Snacking Meatballs (or Best Idea Ever)
So, meatballs. They’re not exactly the sexiest food, but if being reliable, handy in a crisis, and versatile are qualities you admire, then the humble meatball should earn some attention.
Hello, meatballs. Nice to see you. Come here often? *Wink*
While meatballs are convenient for subs, over egg noodles for Swedish meatballs, over couscous, or for spaghetti (my daughter won’t eat spaghetti sauce with the meat mixed in, but she’ll eat my meatballs; kids are weird, right?), they don’t make anyone race to the dinner table. Still, they’ve won Most Popular & Most Likely to Succeed in my house lately, moving from a ho-hum staple to a must-have treat thanks to my reinvention: Snacking Meatballs.
Okay, okay. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this brilliant idea. Whatever. I’m still claiming the street cred in my house, whether my gang gives it to me or not. Snacking meatballs are a genius move. Seriously. And an unexpected Thanksgiving with houseguests lifesaver.
I made an extra-large batch of meatballs a few days before Thanksgiving. I had everything I needed on hand, and I wanted to clear out some space in my freezer. Whipping up these hot, saucy babies whenever my guests got the nibbles kept those hungry gremlins out of my kitchen and let me focus on the feast ahead. Snacking meatballs provided alongside chips, veggies, and dips were hearty enough to forego lunch, so I didn’t have to prepare three meals for guests in one day. Meatballs are perfect for prepping in advance and storing in the freezer. Plus, they’re a blank canvas, ready to take on whatever sauce that suits your mood: Italian, BBQ, Asian, Spicy, Sweet, Mustardy, anything. BBQ is our fav, especially with our homemade BBQ sauce, but the meatballs don’t care how you enjoy them. Only that you do.
So, for guests or not, be a baller.
What You Need:
2 lbs. Ground Meat (Beef, turkey, pork, or a mix is fine)
1 cup bread crumbs (If you’re watching your salt intake, use unseasoned bread crumbs; there’s a sneaky amount of salt in the seasoned ones)
2 Large Eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 Onion, diced small OR 1 tsp. Onion Powder (I like using onion because it helps keep the meatballs moist)
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper or to taste (My brother & I are firm believers in pepper, so we get a little crazy with it.)
1/2 tsp. Salt, if you desire, but we leave it out for the sake of heart health and more pepper.
1 tsp. Garlic & Herb Seasoning (We are also firm believers in Mrs. Dash—why use all that salt if you don’t have to?) or Italian Seasoning if you’d prefer. It’s your meatball, so own it. Work it, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (I used to love that movie, but it seems kinda terrible now, right?)
Oh. Put love in it. It's essential, and it's how we roll.
What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking oil spray.
Place ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well with a strong spoon or your hands. (Use your hands, baby. Become one with the meatballs)
Use a cookie scoop to measure out the mixture and place the balls on the pan. Roll the meatballs with your hands if you want a perfectly round shape, but I kinda prefer them wonky, like my life.
Bake until brown and cooked through, around thirty minutes. The internal temp should be 165 F and the exterior should be crusty.
Serve as you like it or cool and store for yummy deliciousness later. If using as snacking meatballs, heat with desired sauce and serve with toothpicks.
A cookie scoop is a genius buy if you plan to make meatballs (or cookies, duh) often; it makes the process so much quicker, so it’s a worthy investment. Here's how my kids decorate cookies in my house...
I wanna shake my head, but I'm a little proud, too.
Anyway, reserve extras in your freezer for future guests/snacking emergencies because now that you’ve introduced snacking meatballs, your guests will show up at your doorstep randomly with ravenous expressions, toothpicks in their hands, and crazy looks in their eyes. Best feed ‘em.
Got any amazing snack ideas? Share below? For more ideas on everything, and you know, if you're one of the cool people, check out www.coffeebrained.com