Meatballs are easy and oh so delicious! Make them and bulk, and you will have a quick dinner option for busy nights. September Featured Chef Katie Kimball‘s Veggie-Filled Meatball Recipe is the perfect recipe to ensure your kids have a veggie-packed dinner they will love! Follow along with her recipe below.
Recipe By: Katie Kimball | Kitchen Stewardship
- 3 lbs. ground beef * (or mix of beef and pork)
- 1-1.5 c. cooked brown rice (can use cooked oatmeal or any grain instead, or almond flour if avoiding grains)
- 2/3 c. tomato sauce
- 1 c. cooked, mashed sweet potato or squash
- 1 c. shredded carrots or zucchini (can double if desired)
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. thyme
*I recommend no more than 25% fat in the ground beef, because likely it will all cook out and make a mess of your pans anyway. Meatballs are a great opportunity to use organ meats mixed in with your beef, because there is plenty of flavor in the meatballs PLUS they’re almost always served with a sauce, so any organ flavor is well hidden.
- First: set out any cookie sheets you’re going to use. Parchment paper will make for easier clean-up.
- Throw everything into your largest bowl, take your wedding rings off, plunge hands into mess and mix until uniform.
- Helpful mom hint: Make sure the kids aren’t going to take advantage of your raw meat hands being stuck in the bowl for a few minutes!
- This amount of meat will make about 120 walnut-sized meatballs.
- Freeze raw meatballs for later
- Bake meatballs for dinner
- Bake meatballs, cool, and freeze for later
- Cook raw meatballs in broth for soup
- To freeze meatballs: Place in a single layer in a gallon zippered bag and freeze flat, which should allow the meatballs to be separate. That way you can take out exactly the number you want for soup or fresh baked meatballs. To really make sure they stay separated, try freezing on a cookie sheet if you have the room for it in your freezer, than remove after 24 hours to a bag or container.
- To bake meatballs: Place on baking sheet and bake at 375F for 20-30 minutes until no pink in center. You can bake a lot at once, just swap from the bottom to top shelves equally.
- To freeze cooked meatballs: Allow to cool on the trays or any surface (if you’re reusing the trays for this large batch) then freeze in a single layer in zippered bags. You can usually stack 2 layers with wax paper in between in a gallon bag. Frozen cooked meatballs are lovely, because you can pull out exactly the number you need, heat a jar of sauce or batch of gravy with the meatballs right in it, and serve the fastest dinner ever.
- To use meatballs in soup: Bring some homemade stock to a boil with some veggies and herbs. Add the meatballs (about the size of a bouncy ball or slightly larger) right into the broth, and it will only take about 5 minutes for them to be cooked through! Check one by cutting it in half and looking for pink.
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Katie Kimball is the voice of healthy kids cooking, working to restore the health of our young generation one kitchen at a time. She’s a cookbook author, Certified Stress Mastery Educator, and regular TV contributor who has shared her journey to real food and natural living for 12 years at Kitchen Stewardship, a blog that helps families stay healthy without going crazy. Along with her 4 children, she created the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse to help other parents teach their kids to cook, build family connection in the kitchen, and supercharge kids’ confidence and creativity. In 2020 the Wall Street Journal recommended Kids Cook Real Food as the best online cooking class for kids. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child being able to cook.