Monday, December 5, 2016

Southwestern Cheddar Stuffed Meatballs


Meatballs again? Oh, hell yes, I love them! They're easy to make, use ingredients I usually have around the house and the flavor can be customized in lots of different ways. They're great as leftovers or on a sandwich. Hey, there's a reason that a meatball themed restaurant is doing so well in New York that it's opened multiple locations. More meatballs!

So the question before me, with this week's batch of ground beef, was what kind of meatballs? I was in the mood for something different and curious about the stuffed meatballs I've heard about.

I decided to go with a southwestern, BBQ flavor and, to be totally honest, I was expecting a little chaos. I figured the cheese would either be absorbed into the meat or the whole thing would explode in a cheesy mess. Although that would probably still taste good.

Happily, stuffed meatballs are totally a thing. Sure, the cheese oozed out a little but I kind of loved that. The inside, though, still held most of the molten cheese that made the meatballs super moist and gave me that satisfying cheesiness when I bit into them. I expect there to be a lot of stuffed meatballs in my future. Enjoy!

Southwestern Cheddar Stuffed Meatballs

by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ingredients (4 Servings (approx. 24 meatballs)
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 Cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 24 Cheddar cheese cubes (approximately 1/2" each)
  • 2 Cups of your favorite tomato sauce (homemade or store bought) plus 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, onion, BBQ sauce, breadcrumbs, chopped cilantro or parsley, garlic powder, black pepper and salt.

Use a 1 oz. scoop to form the balls. While the mixture is still in the scoop, insert one piece of cheese into the center and cover with the ground beef. It will almost naturally fold over on itself and form a ball. Scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, heat the tomato and BBQ sauce. When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes, rice or polenta.

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