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Sweet Potato & Spinach Balls

Spinach & Sweet Potato Balls

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: European
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These sweet potato balls are made with loads of spinach, garlic and onions and are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Great as a side dish, snack, appetizer or a main with a salad or veggies.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (about 400 g)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup wilted spinach, chopped (see instructions below)
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (1/2 to 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1  teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup tapioca or cassava (see notes)
  • Oil for frying (you can use coconut oil, macadamia oil, ghee or avocado oil)


  1. Place cubed sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, until soft when poked through with a knife. Strain the sweet potato completely and return to a bowl.
  2. To get 1 + 1/2 cups of wilted spinach you can use frozen spinach and place it in really hot water to thaw out; then squeeze as much water out with your hands as possible so you’re left with soft, wet but not dripping spinach mass that you can chop. Alternatively, you can get 2 bunches of spinach and sauté them in a little water for about one minute, until wilted (a.k.a wet and shrunk in size). Then cool it down and squeeze the excess liquid before chopping.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onion for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent and golden brown.
  4. Add the chopped spinach, garlic, lemon zest and thyme leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice.
  5. Mash the cooked sweet potato with a fork or a potato masher. It’s fine if it’s not completely smooth. Add the spinach and onion mix, salt, pepper and tapioca or cassava flour and mix well together.
  6. Heat a thin layer of fat or oil in a frying pan over medium0high heat. Wet your hands slightly or use a tablespoon to roll equal amounts of potato and spinach mixture into small balls. You can also make them more oval or fritters-like.
  7. Gently place in a hot frying pan, leaving a little space in between balls. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown crust forms, making sure to turn over gently using a fork and a spatula. I do 3-4 sides (top, bottom, left and right), so they’re evenly crispy. Add more fat or oil as needed.
  8. Serve with a little thyme and lemon wedges and your choice of meat or fish, if you’re having these as a side dish.


Tapioca or cassava flour can be replaced with arrowroot flour or buckwheat/quinoa/other gluten-free flour of choice. I wanted to keep this recipe grain-free but you can, of course, use other flours.


  • Serving Size: 3 balls
  • Calories: 308
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 669 mg
  • Fat: 17.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.7 g
  • Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Sweet potatoes, spinach, paleo, gluten-free

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