Cheesy Italian Meatballs

Cheesy Italian Meatballs

Cheesy Italian Meatballs

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Cheesy Italian Meatballs are tender flavourful beef meatballs nestled and baked in a rustic tomato sauce and topped with plenty of cheese for a delicious family-style meal. These meatballs are great over pasta, but my favourite is simply serving them with toasted bread to sop up the amazing sauce.

Let’s talk meatballs! Beef meatballs are great, but adding Italian sausage makes them fantastic. Adding ground Italian sausage adds all the wonderful flavours of the sausage like fennel, oregano and basil, plus it adds pork and a little bit of fat. The combination makes a superb meatball and the same theory applies to meat sauce.

Meatball tips: 
-Use a cookie scoop to portion the meatballs so they are the same size and cook evenly.
-Use a dab of water in the palm of your hand when rolling the meatballs. The water prevents the meatballs from sticking to your hands.
-Don’t over-mix the meat.
-Brown on all sides to get the most flavour.

The sauce couldn’t be more simple. Crushed canned tomatoes married with herbs, wine and broth. But what makes it great is the gentle simmering reduction of it with the meatballs while the dish is baking. The tomatoes reduce to just the right consistency and get flavoured from the juices from the meatballs. Top it all off with a generous handful of cheese and you’ve got a great meal the whole family will love.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

Cheesy Italian Meatballs
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Cheesy Italian Meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 16 ounces lean ground beef
  • 6-8 ounces mild Italian sausage
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 20 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Meatballs

  • Add all ingredients except olive oil to a large bowl. Mix gently with a wooden spoon or clean hands until combined well. Scoop meatballs onto a clean tray using a 2 tbsp scoop. With lightly dampened hands roll meatballs smooth.
  • Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet and add meatballs in a single layer. Cook meatballs until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Remove to a clean plate and set aside.

Sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Add diced onion to the same skillet as the meatballs and sauté for several minutes until starting to soften. Add minced garlic and continue to cook for an additional minute.
  • Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth and simmer liquid for about 2 minutes to reduce slightly.
  • Add tomatoes, oregano, paprika, and chili flakes. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  • Add meatballs by tucking them into the sauce. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, stir and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Stir once more and top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, 5-10 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped Italian parsley if desired and serve with pasta or crusty bread.

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Stroganoff Meatballs

Stroganoff Meatballs

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Stroganoff Meatballs in a red casserole dish resting on a wooden tray lined with a white kitchen towel.

This a casserole that I’ve made time and time again. I love it because it makes enough for six people or provides plenty of leftovers, which is important for me as a shift worker. It’s also a comforting, family-style meal that is fantastic served over mashed potatoes. Stroganoff Meatballs is a great fall/winter recipe that you’ll want to make over and over.

Raw beef meatballs rolled and arranged on a baking tray in preparation for Stroganoff Meatballs.

For this recipe, you’ll notice that I insist you use a beef soup base such as Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug and not regular beef bouillon powder. This is not a sponsored post, but I’ve tried both beef bouillon cubes and regular beef bouillon powder. They just don’t have the same beef flavour that the soup base does, and it makes all the difference. I do hate to be so particular on an ingredient, but for this recipe I must insist that you use beef soup base such as Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug.  It’s worth the little bit of fuss, enjoy!

Ingredients for Stroganoff Meatballs arranged on a small wooden board on a white kitchen towel.

Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Companys Coming Casseroles cookbook 1985.

Stroganoff Meatballs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 people 55-60 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 55-60 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Stroganoff Meatballs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 people 55-60 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 55-60 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
Beef Meatballs
Stroganoff Sauce
Servings: people
Instructions
Beef Meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix until incorporated. Roll into 1-ounce meatballs (about 2 tbsp each) and arrange on a large baking tray lined with parchment. Will yield about 38 meatballs.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.
Stroganoff Sauce
  1. While meatballs are cooking, heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated and starting to brown.
  2. Add 2 cups water and OXO soup base and heat to a simmer, stirring to dissolve. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Add to pot, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in mushroom soup until smoothed out. Stir in sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, paprika and pepper.
  3. Add meatballs to the sauce and stir gently to coat with sauce. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately over noodles, rice or potatoes.
Recipe Notes

-It is a must to use beef soup base (preferably Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug)  I have tried to use regular beef bouillon cubes and powder, however, they do not have the same level of beef flavour and are not recommended for this recipe.

-Meatballs can be made and cooked up to a day ahead.  Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.  Cook casserole for 40-45 minutes if using cold meatballs.

 

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I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com