Hello from the other side of Halloween! I scared myself by watching a blogger’s Instagram story highlight of her actual haunted house while Ben was gone for the evening earlier this week, but other than that, it’s been more treats than tricks around here! Actually I ran out of Joel Gott mid-week and that also gave me a bit of a fright.
Here in central Iowa we trick-or-treat the day before Halloween (long story,) and Wednesday was brutally cold. It snowed off and on all day but nevertheless the boys had a blast collecting candy with their cousins. This was Cam’s first year trick-or-treating and Ben said he got up to the porch of the first house then turned around and yelled, “Dad! What I doing?!” HAHAHA, Cam!!
He went as an Iowa Hawkeyes football player while Lincoln dressed up as Harry Potter. Sis just wanted to be in the picture. ;)
Gosh I can’t wait until these guys are tearing it up together. Three kids is chaotic but the memories I have of carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and candy swapping with my brothers are priceless! Here are our pumpkins, by the way. Ten seconds after taking this photo the Ghostbusters pumpkin fell backwards into the open dryer it was propped up against and all was nearly lost (according to our kids, anyway.) Not our smartest moment!
I saved my smarts for the kitchen and turned my favorite Italian meatball recipe into Stuffed Italian Meatball Mini Meatloaves! These individual-sized meatloaves have all the flavor of tender, savory Italian meatballs but require no rolling nor browning. Plus they’re stuffed with mozzarella cheese. You know what we call that? Un UPGRADE!
All that said, I adore the recipe for my Incredible Italian Meatballs, which taste like they came from a restaurant, but I rarely make them because rolling a bunch of meatballs then browning them in batches before simmering takes a lot of time. What doesn’t take a lot of time is mixing a few ingredients in a bowl then shaping into four loaves, stuffing half a mozzarella cheese stick inside, then baking. BOOM. All the fabulous flavor of Italian meatballs in a fraction of the time. These are sooo so good – and simple too!
How to Make Stuffed Italian Meatball Mini Meatloaves:
Start by combining 3/4 cup small torn gluten free white bread in a large bowl with 1/2 cup finely grated onion plus the juices. You can use whatever bread you like (if you’re not GF just use regular sandwich bread or an Italian loaf) – just make sure you cut the crusts off first. Let the bread sit and soak up the onion’s juices for a minute or two.
Next add 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 whisked egg, 2 cloves garlic that have been pressed or minced, 1 Tablespoon dried parsley, plus lots of salt and pepper then stir to combine.
Crumble 1lb ground beef over the top then use your hands to mix everything together and divide the mixture into four equal portions. Form each portion into an oval shape then use your finger to create an indentation down the center. Slice 2 mozzarella cheese sticks in half then press one of the halves into the indentation and close the meat mixture around it.
Place the mini meatloaves onto a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet then spread a couple Tablespoons marinara sauce on top.
Bake the mini meatloaves for 22-25 minutes at 425 degrees then serve with extra warmed marinara sauce. Serve with a big side salad, roasted vegetables, or a swirl of spaghetti on the side. However you eat it, I hope you love this delicious and super easy take on Italian meatballs! Enjoy!
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Stuffed Italian Meatball Mini Meatloaves
Stuffed Italian Meatball Mini Meatloaves have all the flavor and tenderness of your favorite Italian meatball, but there's no rolling required!
- 3/4 cup small-torn pieces of gluten free white bread (no crusts)
- 1/2 cup finely grated onion + juices
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1lb ground beef
- 2 mozzarella cheese sticks, cut in half
- 1 jar gluten free marinara or spaghetti sauce
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees then line a half or quarter sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Add torn bread plus grated onion and juices into a large bowl then stir to combine and let sit for a minute. Add parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, and lots of salt and pepper then stir to combine. Crumble ground beef on top then use your hands to combine ingredients. Divide mixture into four equal portions then form each portion into an oval. Use your finger to press an indentation into the center lengthwise then place a halved cheese stick inside the indentation and close the meat around it.
- Place mini meatloaves onto prepared baking sheet then spread a couple Tablespoons marinara sauce on top. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with additional warmed marinara sauce if desired.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.