Stuffing Meatballs 

Stuffing Meatballs 

Yes, you read that correctly. These are stuffing meatballs! They are juicy, delicious meatballs with all the flavors of Thanksgiving Day stuffing. Elsie actually said this is my best recipe of all time, so that’s a pretty good review.

This year, because we were hosting Friendsgiving so early (since my sister would be in town), these local turkeys were simply not available. So, I started thinking on other main courses I could serve instead.

About a month ago, I made some meatballs for a friend. She recently had her fourth child and all our friends did a meal-train for her, which basically means every other night or so someone brings dinner to her house for her and her family as they transition since they just welcomed a new baby into their family. I really love these as I love cooking for others and also holding babies. 🙂

Anyway, she eats a mostly Paleo, Whole30, lots-of-meat kind of diet and so I wanted to make something she and her family might enjoy. And I’ve made meatballs quite a few times for family holiday dinners, so I did that. I think it’s that this meatball experience was so recent that it got me thinking, why not make meatballs for Friendsgiving?

I knew I would certainly be able to buy locally and ethically-raised ground meat, as I can pretty much all year round (that’s what I used for my friends meatballs). My only thought was I wanted to create some kind of meatball recipe that showcased the flavors of Thanksgiving, which is how I landed on stuffing meatballs.

I also found that serving meatballs over a turkey was SO much easier. You can put the meatballs together the night before and then you only need about 30 minutes to cook them.

I love a good Thanksgiving Day turkey and I’m sure I’ll serve more in the future, but they are way more involved with brining, roasting for a long period of time, basting, and resting before they are ready to serve. So, if you want something delicious but much easier to manage, go meatballs!

Stuffing Meatballs, makes around 26-28 palm-sized meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1 egg
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped celery (approx. 2 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 cup Parmesan cheese (the powdery kind is best here)
salt and pepper

If your meat is frozen, be sure to thoroughly and safely thaw it first.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, garlic, celery, herbs, and Parmesan cheese, stirring until just combined.

To this large bowl, add the ground meat as well as the bread crumb mixture (which by now should be quite soggy). Mix well. I actually think this is best and mostly quickly done by using your (clean) hands to mix everything together.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Form the meatballs. You want meatballs that roughly fit in your palm, but large enough that you couldn’t quite close your hand completely around them.

Think just a bit bigger than cookies, around 3 tablespoons each. Set the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are making this the day before, cover well with plastic and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.

Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes. The meatballs should be at or higher than 165°F if you use an instant read thermometer (which I really like using when I cook meat, as it takes away the guessing of if it’s been cooked enough to safely eat).

Remove from the oven once done and allow to rest for at least 5-8 minutes. They will appear super juicy just out of the oven and some of these juices (fat) will solidify a bit more as they rest, so it’s good to let them do this before moving to a serving dish or plate.

Garnish with more fresh herbs if you’d like a pretty presentation.

I think these are awesome served all on their own, but they are also really great with mashed potatoes and gravy too. Just saying. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Notes: You can use other ground meat here as long as you keep the overall weight the same (1 1/2 pounds total). But I do think using a ratio of 2/3 a leaner meat and 1/3 a more fatty meat results in a juicer meatball.

Looking for more Thanksgiving side dish recipes?

Stuffing Meatballs

juicy, delicious meatballs with all the flavors of Thanksgiving Day stuffing.

Servings 27 palm-size meatballs

1
pound
beef
ground

½
pound
pork
ground

1
cup
bread crumbs

1
cup
milk

1
egg

4
cloves
garlic
minced

½
cup
celery
finely chopped

1 ½
tablespoon
sage
chopped

1
tablespoon
rosemary
chopped

1
tablespoon
thyme leaves

1
tablespoon
parsley
chopped

1
cup
Parmesan cheese
the powdery kind is best here

salt and pepper

If your meat is frozen, be sure to thoroughly and safely thaw it first.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, garlic, celery, herbs, and Parmesan cheese, stir until just combined.

To this large bowl, add the ground meat as well as the bread crumb mixture (which by now should be quite soggy). Mix well. I actually think this is best and mostly quickly done by using your (clean) hands to mix everything together. Season well with salt and pepper.

Form the meatballs. You want meatballs that roughly fit in your palm, but large enough that you couldn’t quite close your hand completely around them.

Think just a bit bigger than cookies, around 3 tablespoons each. Set the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are making this the day before, cover well with plastic and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.

Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes. The meatballs should be at or higher than 165°F if you use an instant read thermometer (which I really like using when I cook meat as it takes away the guessing of if it’s been cooked enough to safely eat).

Remove from the oven once done and allow to rest for at least 5-8 minutes. They will appear super juicy just out of the oven and some of these juices (fat) will solidify a bit more as they rest, so it’s good to let them do this before moving to a serving dish or plate.

Garnish with more fresh herbs if you’d like a pretty presentation.

You can use other ground meat here as long as you keep the overall weight the same (1 1/2 lbs. total). But I do think using a ratio of 2/3 a leaner meat and 1/3 a more fatty meat results in a juicer meatball.

P.S. If you’d rather have a vegetarian meatballs recipe, see here. Also, here’s my foolproof turkey and gravy tips, in case you plan to keep it traditional this year.
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elise Randolph. Photos edited with ACS for Desktop.

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