Lately I’ve been using roasted veggies as a base for my marinara and meat, rather than pasta. I’ve been trying to ramp up my veggie intake and this has been a good way to get in more veggies and I don’t even miss my pasta! This is a great idea if you’re on a grain free diet, if you omit the breadcrumbs in the meatballs.
Baked Italian Meatballs
Makes 24 meatballs
2 lbs. ground lean ground beef
1 cup plain, gluten free bread crumbs* (can omit for grain free)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (can omit for dairy free)
1 TB Italian seasoning**
4 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray or oil
1. Grease a 24-serving mini-muffin pan***
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Preferably with your hands.
4. Divide meat into 4 parts evenly, then 2 parts each, then 3 each, rolling into balls and filling the tin as you go.
4. Put muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake meatballs for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reads 160F with an instant read thermometer.
5. Serve hot with your favorite marinara (or mine!) over pasta, roasted veggies or on soft Italian bread.
These freeze really well, so when they have cooled off, place them in a zippered freezer bag and store in the freezer.
*If you need wheat free, but not necessarily gluten free, I used Corn Flake crumbs. You could also use plain bread crumbs if you don’t need it gluten or wheat free.
**I used the Italian Medley variety of Mrs. Dash. From what I have read, Mrs. Dash products do not contain gluten, but are produced in a facility that is not gluten free, so it cannot be labeled as such. If you are not comfortable using this product, a good substitution would be 1 tsp each of dried basil, oregano and rosemary.