So here’s the situation…you gotta go home and feed the fam and you don’t know what to cook, they won’t tell you what they want except “whatever”, and you’re dead tired. But you gotta eat, right? This could be your savior and I’ll tell you a few reasons why.
First, these meatballs are delicious with very little work. Yes, the time can vary from 20 minutes to one hour, but it just depends on your meatball size. If you don’t have an hour, make those little badgers smaller and they cook up in no time.
Second, this is a prep that your kids will love to get involved with. For some reason, pressing the mozzarella into the meatball is some kind of kid entertainer. On top of that, they love the idea of cheese tucked in the middle (who can explain kids?). And we all know, getting your kids involved in cooking is golden.
Third, these freeze like a dream. It doesn’t take much effort to double the recipe. You’re there knee deep in ground beef anyway, might as well. You can just make these bad boys up, lay them out on a platter with parchment paper and freeze. When they’re done, toss them into a zip top bag and call it a day. I like to make them up, brown them, THEN freeze them. That way, I can just take them out, put them in the sauce and simmer. Either way, they are great to have around.
If you’re into meal prep, these are really great for that as well. I like to grill or roast zucchini and add the meatballs and sauce on top of that. Keeps it a bit more healthy and light for lunch.
SMOKED MOZZARELLA MEATBALLS
1 slice of bread, torn into pieces and soaked in milk
12 ounces lean ground beef or turkey
1 32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cut into 1/2″ cubes, or buy a bag of regular old cubed mozzarella or the little balls
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
Mix the beef or turkey with the soaked bread, eggs, parsley, half of the onion and garlic, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Without overworking the meat, form meatballs. Any size you prefer.
Hold each meatball in the palm of your hand and using your thumb of the other hand, make an indention in the meatball. Drop in the cheese cube/ball and carefully fold the meat back over to cover.
Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat and sear each meatball until brown all over. Remove to a plate. Pour off the bulk of the grease, if there is any, or you can keep it all if you like. Add the onion, saute until light brown, add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if using. Stir, then add the meatballs back to the pan.
Cook over low for 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your meatballs. Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes, polenta, spaghetti squash, on a hoagie, whatever!Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs! - Dinner, freezer meal, or meal prep!Click To Tweet