Friday, March 29, 2013

Basic Baked Meatballs

Basic Baked Meatballs - Photo by Taste As You Go
Basic Baked Meatballs

With Easter this Sunday, I know that many of you are busily making your preparations for the holiday. Dyeing eggs, filling Easter baskets, and gathering all of the ingredients for the big family dinner -- whatever items are left on your to-do list, I think it's safe to assume that making meatballs isn't one of them. That's why I'm sharing the recipe with you now so you can bookmark it (or pin it) to make it some other weekend.

I'm always keeping the best interests of my readers at heart :)

Basic Baked Meatballs - Photo by Taste As You Go
Basic Baked Meatballs

When I make meatballs, I like to make way more than I need so I can have some now and freeze some for later. That way I can defrost the frozen meatballs on a night when I don't feel particularly motivated to cook a full meal from scratch.

Lots of people will shape their meatballs and then allow them to cook all afternoon in a pot (or slow cooker) of simmering marinara sauce. The meat adds tremendous flavor to the sauce and the whole house smells amazing while they're cooking.

Basic Baked Meatballs - Photo by Taste As You Go
Basic Baked Meatballs

While I love that method, there are times when I just don't want to wait that long. I've found that baking meatballs off in the oven is a great way to get homemade meatballs in under an hour. Plus, baking them is a healthy alternative to frying them in a pan!

So, how do you like to cook your meatballs?

Basic Baked Meatballs
Printable Recipe - Makes 2 dozen

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 1/4 pounds ground beef, veal, and pork mixture
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, making sure not to overmix.
  3. Shape into two-inch meatballs and place on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the meat reads at least 165°F.

Cook's Note: If you're going to freeze the meatballs, then allow them to come to room temperature after removing them from the oven. Place the whole tray of meatballs in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the tray and place into an air-tight container or a freezer bag before returning them to the freezer.

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