Sunday, March 13, 2016

Meatball #SundaySupper...Featuring Cheesy Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs

This week, the #SundaySupper crew is featuring meatballs. Our hostess Sue from Palatable Pastime challenged us to come up with fun and tasty meatball recipes. Let's face it: meatballs are just plain fun -- and they're also incredibly versatile. I combined two of my favorite foods to make my Cheesy Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs. Flavorful Italian-inspired meatballs are stuffed with a slice of zesty pepperoni and a ball of fresh mozzarella. Then, they're baked and topped with a chunky tomato sauce.

These meatballs can be enjoyed as a fun appetizer or first course, but I also enjoy them served over tri-color orzo for a fun dinner. Anyone who loves pepperoni pizza is guaranteed to go crazy for these meatballs -- and everyone enjoys the surprise of melty cheese inside when the cut into these meatballs. Let me show you how simple these meatballs are to make!

Cheesy Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (makes 9 meatballs):
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped purple onion
  • 2 tbs. chopped basil
  • 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 9 slices pepperoni
  • 9 bocconcini (bite-size rounds of fresh mozzarella)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups spaghetti sauce
  • Additional parmesan cheese for garnish
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Add the ground beef, egg, panko, parmesan, garlic, purple onion, basil, salt & pepper, and Worcestershire in a large mixing bowl. Using pristinely clean hands, incorporate the ingredients until just combined. Don't overwork the ingredients, or your meatballs will be tough.
Step 2: Divide the meatball mixture into nine equal portions. Flatten each piece into a thin patty. Place a slice of pepperoni in the center of each patty, then top with a fresh mozzarella ball. Enclose the pepperoni and mozzarella with the meatball patty, and roll into a meatball. Add the olive oil the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking pan. Arrange the meatballs in the pan in three rows of three meatballs.
Step 3: Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes, until they are browned and baked through. While the meatballs bake, combine the petite diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, until warmed through. If serving as a main dish, this is a good time to cook a pot of orzo pasta or creamy polenta to go with the meatballs. When the meatballs are baked, arrange them on a platter and spoon the chunky tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with additional parmesan and serve.
These pizza-inspired meatballs are fun -- and delicious -- to eat! The meatballs are tender and juicy, with lots of great flavor from the basil, garlic, and onion. The center of each meatball features spicy pepperoni and melty mozzarella. The next time you're planning Pizza Night at your house, why not whip up a batch of these whimsical pizza-stuffed meatballs instead? I think they'd be great served on slider buns for a tasty sandwich too!

Just wait and see all of the other creative meatballs that this week's #SundaySupper participants are sharing! We've got everything from traditional meatballs to upscale gourmet delights...and everything in between. You're sure to find lots of great meatball recipes to add to your recipe box.

Meatball Appetizers:
Meatball Soups:
Main Dish Meatballs:
Meatball Desserts:
Plus Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and More Amazing Meatball Recipes  from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementBe sure to join our lively #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today! We tweet throughout the day, and we share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets, to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, be sure to visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

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