Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No Need to Buy Frozen: The Easiest of Meatballs

After I wrote about the common meals I cook, a reader wrote in to ask about my meatball recipe. And, yeah. I get that this picture doesn't make this meal very appetizing. But here is why you should still try it: inexpensive, easy and relatively healthy. Does it get better than that? I got this recipe from my friend and daycare provider. My kids inhaled the meatballs with her, so I knew I had to use the recipe myself. She makes them with ground hamburger, but ground turkey works well. Just stock up when either is on sale.


1 pound ground meat (turkey, chicken, hamburger or a mix)
1 egg (optional, but it makes it bind together more easily)
1/4 cup Parmesan (again, optional)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (white, whole wheat or panko)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Form them into meatballs. Heat oil in a cast iron or other large skillet over medium heat.

Place half the meatballs in the pan and brown them on all sides. Drain the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towels while you cook the other batch. Once the second batch is browned and drained, put them back in the pan with tomato sauce. Simmer them gently until cooked through and serve over pasta or on bread.

If you want to eat them later, after browning them, let them cool and freeze them. When you are ready to eat them, you can either bake them, directly from the freezer, at 350 for about 20 minutes. Or, you can put them, frozen in a pan with tomato sauce. Heat them on the stove until they are cooked through.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a Greek twist in an equally easy recipe that goes over well in our house, I am intending to blog about it some day!:

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1/2 small onion, minced
    1/2 cup very finely crumbled feta cheese (measure after crumbling finely with a fork)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large egg
    1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
    1 T dried Greek oregano
    4 tsp. red wine vinegar (I use balsamic)
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
    1 tsp. Greek seasoning (optional)

    Preheat oven to 400. Use a food processor to chop the onion very finely, then drain if it seems like there is a lot of liquid. (I never do this, I always just chop it up finely.)

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then use your hands to mix ingredients.

    Lightly oil a 9 X 13 baking dish. Shape meat into 1 tablespoon size meatballs and place on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, after which time you will see some liquid oozing out. Turn meatballs and bake 10 more minutes. Turn again, and bakd 5-10 more minutes, until meatballs are well-browned and cooked through.