These easy holiday herbed meatballs make perfect appetizers to serve at your holiday parties and for easy weeknight dinners.
Hey hi! How’s this week going so far for you? Are you panicking? Are you ready? A little of both?
I did some of my wrapping yesterday and I’m planning on finishing the rest today save for 1 present that still has yet to come in the mail. I’m pretty sure that sucker won’t show up until Friday because that’s how it always seems to happen when I order presents online but hey, it’ll get here in time. At least that’s what they say…
This week I’m not really doing much in terms of work because, well, none of us really are including Mark so why would I? This week and next are all about family around here and I imagine it’s the same for most of you. SO tomorrow I’ll be sharing a killer recipe for peppermint bark scones and then things will probably be pretty quiet until January. Oh but don’t worry… January is getting lots of killer healthy, feel-good recipes that you’re just going to love. Promise.
K so these meatballs? They’re kind of amazing. Actually, they’re just a mildly modified version of my meatloaf that I’ve been making for Mark for years. He always asks me why I won’t post it and to be honest, it’s just straight up nasty looking. I have concluded that there is no way to make meatloaf look appetizing and therefore I won’t attempt to photograph it. So the other day I decided to turn our beloved meatloaf that Mark will literally eat all in one sitting if I don’t quite literally stop him in to meatballs. Meatballs are easier.
I was going to stick to my meatloaf recipe pretty closely until I actually started making them and started changing at least half of the ingredients. For starters… I had no eggs left but my mom had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge. We all know that pumpkin can replace eggs in baking so why not in meatballs? It worked quite perfectly, adding more holiday flavor to the final product and making these egg free for those who are allergic. Next up was swapping out brown sugar for what I felt was more appropriate this time of year: maple syrup. A little extra rosemary and thyme were thrown in to the mix along with chopped onion, tomato paste, a little milk (any kind will do) to soak a piece of sprouted wheat bread, some grass fed black angus beef and plenty of brie to stuff each meatball with. I baked them because it’s easier and obviously healthier and then broiled them for a few minutes to give them a bit of the crispiness we all love on fried meatballs.
The original plan was to show them as an appetizer since, well, we’re all making appetizers this week and next… but then I decided I couldn’t be bothered with all that staging nonesense and photographed them exactly how we ate them. When I make meatloaf, I cook it with cranberry sauce on top and then extra to serve SO, I made Steph’s recipe for healthy, low sugar cranberry sauce (swapping maple syrup for the sugar) and served the meatballs with plenty of cranberry sauce.
For the record, they do make fantastic appetizers for any of you looking for that right now. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making them on Sunday as well since my sister has been repeatedly asking me to make them again for her. But for the regular day? We like them with big baked potatoes piled high with butter and some simple sauteed sprouts (cauliflower for Mark…).
However you eat ’em, I hope you love ’em!
- 1 lb grass fed extra lean beef
- ⅓ C pumpkin puree
- 1 small minced onion
- 1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1½ tsp rosemary, minced
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 piece of whole grain bread (preferably sprouted)
- 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
- ¼ C milk of choice
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 18 small pieces of brie
- Cranberry sauce (storebought or homemade), to serve
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Remove the crust from the bread and tear it in to tiny pieces. Add the milk and mush it all together until a paste forms. Add all other ingredients except for beef, cranberry sauce and brie. Mix it well.
- Add the beef and mix gently until evenly combined.
- Roll in to 18 balls then stuff each ball with brie by breaking in half, placing the cheese in the middle and then rolling both pieces back together. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 minutes then turn the broiler on high. Continue to broil for 5 minutes or until the tops are crispy and the meatballs are fully cooked.
- Serve with cranberry sauce as an appetizer or with big baked potatoes and vegetables for dinner.