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Baked Mighty Mini Meatballs

Baked Mighty Mini MeatballsThis terrific recipe for baked mini meatballs offers four delicious ways to serve them: Meatball Pizzas, Meatball Sandwiches, Meatballs with Pasta, and Meatball Soup.

Recipe Ingredients:

Meatballs:
1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 egg whites or 1 whole egg
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Meatball Pizzas:
1 recipe cooked meatballs
1 1/3 cups pizza or marinara sauce
4 (8-inch) whole wheat pita breads
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend

Meatball Sandwiches:
1 recipe cooked meatballs
1 (14.5-ounce) jar marinara sauce
4 French bread rolls, split
Sautéed onion and bell peppers (optional)
Shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend (optional)

Meatballs with Pasta:
1 recipe cooked meatballs
8 ounces dry pasta
1 (26-ounce) jar pasta sauce

Meatball Soup:
1 recipe cooked meatballs
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (13.75 to 14.5-ounce) can ready-to-serve beef broth
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Combine ground beef, spinach, bread crumbs, egg whites, water, garlic, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twenty four 1-inch meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Use meatballs to prepare one of the following recipes.
  2. For Meatball Pizzas: Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Spread pizza or marinara sauce evenly over four pita breads. Carefully cut hot cooked meatballs in half; place 12 halves on each pizza. Top evenly with shredded cheese. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crusts are crisp.
  3. For Meatball Sandwiches: Heat 1 marinara sauce according to package directions until hot. Add hot cooked meatballs; stir to coat evenly. Spoon meatball-sauce mixture evenly into French bread rolls. If desired, top with sautéed onion and bell pepper and shredded cheese.
  4. For Meatballs with Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Keep warm. Meanwhile heat pasta sauce according to package directions until hot. Add hot cooked meatballs to pasta sauce; stir to coat evenly. Serve meatball sauce over pasta.
  5. For Meatball Soup: Combine beans, tomatoes, beef broth, frozen mixed vegetables and water in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Add hot cooked meatballs; continue simmering 5 minutes to blend flavors. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • For easy clean up, line broiler pan (not rack) with aluminum foil.
  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef.
  • Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71.1°C).
  • Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe for meatballs only): 186 calories; 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 512 mg sodium; 6 g carbohydrate; 0.6 g fiber; 26 g protein; 5.6 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 3.0 mg iron; 23.8 mcg selenium; 5.6 mg zinc.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe for meatball pizzas): 498 calories; 14 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 83 mg cholesterol; 1195 mg sodium; 51 g carbohydrate; 7.4 g fiber; 41 g protein; 8.9 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 2.8 mcg vitamin B12; 6.0 mg iron; 56.6 mcg selenium; 7.8 mg zinc.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe for meatball sandwiches): 367 calories; 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 1238 mg sodium; 36 g carbohydrate; 2.2 g fiber; 31 g protein; 11.3 mg niacin; 0.6 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 5.0 mg iron; 35.9 mcg selenium; 6.5 mg zinc.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe for meatballs and pasta): 533 calories; 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 1402 mg sodium; 69 g carbohydrate; 3.1 g fiber; 36 g protein; 16.9 mg niacin; 0.8 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 6.5 mg iron; 62.2 mcg selenium; 7.4 mg zinc.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe for meatball soup): 380 calories; 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 1126 mg sodium; 42 g carbohydrate; 8.9 g fiber; 37 g protein; 6.1 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 5.3 mg iron; 28.2 mcg selenium; 6.3 mg zinc.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.