To make these meatball “muffins” ricotta meatballs are nestled in a savory, biscuit-like muffin batter and baked in a muffin pan.
They’re just as tasty at room temperature as they are warm, making for a great appetizer or lunchbox treat and are best served with marinara sauce on the side for a little dunking action, without it they can be a little on the dry side.
The meatballs are tender with ricotta cheese along with the usual suspects like garlic, Parmesan, eggs, bread crumbs and fresh parsley.
They’re baked briefly on a baking sheet before being stuffed into the “muffins” where they get baked a second time.
The muffin batter has many of the same things in it as the meatballs with mozzarella cheese, more Parmesan, marinara sauce, fresh parsley and Italian seasonings. It’s more like a dough than a pourable batter and is easy to work with.
After dividing the dough amongst the muffin cups you need to mold a well into the center of each one and press the meatballs down into them. It only takes about 20 minutes for them to bake up – hot, crusty and golden brown.
Out pops a portable treat, fun for kids (and grown-up kids) to eat (and help make). Plus, did you notice they’re cuteness? Never thought I’d find myself saying that about a meatball but it’s true.
Cute as a button.
- non-stick spray and butter, for greasing the pans
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅔ cup marinara sauce, plus more for dipping
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
- 2 + ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and lightly coat with non-stick spray. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
- In a large bowl mix all the meatballs ingredients together with a fork or your hands until just combined. Form into 12 meatballs. Bake 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Cool.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the sauce, eggs and oil until well combined. Stir in the mozzarella, ¼ cup of the parmesan and the seasoning.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix well - it will be thick - you can gently knead it by hand if the mixture gets too thick. Don't overmix.
- Fill each muffin cup a little more than half full and press the centers down and the sides up to form a well for the meatballs. Gently press a meatball down into each one. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Bake 18 - 22 minutes until golden brown. Don't overcook or they'll dry out. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of marinara sauce for dipping and dunking.
Copyright ©Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved