Beautiful Baked Meatballs

I have been craving meatballs lately. I don't really want the spaghetti, but I really, REALLY want meatballs. Maybe it is the weather? Am I anemic? I don't know and I don't care because I just want meatballs.

Tonight I gave into my craving (full disclosure: I had some out last week but they were only fair) and made my beautiful baked meatballs. This recipe is my compromise between proper meatball technique (frying then simmering in sauce) and easy (baking then coating with sauce). It combines the ease of baking with the slow cooked flavor of fried. They are an excellent quick no-fuss meal and were so good. They were exactly what I have been craving.

Beautiful Baked Meatballs (makes 5-6 generous servings)

1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/3 C whole grain bread crumbs
2 T flax seeds (optional, but very good for you and you won't even notice they are there - promise!)
1/3 C milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 t crushed garlic
1 T Italian seasoning blend
1/2 t seasoned salt (or salt and pepper)
1/2 C Romano cheese (with additional to sprinkle on top of final dish)
2 C of your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 425. Spray baking dish with non stick coating spray and set aside.

Place both meats in a large bowl and set aside. Add breadcrumbs, flax seeds, milk, eggs, garlic, seasoning blend, seasoned salt and cheese to bowl. Stir to combine well. Combine the bread and the meat mixtures and mix well (but lightly) with your hands.

Using an ice cream scoop, portion you meat mixture into 15 good sized meatballs. Arrange meatballs in baking dish so that there is a small amount of space between each meatball.

My little meaty soldiers all in a row.

Pour the marinara over the meatballs to fully cover. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until firm and bubbling.

All dressed and ready for the oven.

Serve with a side of pasta (Dreamfields, of course!) and enjoy.


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