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Super meatballs

Looking for a game-day appetizer that will score big in taste and satisfaction? Serve up these Super Meatballs with Spicy Red Sauce for a party win.

Makes 4 servings.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole plum tomatoes in tomato sauce
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 pound 93-to-95-percent-lean ground beef
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium- high heat.
  • Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add garlic and cook until onions are translucent, 3 minutes, stirring so garlic does not burn.
  • Add crushed tomatoes. To add whole tomatoes, hold one at a time over pot and squeeze it in your fist, crushing tomato through your fingers, then add sauce remaining in can. Add oregano and red pepper flakes. Simmer sauce, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While sauce simmers, in mixing bowl, combine meat, spinach, breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, egg and pepper, mixing until well-combined.
  • Divide mixture into 8 parts and form each loosely into a meatball. (Divide mixture into 16 parts for smaller meatballs, if desired.)
  • Gently drop uncooked meatballs into sauce; cover; reduce heat to medium-low; and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 40 minutes.
  • If not serving immediately, cool meatballs and sauce together in big bowl until room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat, covered, in large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve meatballs in a bowl with just Spicy Red Sauce, over spaghetti or polenta, or halved to make meatball sandwiches with sauce.

Nutrition information

Amount per serving: 380 calories, 13g total fat (4g saturated fat), 36g carbohydrates, 36g protein, 9g dietary fiber, 480mg sodium.

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research

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