Monday, September 12, 2011

My 3 Favorite Meatball Recipes

Meatballs are one of my family's favorite dishes, mostly because they can be served in so many ways. I'm happy to give you a 3-for-1 today and share my three favorite variations, using the homemade meatball foundation.

Cranberry-Chili Meatballs

This simple combination is tangy, spicy, and a great use of fall flavors! Hint: Try adding ½ tsp. of ginger to your meatballs.

1 can (16-oz) jellied cranberry sauce 
1 bottle (12-oz) chili sauce
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

In a crockpot, on low, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne; stir until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Add prepared meatballs and cook 2-4 hours. Serve over steamed rice.

Spaghetti and Stuffed Meatballs

Everyone loves a surprise! The gooey, cheesy surprise in the middle of these delicious meatballs will wow your family and friends and turn ordinary spaghetti night into something memorable. Hint: Try adding ¼ cup of parmesan cheese and thawed, frozen spinach to your meatball base.

1 batch of homemade meatballs (try 2-3-inch balls) 
2 pieces mozzarella string cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 batch/jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 box spaghetti noodles or angel hair, prepared per package instructions

Prepare meatball mixture and roll into 2-3-inch balls. Press a piece of mozzarella into the center of each ball and reshape. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes.

Heat sauce in a large pot; add meatballs and simmer at least 30 minutes (the longer they simmer, the more the flavors will meld and the tenderer the meatballs will become). Serve over prepared pasta.

Peach-Glazed Meatballs

This peach-flavored marinade plays up the sweet and savory combination for a delicious appetizer or main dish. Hint: Try adding ¼ tsp. cayenne and 1 tsp. lemon pepper to your meatball foundation.

1 jar (18 oz.) peach preserves 
1 bottle chili sauce
½ packet “Beefy Onion” soup mix

Whisk together sauce ingredients in a large saucepan; cook over medium heat until cooked through. Add prepared meatballs and simmer about 20 minutes. Serve as an appetizer or with glaze over steamed rice.

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