Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Meatballs

This is a true diet-busting weekend.  It's Super Bowl Sunday and the Mid Atlantic was just hit by a huge snowstorm/blizzard.  We've been confined to our home for the past 36 hours (it was wonderful) and we woke up this morning to sunny skies, cold weather, and over two feet of snow.  We spent yesterday eating pizza, watching movies, and sleeping for hours.  It's absolutely wonderful.

Although our team isn't in the Super Bowl, we'll take any excuse to eat chicken wings and potato chips, so we're planning a special menu for this evening.  We're headed to my mom's house.  She made up a batch of sangria and I'm bringing homemade meatballs and potato skins.  We'll also be picking up some wings from a local restaurant and spending several hours laying on the couch with our dogs and not sticking to our healthy diets.  Good times!  (Oh, and we'll be back in the gym tomorrow).

My mom and I have been making these meatballs for at least 15 years.  When we first moved to Delaware from New Jersey, my mom ran into a restaurant chef who gave her his secret ingredients for great meatballs:  Stove Top Stuffing mix and grape jelly.  I know it sounds crazy and not authentic Italian, but then again, I'm not Italian (although I've had some really delicious Italian food and I watch Giada deLaurentis on the Food Network, but I digress). 

To make a long story short, his recipe morphed into my version that I use today.  It's really easy and you could use ground turkey, pork, beef (or a combination).  I almost always use beef.  We serve these meatballs with marinara sauce on hoagie rolls as meatball subs or with spaghetti.  They freeze really well and make a great weeknight dinner.  I've carried a Crock Pot full of these meatballs to work for several occasions and everyone seems to like them.  We nearly had a riot at our home when we ran out of these meatballs at our 2008 Christmas Party.

First you dump all the ingredients in a large bowl:  ground beef, an egg, bread crumbs, seasonings, Parmesan cheese, and grape jelly.  I know the grape jelly sounds insane and I would never eat it on its own, but it's good in this recipe, trust me.

Then you mix it all up with your (very clean) hands.  It'll be cold and mushy, but the best way to get it all together is to squeeze and knead it well with your hands.

Next, you use your hands to form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs.  Place the meatballs on a baking sheet (lined with foil and sprayed with non stick spray, just in case there's not enough fat in that meat!).

Bake them for about 20 minutes, let them cool a bit.  Then, enjoy them with pasta, or on a sandwich, or straight up off the baking sheet.

Remember, these freeze well and they travel well in a Crock Pot, too.  I don't normally eat beef, but I like these meatballs.  My family enjoys these and I believe you will, too.

a family recipe

3 pounds ground beef (you can also try turkey, pork, veal, or a combination)
1 cup bread crumbs (I use Italian style) 
2/3 cup grape jelly
1 egg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I use Lawry's, you could just use salt)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use your hands to mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.  Create golf ball-sized meatballs.  Place them close together (but not touching) on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meatballs are evenly browned.  Remove meatballs from baking sheet and transfer to a plate to cool.

Serve with marinara sauce and pasta or as meatball subs.  Enjoy!


  1. Hmmm... I might have to try this! I'm still wear of the jelly...but I trust you :-)

  2. yummm!!! i love love love it. my hubs would too. i'll let you know if i try it. i'm making him dinner friday night (a surprise) for a valentine's gift from me to him. any ideas on what a good romantic dinner should be?

  3. I like having Italian for a romantic dinner, especially since we went to an Italian restaurant in Philly the night we got engaged. Lasagna is great because it doesn't require much attention once it gets in the oven. Chocolate desserts are always great for Valentine's Day. Actually, I should do a V-Day menu as a blog post!


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