Birthdays are one of the few times our kids get to choose the menu. Our youngest turned eight years old on the 24th; and we celebrated with family and a delicious meal on the 22nd. The birthday dinner requested was Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs. I was completely out of ground turkey and so I decided to use up some of the hamburger I had on hand in the freezer. I checked the web for specific recipes and found several that had ingredients we like, but I didn’t have everything needed to make them. I found a couple that included ingredients we definitely don’t care for, so I looked for the ingredients that were “core essentials” in all of them and from there we built our own recipe. It was a smash hit and will be the “go-to” recipe for meatballs in the future!
This recipe made 132 meatballs. Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in a zip-top freezer bag to use for quick meals in the future if you won’t be needing all of them at one sitting. — lol — We fed everyone at the birthday party, ate leftovers for lunch the next day and froze half for another time. You will be so happy to be able to pull these out of the freezer for a quick delicious meal! Yum!
Glenda’s Spicy Meatballs
- 4¼ lbs 93% lean ground beef
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 1 Tbl red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbl Spike Seasoning
- 1/3 cup dried parsley
- 1/3 cup dried basil
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbl salt
- 1 Tbl black pepper
Mix the hamburger, Worcestershire sauce, milk and eggs.
Add the minced onions and garlic, bread crumbs, pepper flakes, Spike Seasoning, parsley, basil, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. I would like to tell you I am very delicate and mix this with a wooden spoon or fork, but it just isn’t very practical. For this one, you will need to get your hands dirty. It’s the fastest easiest way to incorporate all the ingredients. And for our oldest daughter, “Yes, Sweetie, this time I really mean mix it by hand.” – lol (That is in reference to the lemon bar fiasco of 1996 and taking the instruction to mix them by hand, very literally.)
Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated, I use a cookie dough scoop to shape the meatballs in uniform sizes. The shaped meatballs should be placed on a cookie sheet, leaving just enough space between them for air to circulate. I actually got 54 meatballs to a sheet.
Bake them in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.
Okay, when these come out of the oven you will need some big sticks handy, to keep back the milling throng if you ever want these meatballs to see spaghetti sauce! They are addictively delicious and once they pop one, hot, delectable little sphere into their mouths, your family will want them all! Luckily, it’s a big batch so you have some wiggle room, but proceed with caution. — lol
Glenda’s Spaghetti Sauce
This is the point where honesty gets a little sticky. Spaghetti sauce recipes should be long and laborious and top secret passed down from generation to generation, right? Mine, not so much! It’s easy, fast and absolutely delicious. I have diced fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and all the herbs and seasonings required for perfect, chef-quality sauces, cooked them over low heat for hours and hours and produced yummy sauces that are frankly not much different than what I am about to share with you. So, don’t think I am casting aspersions on your homemade sauces, I’m not. I love cooking from scratch and making things that could never be the same from a mix or a box. I just don’t have that kind of time or cash, when a good alternative is available. Here’s what we do.
- 2 cans of the least expensive canned spaghetti sauce available, (brand varies by what’s on sale, but usually Hunts)
- (1) 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of sugar, (adjust this to your own taste)
- 1 Tbl of dried Italian seasoning
Mix your sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the desired number of meatballs, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let the meatballs heat in the sauce for 15 or 20 minutes.
It’s not scientific or beautifully “chef’s kitchen”, but it is delicious and one of our family favorites. It’s a perfect quick fix when you’re in a hurry to get supper on the table! Serve over your favorite pasta. I also use this same sauce, minus the meatballs, when I make lasagna.
Of course, as usual, I always forget to take a final product picture for you, but since I had leftovers in the freezer I was able to snap a quick picture the next time we served this delicious main course. Notice the cranberry salad leftover from Thanksgiving? Yum!