Simply Whole Kitchen

June 6, 2012

Baked Meatballs

They may not be pretty but, my goodness, they are delicious!!

I've mentioned before about my Italian grandmother and I'm sure she would roll over in her grave if she knew I was baking my meatballs, instead of pan frying them....sorry Noni, I promise these are just as delicious and SO much better for you!
And if I could only capture the smell of these baking and share it with you!  It smells like walking into an Italian kitchen where the tomato sauce has been cooking for over 12 hours and the garlic and herbs are freshly crushed.

Making these brings back memories of watching my Noni make meatballs for our Sunday supper.  Each time I make these I remember her little tips and techniques that helped to create the perfect morsel.  Gently she would softly cup her hands when she rolled them (making a tender meatball instead of a tough one), then carefully she would place them into the pan.

Yep, baked or fried, she would have loved these!

Cheesy Baked Meatballs
1 lb mild Italian turkey sausage
1 egg
1/4 -1/2 c whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c tomato sauce (either canned or homemade)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking dish by pouring the tomato sauce in the base.  Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine with your hands (do not overmix).  Gently form ping-pong sized balls and place them into the sauce in the baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned (cheese will be oozy!).  Enjoy!

I served our baked meatballs over whole wheat rotini with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese!

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