A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for mozzarella-stuffed meatballs shared on Facebook. The meatballs looked amazingly delish – covered with tangy marinara sauce and with a hunk o’ gooey mozzarella cheese peeking out of the center of each meaty circle of happiness.
Let’s make a healthier meatball.
I don’t mind eating indulgent food from time to time, but if it can easily be made a bit healthier? No reason to down those extra calories. I made a few simple tweaks to improve the nutritional profile.
And ditch the gluten.
The original recipe contained the dreaded Italian breadcrumbs which make amazing meatballs but wreak havoc on my system. I made a simple homemade version of breadcrumbs which require only a toasted GF English muffin and some simple seasonings. You can easily make your own breadcrumbs with GF toast or use store-bought GF crumbs if you prefer.
Behold the Cheese-Stuffed Gluten Free Meatball.
So I present my version of mozzarella-stuffed gluten free meatballs. The combination of beef and turkey Italian sausage makes an amazing flavor combination. The GF breadcrumbs and plenty of eggs gives the meatballs a light, tender texture. I even snuck in some grated onion for a tiny nutritional boost and another layer of delicious flavor.
Serve with gluten free pasta, spaghetti squash or just pop on a plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you’re a minimalist like me!
I think my Italian grandmother would have been proud.
- 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs -OR- 1 GF English Muffin, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound turkey Italian sausage
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- ½ cup grated onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces part-skim Mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 can tomato sauce
- Prepare GF breadcrumbs: If not using purchased gluten free breadcrumbs, prepare your own. Toast one GF English muffin (or a few slices GF bread) and allow to cool. Process in blender with garlic powder and Italian seasoning until crumbs form.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove turkey sausage from casings and combine with ground beef, GF breadcrumbs, onion, egg, garlic and seasonings.
- Form into 2" balls (I used a large cookie scoop). Place a cheese cube in the center of each meatball and press the meat around it to seal.
- Place meatballs in two 13x9 baking pans and bake for 20 minutes.
- Combine the spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add baked meatballs, stirring to coat with sauce, and cook for approximately10 minutes until completely cooked through.