Leftover Stuffing Meatballs and Marinara
by Zachary Dunn
Inspired by this recipe
- 2 cups leftover bread stuffing
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pinches red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 (about 24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Place 2 cups bread stuffing in a large bowl. (If your stuffing is chunky, place it in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the pieces are no larger than a pea first.) Finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and add to the bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 large eggs, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 pinches red pepper flakes if desired. Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until the mixture is well blended.
- Add 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork and mix with the wooden spoon until blended. Do not over-stir or the meatballs will become tough. Form the meat mixture into 50 walnut-sized meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 inch apart so they brown evenly.
- Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the meatballs are just cooked through, about 15 minutes total. (An instant-read thermometer will register 160ºF when inserted into the center of a meatball.) Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves.
- Pour 1 (about 24-ounce) jar marinara sauce into a large saucepan, then add half of the meatballs. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is heated through, about 5 minutes. Top with the basil and serve over pasta, soft polenta, or mashed potatoes.
Make ahead: Freeze the remaining meatballs on the baking sheet until solid. Transfer to a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place frozen meatballs in marinara sauce. Cover and simmer over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Storage: Cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Ingredient/Equipment Variation: If you don’t have a food processor, use a chef’s knife to finely chop chunky stuffing.