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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Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps

Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps

Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps

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It’s time for a little blog cleanup, so I’m picking away at updating and putting a polish on a few of my older posts. Today’s cleanup goes back to 2016 with these wholesome, rustic and vegan Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps. Not only are these crisps beautiful with their dark cracker base they are also delightfully healthy with no added fat, eggs or dairy. I find some of my great recipes get left in the dust, never to be made again because my head is down and focused on always creating NEW content. Doing a little blog cleanup allows me to go back and redo the recipes, reminding me of just how good they really are.

A white bowl piled high with Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps.

In this recipe, I used nuts and seeds that I had on hand, but you can certainly change them up to whatever is your favourite. I love these Pumpernickel Seed & Nut Crisps because of their texture which is crispy, yet still, some bites give a little chew. The currents are a nice addition because their size adds just the right amount of sweetness without becoming overbearing. Enjoy!

Baked Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps in loaf form on a wooden cutting board garnished with fresh thyme.
A small white plate with Pumpernickel Seed and Nuts Crisps, cheese slices and apricot jelly.
A white bowl piled high with Pumpernickel Seed and Nut Crisps.

Pumpernickel Seed & Nut Crisps
Print Recipe
Crisp wholesome seed and nut crackers perfect for a vegan diet.
    Servings Prep Time
    64 crackers 15 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    70 minutes 90 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    64 crackers 15 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    70 minutes 90 minutes
    Pumpernickel Seed & Nut Crisps
    Print Recipe
    Crisp wholesome seed and nut crackers perfect for a vegan diet.
      Servings Prep Time
      64 crackers 15 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      70 minutes 90 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      64 crackers 15 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      70 minutes 90 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: crackers
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
      2. In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients until just combined.
      3. Spray 2 8"x3" loaf pans with non-stick spray and divide batter evenly between them. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack to room temperature. Once cool, remove loaves from their pan and place in the freezer for about an hour to help firm up for cutting.
      4. Reheat oven to 300℉.
      5. Remove from the freezer and cut each loaf into 1/8" slices. You should get approximately 30-33 slices per loaf. Lay each slice flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Flip each piece and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (they will continue to crisp up as they cool). Remove from oven and place each slice onto a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container once completely cooled.
      Recipe Notes

      -Any seeds and nuts can be used, but in this recipe, I used a combination of currents, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pepitas.

      -Regular 9"x 5" loaf pans can be used, however, I used 8" x 3" foil loaf pans because they are narrower and therefore produce a slightly taller cracker and the loaves pop right out of the foil pans.

      -Freezing is only required to assist in cutting even thin slices.  If you are good with a knife, feel free to skip this step.

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      Affiliate Disclosure

      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