Saucy Skillet Meatballs (Gluten Free, Dairy Free Options)

One of the best things about my childhood was coming home from school to the whole house smelling like Mom's Meatballs. She would make huge batches of meatballs and count them to make sure nobody snuck some in before dinner (we always did, sorry mom!). I had to recreate her recipe.. same amazing smell and taste.. brings me right back to my childhood with every bite. This recipe has both gluten and dairy free options for those who need it! Pictured below is dairy free cheese on top.

Whether you're eating these as is, or serving over a big ol' bowl of pasta.. you seriously can't go wrong. They make the best leftovers, pizza toppings and freeze perfectly. Mom used to sear and bake off extra meatballs by themselves to keep in the refrigerator for snacks. I don't know what it is.. but cold meatballs are almost as good as cold pizza for me. 

Included is my Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce. Super quick, super delicious. PS. don't forget to add Ting's Perfect Pasta Seasoning to all things Italian and more! It pairs perfectly with this dish ;)

Ting's Cheesy Meatballs (Gluten Free, Dairy Free Options)

Meatballs

1 lb ground beef

1/4 lb ground veal

1/4 lb ground pork

1 cup breadcrumbs 

     *for gluten free, use gluten free panko or (homemade) GF breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

     *omit or use nutritional yeast for dairy free

1 egg or equivalent egg substitute 

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

*Option to add 1 teaspoon of Ting's Perfect Pasta Seasoning*

oil for searing meatballs 

1/4-1/2 cup mozzerella

     *for dairy free, use dairy free mozzarella 

Optional: add a small chunk of mozzarella in the middle of each meatball when forming - My Mom used to do this and it was amazing!

1. Add beef, veal, pork, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a large bowl. Combine using a fork or your hands. If necessary, use some water to help combine (about 1/4-1/2 cup). 

2. Using your hands, roll meatballs to desired size. I use a 2 inch scoop.     

3. In a large skillet, pour preferred oil into bottom of skillet (about 1/4 inch worth) and heat over low-medium heat. In batches, sear the meatballs until browned on all sides, about 7-10 minutes per batch. Remove meatballs and set aside. Use left over oil to make Quick Tomato Sauce (recipe below). 

4. Once the tomato sauce is ready, place the meatballs back into the tomato sauce. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. Preheat broiler on high (500F degrees). 

5. Once meatballs are cooked through, sprinkle mozzarella over the top and carefully place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned. Carefully remove from the oven, eat immediately as is, OR use over pasta, on pizza or make meatball sandwiches! 

Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh or dried herbs, your choice 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes 

*Option to add 1 teaspoon of Ting's Perfect Pasta Seasoning*

1. In a pan over medium heat, add oil (or use oil leftover from meatballs), garlic, red pepper flakes, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for about a minute until fragrant.

2. Stir in tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, taste and adjust as needed. Now you're ready to put this on your pizza! Option to make ahead and keep this in the refrigerator