I’ve started pulling cuts of meat from my deep freezer at the beginning of each week to force myself to meal plan and do less impulse buying at the grocery store. I plan my meals based on what’s thawing in the fridge. Some weeks are better than others.
My husband’s family raises a few cows on their property each year. We butcher them in the fall and fill our freezers with pasture-raised, organic beef for the year. We also buy a pig through our local 4H club and have it butchered at CJ Custom Meats in Wapato. I love knowing exactly where the meat I am eating comes from.
As I got to the end of last week, I still had a pound of ground hamburger and a pound of Italian sausage that I hadn’t used up. The answer was obvious: meatballs. This makes a big batch, so I put half in the freezer for another night. I used my tried and true spaghetti sauce, I just didn’t add any additional meat to the sauce.
The kids had theirs with spaghetti noodles but Aaron and I tried for a slightly healthier version and skipped the noodles. Spaghetti squash would be an excellent ‘noodle’ as an alternative.
Easy Baked Meatballs
- 1 pound pork Italian sausage (you could easily use turkey here)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
- dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything together in a large bowl. The fresh parsley is key so don’t skip it. Using a spoon, ball up 2 tablespoons worth of meat, and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20ish minutes(this really depends on how big the meatballs are and how hot your oven runs). As soon as they are cooked through, remove from oven and set aside.
Serve with spaghetti sauce and noodles. Devour.
*Rooted Valley just did a really nice piece on CJ’s Meats if you want to learn more about butchering or buying meat locally.