Sunday, April 28, 2013

Baked Meatballs

I know what you're thinking... really, a mini muffin tin for meatballs??  Trust me though, this method is genius!  It's from one of my favorite chefs, Alton Brown.  His recipes are always delicious, precise (which I like because that means I can replicate them!), and well thought out.  Using a mini muffin tin is perfect for meatballs- not only do the meatballs stay round, but they get cooked on all sides without sitting in any pools of grease (which is not good eats, as Alton Brown would say!).

Meatballs are one of my husband's favorite foods, and these quickly catapulted into his #1 favorite meatball slot.  He told me that if I didn't already have this muffin pan, it would be worth buying just for this recipe!  This one is from Pampered Chef.  Another tool that makes this recipe easy is a large cookie scoop, for portioning out the meat.  I have a large (3 tbsp.) Pampered Chef scoop.

Thank you Alton Brown for this recipe, wherever you are!

Baked Meatballs
Printable version here

1 1/2 pound ground meat (I use a combination of beef & pork)
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly (half of a 10 oz. package)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp. table salt)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you want it
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided (I prefer Panko bread crumbs)

1. Preheat the oven to 400º.  Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, pork, spinach, Parmesan, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs.  Using your hands, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.  Use immediately or place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

3. Place the remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs into a small bowl.  Using a 3 tbsp. cookie scoop, portion into 20 meatballs (if using a scale, they will weigh 1.5 ounces each).  Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds, roll in the bread crumbs, and place the meatballs in individual, miniature muffin tin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Yield: 20 meatballs

Recipe Source:

Why I love it? They're not too difficult or time consuming, and they taste PHENOMENAL! I have never had a better-tasting, more perfectly-textured meatball! 


  1. I'm going to try this recipe! My family loves meatballs!!! I just happen to have those same PC tools and can't wait to try this meatball trick. Thanks for sharing.

    We love Alton Brown too :)

  2. So are these more like spaghetti meatballs? Or more like cocktail meatballs? Or are they just to eat by themselves?

    1. I probably wouldn't add them to a dish where they're covered with sauce, because they have the breadcrumb coating would lose its crispiness. They're good enough to eat plain! So far I've served them with spaghetti and with mashed potatoes & gravy. We also turned some leftovers into a meatball sandwich with some sauce & cheese on top.