Filed Under: Dinner, Food, kids lunch, Lunch, Recipe, School Lunch

Neighbourhood Meatballs (Perfect for Lunch!)

Instead of a sandwich, send these dippable meatballs to school with your little...they'll love them.

August 7th, 2015

Laura Fuentes, "The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet"

This is one of the first recipes my good friend Melissa shared with me when I moved into the neighbourhood. It’s a family favourite and a staple in both our homes.
8 servings
  • For Meatballs:
  • 4 ounces (120 g) Saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1 pound (450 g) ground turkey or beef
  • ½ pound (225 g) ground turkey sausage
  • ¼ cup (6 g) parsley
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • For Red Gravy:
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (8 g) oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (5 g) basil
  • 3 cans (28 ounces, or 2.4 kg) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. To make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the saltine crumbs, meat, parsley, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Mix with your hands until everything is evenly combined.

  3. With your hands, form 24 meatballs. Place each meatball into a greased baking pan, cover with foil, and cook for 15 minutes. Flip them after 15 minutes, and remove the foil for the next 15 minutes.

  4. To make the red gravy: While the meatballs are cooking, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in an 8-quart (7.6 L) soup pot.

  5. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, and cook for a minute or two. Pour in the tomatoes and sugar. Stir, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat.

  6. When the meatballs are done, carefully take them out and place them in the red gravy. Cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes with the cover on to blend all the flavors.

  7. Laura’s Tip: This recipe yields extra red gravy (or tomato sauce) and will be perfect for other dinners or lunches.

Neighbourhood Meatballs (Perfect for Lunch!)
Alison Bickel Photography

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