While I am more of a potato than pasta girl, I still like a spicy tomato sauce with meatballs. You can really mix and match and ground protein preferred for meatballs; however I get a lot of flavor out of ground lamb or grass fed beef. And of course, a red sauce is a great place to add in (or hide) other great vegetables like mushrooms and greens like spinach or kale. Finely chop some greens to add to the meatballs for another way to amp up your vegetable consumption.
In addition to the optional “greens” in the meatballs, I like to cook kale separately in a dry pan with seasoning and a little oil to sort of toast and wilt it which makes a nice bed for the meatballs and sauce. These meatballs can also be transformed into a nice sub, or added to a potato boat for a version of a stuffed potato.
If you are working to stock up a variety of meals that do well reheated and are easy to batch cook, this is also a great dish to add to your freezer collection. Simply double the recipe and stock your fridge or freezer with meals for the week or in the weeks to come.
Check out the recipe below!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne (optional)
- 4 gloves of pressed garlic or 2 tbsp of minced garlic
Meat sauce Ingredients:
- 1 14.5 can of tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 cups fresh kale
- 12 oz chopped mushroom
- 1 large onion diced
- 6 cloves of pressed garlic or 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp coarse black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a medium bowl, add ground meat, seasonings and egg. Use a garlic press to crush fresh garlic or add in minced. Sprinkle in breadcrumbs.
- Mix well and roll 16 medium balls and space evenly on baking sheet. Wash hands, put the meatballs in the oven and set timer for 20 minutes.
- Dice onion and chop mushrooms to preferred size and in a large pan, add onions and mushrooms with oil over medium heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper and brown.
- Add splashes of water to start to caramelize the onions and mushrooms and prevent sticking. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add in tomato sauce and once fill can with water or stock (optional) and stir with a spoon to get any extra bits of sauce before adding to the pan.
- Use garlic press to add in garlic or add minced amount. Add in seasonings and mix well. Simmer on medium low heat.
- Once meatballs timer goes off, remove them from the oven and carefully scoop them from the pan and into the sauce, one at a time.
- Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on low heat.