recipe has hot and creamy feta cheese surrounded by marinara tomato sauce for fantastic, yet easy appetizer dip.
- Potato Skins – Learn how to make Potato Skins at home that are quick and easy, yet better than any restaurants!
- Cranberry Baked Brie – An easy, tangy roasted cranberry orange sauce smothered over warmed baked brie.
- Easy Hummus – Delicious, creamy with fresh garlic, chickpeas and a hint of lemon. No tahini needed.
- Charcuterie Board Ideas – The ultimate guide for making beautiful, entertaining-friendly charcuterie boards.
- Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe combines fresh spinach and artichokes blended into a cheesy, ultra smooth, parmesan garlic sauce.
SAVE THIS SPINACH BALLS RECIPE TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
Let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always sharing great recipes!
Spinach Balls with Hot Sweet Mustard Dipping Sauce
- (2) 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 1/2 cups (about 3.5 ounces or 3 1/2 cups whole) corn chex cereal, crushed
- 1 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 4 eggs
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Hot Sweet Mustard
- 1/2 cup dry mustard, such as Coleman's
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
Hot Sweet Mustard:
- In a small bowl mix together dry mustard and vinegar. Let sit for at least 2 hours. This is crucial for developing the "heat" in the mustard.
- After a couple hours combine mustard mixture, egg, and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mustard is thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. If using later, store in airtight container in refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl and then combine with the rest of the ingredients until well mixed.
- Roll into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and hot. If frozen, add about 10 minutes to time.
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Items used to make this recipe:
Baking Sheets Mixing Bowls Stainless Steel Saucepan
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Barbara Moore says
Can these be baked ahead of time and then reheated for a short period of time? I’d like to take them to a party, but know oven space is at a premium and don’t want to have to bake for 25 minutes.
Yes, that wouldn’t be a problem at all. Bake them at your house and just let them sit at room temperature until you bring them to the party. Reheat for 5-10 minutes in the oven right before serving.
Christine Moye says
I made these today for a Christmas appetizer. While none of my children were excited to hear I was making spinach balls, my husband and boys LOVED them and the mustard sauce. I guess they will become a new Christmas tradition.
Thanks so much for this awesome, easy, and delicious gf recipe!
So glad you enjoyed these and you are very welcome! Christmas would not be complete at our house without the Spinach Balls.
If I serve these as part of an appetizer buffet, do I need to keep them hot or warm? Or are they still tasty at room temperature?
Spinach balls can be served hot or at room temperature, so they don’t need to be kept warm. We eat them at any temp!
I dream about this mustard!
I made these again over the holidays and I unfortunately discovered using Coleman’s brand dry mustard is key 😒 It still tasted good, but the consistency was all off.