Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

It's funny how the shape of food can make it appetizing or not. If you ask if I want meat "loaf" for dinner, I will almost always tell you no. But if you ask if I want meat "balls", that changes everything. And how silly is that? They both basically have the same ingredients. :) Well, these cheese-stuffed meatballs are wonderful. The gooey cheese and yummy sauce make these a wonderful alternative to the dreaded meatloaf.

1 lb lean ground beef (93/7)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 egg
1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan topping
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t oregano

1 1/2 cups Ragu Light Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan topping
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan topping, garlic powder, and oregano. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and roll into 4 large meatballs.

Spray a glass baking dish with no stick spray. Place the meatballs in the pan. Pour pasta sauce over the meatballs and bake 45 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, make the filling. Mix the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, pepper and parsley together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

When meatballs are done baking, remove from oven. Remove the meatballs from the pan, transfer to a cutting board and let sit for about 5 minutes. Using an apple corer or small paring knife, cut a 1/2 inch hole in the bottom of each meatball. Place filling in a large zip top bag and cut off a bottom corner to make a "pastry bag". Fill each hole with the cheese mixture. Return the meatballs to the baking dish and cook an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is heated through. Serve with sauce.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart


Anonymous said...

I love these but always thought it would be too hard (the cheese would be a huge mess or something), but your post makes it sound like I might be able to do this and they might even be food when I'm done!

Cynthia Matzat said...

They really aren't hard at all! I'm confident that you will be able to make them and that you will love them. :)

Stacey said...

These sound great! I don't have any ricotta cheese... have you tried any other cheese? Curious if any other cheese works well so I can avoid another trip to the store :-) Thanks for this website! It has been great for me and the kids love everything I have made so far, which is not an easy thing to do, LOL!

Cynthia Matzat said...

I have only used ricotta. You could try cottage cheese, but I'm not sure it would be as good.