Juicy goat cheese meatballs filled with creamy and tangy goat cheese are baked in a rustic tomato sauce with basil and cherry tomatoes. Serve over fresh pasta or serve with toasted baguettes for a comforting meal!
So I am sorta meatball obsessed.
Coming from a girl that use to turn her nose up at any and every type of meatball in my younger years, that is a very bold statement.
I am still puzzled on why I had a tiff with meatballs but I am going to assume that most I encountered were made of red meat, which I, still to this day, would prefer chicken over a burger.
But every now and then, my cravings for red meat becoming roaring. As we all know, the only way to get rid of a craving is to give into it!
A few months back, the hubs and I ventured out for a date night around KC. We went to a ‘new to us’ restaurant which we had only heard positive things about their upscale bar food. That is our kinda place. Fancy but not too fancy. I like to talk louder than a whisper without the whole restaurant in on our conversation.
So while at the said restaurant, I spotted the goat cheese stuffed meatballs. We ordered, and we feel in love. Tender meatballs made with ground beef and pork, then filled with creamy goat cheese. Since we all know, I adore goat cheese in nearly any form. I love how versatile it can be. From sweet to savory, it fits it all.
So after leaving, I was inspired and determined to recreate them at home. Only a mere, three months later and I finally got around to whipping them up in my own kitchen.
I chose lean ground sirloin for the juiciness and extra flavor it provides. I think the flavor is far superior to ground beef, but feel free to use ground beef if you wish! I won’t tell. Another layer of flavor I love to add to meatballs and burgers, is finally chopped onions. As they bake, they release flavor and moisture. This is my secret weapon to cut down on the amount of eggs used. Just make sure to chop your onion really fine or you will be biting into hunks of onion. Just no.
The rustic tomato sauce is just as good as the meatballs! It’s rustic and bursting with flavor. I took some shortcuts here and used my favorite marinara sauce, but just jazzed it up a bit. Some chopped cherry tomatoes, lots of garlic, some Italian seasoning and a good handful of basil and you have a semi-homemade rustic tomato sauce that is the perfect pair to your meatballs.
Let’s say I am more than pleased with our rendition of our favorite date night dish! And as I sit here and stay at these photos, another craving is arising. And we all know how to cure them…off to the kitchen!
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground sirloin
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup almond meal or 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ small onion, finely minced
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup creamy goat cheese
- 3 cups your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup basil, not chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the ground meat with the egg in a large bowl or stand mixer. Mix well. Add the almond flour (or breadcrumbs), onion, milk, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix until just combined.
- Scoop out 18 meatballs, using an ice-cream scoop, or your hands if you do not have one. Don't worry about making them perfectly round yet, as you will stuff them next.
- Stuff each meatball by making a hole in the middle and placing a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese in the center. Seal the meatballs well by pinching them back together.
- In a 9x13 baking dish, add marinara sauce evenly. Add tomatoes and basil on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place meatballs on top of marinara mixture.
- Place in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and meatballs are heated through.
- Serve with marinara sauce and sprinkled with fresh parmesan, Or serve over pasta.
Hungry for more delicious dinners?
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #WITHSALTANDWIT. I’d love to see what you are cooking up in your kitchen!