Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gluten Free Cheese Stuffed Italian Meatballs

Luckily, I haven’t really had any true pregnancy cravings. Sure I’ve had a taste for this or that, but I’ve never felt like I absolutely NEEDED to eat something.

However, I have definitely noticed a tendency towards red meat when I plan our weekly menus. In the past I would always substitute ground turkey or ground chicken in a recipe that called for ground beef. But apparently Baby Ravelli likes red meat – and what baby wants, baby gets!

Baby wants meatballs? Baby gets Gluten Free Italian Meatballs stuffed with ooey gooey Tomato Basil Cheddar!

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When my friends at Cabot Cheese sent me a block of Tomato Basil Cheddar, I knew I wanted to make a pasta dish. What better way to use it than to stuff it in a meatball?!

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These meatballs are SUPER EASY to make. You could jazz them up with diced onion, shallot, or even parsley BUT I wanted a recipe with the fewest ingredients possible as a good base. Simple ingredients that I typically have in my pantry are taken to the next level with the addition of Cabot Cheese! Easy Peasy.

Start by slicing the cheese in to 1/2 inch cubes. You’ll need about 12 cubes, so you’ll definitely have some of your block leftover. (Which is good because it’s impossible to not sample while you sliced!)

Once sliced, pop the cheese in to the freezer until you’re ready to use it. This gives the cheese staying power during the baking process, and makes it less likely to melt out of the meatball.

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To make the meatballs, you will need gluten free breadcrumbs. You could use whatever breadcrumbs you like best. Plain or Seasoned, use whatever you have on hand. I used the most basic breadcrumb ever:

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Glutino Original Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

In a large bowl, combine one pound ground beef, one cup gluten free breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 cloves of garlic – minced, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tbsp. oregano (or Italian Seasoning), 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients well.

Once your meat is mixed, you’re ready to roll in to balls and stuff with cheese! I made my balls with about 3-4 tbsp. of meat mixture. Roll in to balls and then stuff the cheese cube in the center. Be sure to cover the cheese completely with the meat – this keeps it from melting out during the baking process.

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Ready to Bake! ( OR freeze! These are great to make ahead and then freeze before baking! If frozen, just add a bit of baking time to allow for thawing)

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the meat is browned and the cheese is popping out of the tops. I used parchment paper for baking, just in case the cheese made a giant mess.

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Serve!

Parrish and I enjoyed our meatballs in a traditional way:

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On top of Schar Gluten Free Spaghetti (my absolute FAVE!!) with a simple red sauce. These would be great with roasted spaghetti squash or even inside of a meatball sub!

On the side:

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LIFE CHANGING Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia! This bread was a total impulse buy at Whole Foods and I am SO GLAD I snagged it!

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Soft, Flavorful, DELICIOUS. This was my first experience with Canyon Bakehouse and I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan!

Have you tried any of their products?

Gluten Free Cheese Stuffed Italian Meatballs

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar; cut in to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. Oregano (or Italian Seasoning)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut cheese in to 1/2 inch cubes. You’ll need around 12 cubes, depending on how large you make your meatballs. Store cheese cubes in the freezer until you’re ready to stuff the meatballs.

Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix well. Using 3-4 tbsp. of the meat mixture, roll in to medium sized meatballs. Once rolled, stuff the frozen cheese cubes in to the center of each meatball, covering the cheese completely with the meat.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes – until the meatballs are browned and the cheese begins to pop out of the tops of the meatballs.

Serve and Enjoy!