Dinner Rush! Jumbo Stuffed Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Ramp up the standard meatball with these gigantic stuffed meatballs, which are the perfect holiday party food.

Meatballs are one of those dishes that seem to make everyone smile (sorry, vegetarians). They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat — what more could you ask for? A bigger meatball, you say? A jumbo meatball?! Good call.

Indulge in lots more of an already good thing by supersizing your run-of-the-mill meatballs and stuffing them with a bright pop of spinach and cheese. Sure, they’re going to take a bit more time to prepare than their peers in miniature, but when you’re cleaning that spicy tomato sauce up off the plate with the last bite, something tells me it’ll all be worth it. (Heads-up: You’re going to need a knife and fork to get through these mega balls.)

And after all this talk of big balls, here’s a fun idea: Shrink these back to down to one-bite size (keeping the stuffing, of course) for a new addition to your standard holiday entertaining spread.

Jumbo Stuffed Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
For the meatballs:
One 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
2 slices sandwich bread, torn

1 1/2 pounds ground meatloaf mix (a combination of beef, pork and veal)

1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry red wine, optional
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
12 leaves basil, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the spinach, ricotta and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

In a small bowl pour the milk over the torn bread. Let sit until the bread is soaked, about 1 minute. Gently squeeze the excess milk from the bread and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the meatloaf mix, egg, onion and garlic powders and some salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Divide the meat into four portions in the bowl. Flatten one portion into a patty in your hand. Scoop one quarter of the spinach-cheese mixture into the center of the patty. Gently enclose the cheese with the meat mixture, taking care to seal it completely. Place the meatball in a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining meat and cheese. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and roast until golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

While the meatballs are roasting, place a large high-sided saute pan over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the red wine, if using, and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the tomatoes and gently crush them using a spoon or potato masher. Season the sauce with salt and cook until thickened and dark red in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and cook 5 minutes more. Reserve warm.

Serve the jumbo meatballs with the prepared tomato sauce.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he’s now the Digital Content Manager for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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