CHEESY STUFFED MEATBALLS
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Cheesy stuffed meatballs in homemade sauce – that’s comfort food done right! The addition of cottage cheese makes this version a little healthier, and parmesan adds a great flavour hit. 

Cheesy stuffed meatballs in homemade sauce - that’s comfort food done right! The addition of cottage cheese makes this version a little healthier, and parmesan adds a great flavour hit.

If you haven’t guessed already, I do enjoy a good meatball! From these popular lamb meatballs on zoodles, to loaded meatball subs, low carb pork and fennel meatball salads, pesto spaghetti with sausage meatballs and even vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs, we’ve just about covered every type of meatball you can get. If you have any suggestions for additions to the meatball recipe collection, please let me know!

 

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Cheesy stuffed meatballs in homemade sauce - that’s comfort food done right! The addition of cottage cheese makes this version a little healthier, and parmesan adds a great flavour hit.

CHEESY STUFFED MEATBALLS

Keyword: BEEF, MAIN MEALS
Difficulty: Easy
Ready In: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Cheesy stuffed meatballs in homemade sauce - that’s comfort food done right! The addition of cottage cheese makes this version a little healthier, and parmesan adds a great flavour hit.

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Ingredients

MEATBALLS

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 250 g cottage cheese with chives (1 cup/8.8oz)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (45g)
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (35g)
  • 1/3 cup milk (80ml)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 600 g prime beef mince (1lb 5oz)

SAUCE

  • 2/3 red onion*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 g can pesto flavoured tomatoes (14oz)
  • 1 beef stock cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water (250ml)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

TO SERVE

  • 250 g dried orzo (8.8oz)
  • 250 g green beans (8.8oz)
  • 40 g Mediterranean rocket (1.4oz)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (45g)
  • Small handful fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF) fan bake. Line a roasting dish with baking paper.

  2. PREPARE MEATBALLS

    Roughly chop basil. In a small bowl, stir together basil, cottage cheese and parmesan.

  3. Place breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Leave for 2 minutes. Crush garlic and stir into breadcrumbs together with crumbled stock cube, tomato paste and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Add mince and use your hands to combine. Divide into 8-10 pieces and flatten each piece into a round. Place a dollop of cheese filling in the middle and wrap mince up around it to enclose. You will only need about two thirds of the filling - save the rest to stir into the sauce. Place meatballs in prepared dish and cook for 20-25 minutes, until browned and cooked through.

  4. MAKE SAUCE

    Meanwhile, dice onion and crush garlic for sauce. Heat oil in a large pot or frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Stir in tomato paste, then tomatoes, beef stock, sugar and oregano. Simmer sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally, while meatballs finish cooking.

  5. COOK PASTA AND BEANS

    Bring a pot of water to the boil. Stir in orzo. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Trim ends off beans; microwave for 1-2 minutes, until tender.

  6. SERVE

    Stir remaining cheese mixture into sauce until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also pour any juices from the meatballs into the sauce. Drain pasta, divide between individual serving plates and top with meatballs and sauce. Serve with beans and a handful of rocket. Top with parmesan and basil.

    *Shared with fish and chip salads recipe.

Recipe Notes

WINE MATCH: A Pinot Noir.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and gluten-free stock cubes. You can replace the orzo with rice (try 2 x 250g microwave pouches brown rice) or any gluten-free pasta.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: This meal is also great with lamb mince. If you are not making this recipe as part of the weekly menu, you can use the whole red onion. If you can’t find pesto flavoured tomatoes, use another flavour or plain crushed tomatoes. Any pasta can be used in place of the orzo. Baby spinach can be used instead of rocket.
MAKE IT EASIER: If you can’t be bothered stuffing the meatballs, you can just mix the cheesy filling into the mince mixture and then shape into meatballs.
STORING AND REHEATING: Refrigerate individual portions of meatballs, pasta, beans and parmesan in airtight containers. Reheat in the microwave. Keep rocket separate and add just before serving.

 

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