Simple Cheesy Baked Meatballs

I posted a video on my Instagram of this cheesy goodness the other night and had some requests for a recipe, so I decided to post it! This is a super simple meal and it's loosely based on a recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Half Baked Harvest. I was on her blog a few weeks ago and saw a post for Simple Baked Italian Oregano Meatballs and it felt like the perfect comfort food for this freezing cold weekend in DC.  My boyfriend served his meatballs over spaghetti tossed with a little garlic olive and parsley, and I ate mine served over over fresh sautéed zucchini noodles. We paired it with a fresh tossed salad and a loaf of crusty rosemary bread. So delicious! 

Ingredients

For the Meatballs: 

  • 1 pound ground grass-fed beef (I get mine from Trader Joe's)*
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic olive oil**
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove minced fresh garlic or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil for searing

For the Sauce: 

  • 32 oz jar marinara sauce (I used Rao's)
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups good quality shredded Italian cheese 
  • Fresh parsley and basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the ground pork, ground beef, olive oil and seasonings in a bowl. Form the meat mixture into several golf ball sized meatballs. (The number of meatballs you can make may vary depending on how big your pan is. I made as many meatballs as would fit in my 12-inch cast iron pan and used any leftover meat in the sauce.)
  3. Heat your skillet to medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Sear the meatballs on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side until brown), then remove them from the pan.
  4. Next, it's time to work on the sauce. Add the chopped onion, and any leftover meat, to the pan and cook until the meat is cooked through and the onions are translucent.
  5. Turn the heat down to low. Add half of the jar of marinara sauce, the seasonings, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the meatballs back to the pan and cover with remaining marina sauce. 
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  8. Sprinkle the top with cheese and bake until the cheese melted. If you like your cheese a little brown like me, put it under the broiler for a few minutes until nice and golden brown and bubbly! Sprinkle the fresh chopped basil and parsley on top before serving.

*I was cooking for 2 people and wanted to make sure I had enough food for leftovers, so I went with 2 pounds of ground meat, but you could easily halve this recipe and use just 1 pound of ground beef, pork, or Italian sausage if you don't want to make as much. 

**If you can't get garlic olive oil, regular is just fine.

 Let me know what you think of this recipe if you make it, and if you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below! Hope you like it! 

xoxo Ashlea