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INCREDIBLE BAKED MEATBALLS

Incredible Baked Meatballs: A Flavorful Delight You Can’t Resist

Discover the Perfect Blend of Spices and Juicy Meatiness

If you’re on the hunt for a mouthwatering meatball recipe that’s bursting with flavor and easy to prepare, look no further than these Incredible Baked Meatballs. These little bites of heaven are a crowd-pleaser, whether served as an appetizer, on top of spaghetti, or tucked into a sub. With the right combination of spices and a bit of oven magic, you’ll have a dish that will leave everyone craving more. Let’s dive into the recipe and create these delectable baked meatballs.

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or a mixture of beef and pork for added flavor)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

For the Sauce:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (optional, for garnish)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

2. Prepare the Meatball Mixture:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, milk, chopped onion, chopped parsley, egg, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and dried basil. Use your hands or a spoon to mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Shape the Meatballs:

  • Take a small handful of the meatball mixture and roll it into a ball about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Place the meatball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used, spacing the meatballs evenly on the sheet.

4. Bake the Meatballs:

  • Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are browned and cooked through. You can cut one open to ensure it’s no longer pink in the center.

5. Prepare the Sauce:

  • While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through and simmering gently. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

6. Combine Meatballs and Sauce:

  • Once the meatballs are done baking, transfer them to the saucepan with the tomato sauce. Gently stir to coat the meatballs in the sauce. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

7. Serve and Garnish:

  • Serve the Incredible Baked Meatballs hot, garnished with chopped fresh basil (if desired) and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

8. Enjoy:

  • Dive into these flavorful meatballs with a fork or toothpick and savor the incredible taste.

Tips and Variations:

Customizing Your Incredible Baked Meatballs

Tips:

  • If you prefer a leaner option, you can use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • For extra moisture and tenderness, you can add a small amount of ricotta cheese to the meatball mixture.

Variations:

  • Customize the sauce by adding diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or olives for extra flavor and texture.
  • If you like a bit of heat, toss some crushed red pepper flakes into the sauce.

Customization:

  • Feel free to adjust the seasonings in the meatball mixture to match your taste. Add more garlic, herbs, or even a touch of Worcestershire sauce for extra depth of flavor.

Storage:

  • Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. They also freeze well; just place them in a freezer-safe container or bag for longer storage.

Cook’s Note:

  • These Incredible Baked Meatballs are truly a comfort food classic. The combination of savory meatballs and a rich tomato sauce makes for a satisfying and versatile dish. Whether you’re enjoying them as an appetizer, on a sandwich, or atop a plate of spaghetti, these meatballs are bound to become a family favorite. So, gather around the table, grab a plateful, and savor every incredible bite!
  • When forming the meatballs, try to make them as uniform in size as possible. This ensures even cooking, so you won’t end up with some meatballs undercooked and others overcooked.
  • Don’t overmix the meatball mixture. Overmixing can result in dense and tough meatballs. Mix until the ingredients are just combined.
  • If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought marinara sauce instead of making your own sauce. Just heat it up and add your cooked meatballs.
  • The addition of sugar in the sauce is optional but recommended. It helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes and enhances the overall flavor of the sauce.
  • Feel free to get creative with your garnishes. Aside from fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, you can sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top for a gooey finish, or add a dash of red pepper flakes if you like things spicier.
  • These meatballs are fantastic for meal prepping. Make a big batch and freeze them in sauce for easy, quick meals later on. Just thaw, reheat, and serve.
  • To make this dish even heartier, you can cook some spaghetti or your favorite pasta to serve alongside the meatballs and sauce. It’s a classic combination that’s always a crowd-pleaser.
  • These Incredible Baked Meatballs are not only delicious on their own but also incredibly versatile. You can turn them into meatball subs, serve them over mashed potatoes, or even use them as a topping for homemade pizza. Let your culinary creativity run wild!
  • Whether you’re preparing these meatballs for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, their incredible flavor and juicy texture make them a standout dish. Share them with family and friends, and watch as they become a beloved classic in your recipe repertoire. Enjoy your journey of creating and savoring these mouthwatering meatballs!

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