THE EASIEST BAKED MEATBALLS

A favorite weeknight dinner at our house. This really is one of the easiest meatball recipes around, stir it up, scoop it out, bake for a bit then dump a can of tomatoes on top, throw it back in the oven for another bit and dinner is done. Make some spaghetti squash (recipe included) or pasta on the side, SO SIMPLE, SO DELICIOUS!

INGREDIENTS – serves 2-3

1 spaghetti squash – optional

1/2lb ground chicken/turkey (you could use any ground meat)
2T parmesan, grated
2T ricotta or 3T cottage cheese
1/4t salt
1/4t garlic powder
1/4t onion powder
1/4t thyme
1/8t pepper
1/2c bread crumbs
1T olive oil

2 garlic cloves
1 15 oz can of diced/crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted crushed)
1/2c water
4-5 basil leaves or 1/8t dried basil

Parmesan – optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH – Cut the spaghetti squash into 1″ rings and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides then bake on a sheet pan for 15 minutes, flip 15 more minutes, flip and another 15 minutes. If you time it right and put the meatballs in after the first flip everything will be ready at the same time.

MEATBALLS – Meanwhile, lightly mix ground meat, parmesan, ricotta, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, pepper, bread crumbs and olive oil. Drizzle a little olive oil (or nonstick spray) on the bottom of an 8×8 dish. Scoop the meat mixture into about 16-20 balls and lightly roll them between your hands to smooth them out (I used a small cookie scoop). Place the meatballs in the dish then throw the garlic cloves in with them and bake for 15 minutes. Pour the can of tomatoes and water over the meatballs and wedge the basil leaves in between some balls so that they are submerged in the tomatoes. Bake for another 15 minutes. Stir before serving to make sure all the meatballs are coated with sauce.

Gently pull the spaghetti squash strands from the skins and top with meatballs, sauce and a little parmesan.

ENJOY!

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