Meatballs 5 Ways

Using meatballs as the protein source are one of our go-tos for an easy yet delicious and budget friendly dinner (or lunch). We used to be the type to buy the pack of frozen meatballs to always have in the freezer, but once you have made your own, there is no going back! Trust me! What’s not to love about making one big batch, freezing it and having endless ways to use them?!? Today I am sharing my favorite meatball recipe and top 5 dinners utilizing them.

First let’s start with the easy meatball recipe:)

A few notes: Often we use ground turkey for a leaner meat but this recipe can easily be modified to use ground beef or ground chicken. I also make mine dairy free since one of my kids is sensitive to cow’s milk. Another option is to make them gluten free using gluten free bread crumbs. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs organic ground turkey 
  • 3 organic large brown eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (typically I used panko for more texture)
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic garlic powder
  • 3 tsp organic onion powder
  • 3 tbsp chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tsp organic Italian seasoning
  • Dash salt & pepper

Add eggs and whisk before adding the remaining ingredients and mixing using a spatula or by hand until incorporated.  

Grab ~2 tbsp or less if you prefer smaller meatballs and roll into balls. This should easily make ~60 meatballs. You can put them in a freezer bag and freeze them uncooked, or go ahead and cook them. I prefer to freeze them uncooked.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 375°F. Add a few tbsp of oil (olive or avocado) to a dutch oven or skillet over medium heat on the stove and add meatballs to brown (a minute or so each side) then transfer to an oven safe pan or leave in the dutch oven in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. 

Now for my top 5 ways to use the meatballs:

Meatball Subs with Baby Greens Salad

Ingredients: 

  • cooked meatballs
  • organic marinara or other tomato sauce
  • organic Italian bread loaf
  • mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
  • organic baby greens
  • your favorite dressing (we usually just add a dash of oil, dash of vinegar and some salt/pepper)

Add cooked meatballs to the marinara over low heat in a sauce pan. Slice bread half-way and add meatballs with sauce and cheese and place in the oven long enough to melt the cheese and toast the bread slightly. Toss the greens with the dressing and enjoy!

Turkey Meatballs with Spinach and Cheese Tortellini https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe/cheesy-chicken-meatball-and-tortellini-soup/

Ingredients:

  • cooked meatballs
  • 5 oz organic baby spinach
  • packed of cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • olive oil

Add 2 tbsp oil to a stock pot over medium heat- add garlic and cook until fragrant (do not let it burn). Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Add in the tortellini and cook according to package. During the last minute, add in the cooked meatballs and spinach. Add to bowls and top with a sprinkle of cheese and fresh cracked black pepper.

Korean Meatballs with Broccoli and Rice

  • Cooked meatballs
  • 1/2 coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsps chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • Green onions
  • Organic broccoli
  • Organic jasmine rice

Add all sauce ingredients to a pan on the stove and bring to a low boil and then turn off the heat. Cook rice according to the package. (I use the Simple Truth Organic frozen bags a lot to save me time.) Add Broccoli to a sheet pan and roast in the oven with olive oil and garlic powder at 400°F for about 15 minutes.

Add rice, broccoli and meatballs to a bowl and drizzle with the Korean bbq sauce and top with chopped green onions.

Classic Meatball Pizza

Ingredients:

Roll dough onto cookie sheet. Add your favorite pizza sauce, Italian blend cheese, cooked meatballs sliced in half, pepperoni and any other veggies. Bake at 400°F for ~15 minutes.

Beer Can Turkey Meatballs

  • 12 meatballs uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large organic Yukon gold potatoes

I cook these a little differently using a crock pot. Add frozen uncooked meatballs into a crock pot and add the chicken broth and beer. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours depending on the time you have available. Cut up the potatoes and boil in water until softened. Drain, add 1 tbsp ghee, unsweetened almond milk and garlic powder and mash. Once cooked, remove meatballs and strain the remaining liquid into a saucepan. Whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to the saucepan. Bring to a low boil and reduce the heat as it starts to thicken for about 5 minutes (stirring frequently). Season with salt and pepper.

Top the mashed potatoes with the cooked meatballs and some of the gravy. 

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