Monday, January 11, 2016

Appetizer Meat Balls - versatile and gluten free

These are truly a crowd pleaser, and the left-overs make wonderful sandwiches.

This recipe makes a huge batch, which I like because I love having the ready-made meat balls in the freezer. I don't freeze the meat balls in the sauce, that way they can be used for soup, spaghetti, or whatever I might be making at that time.

Each meat ball is just one weight watcher point each without sauce...not bad.
Meat balls in the sauce count as 2 meat balls for 2.5 pts.

Of course you can cut the recipe in half and/or make larger meat balls. Larger meat balls are nice when served with spaghetti for example, or just for dipping in ketchup or mustard.

*Use 2 lbs of ground beef if you decide to make half of the recipe.

Appetizer Meat Balls                                     Makes 80 Meat Balls
3 3/4 lbs lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if needed)
1 1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, any type. I used duck eggs
1/4 cup milk, or a non-dairy product. I used   soy milk
2 14.5 oz cans cream of tomato soup, not condensed. I used Amy's Organic Cream of Tomato Soup
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a large baking sheet with a non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, oats, garlic salt, pepper, onions, eggs, and milk or non-dairy substitute. Mix well. I put gloves on and use my hands.
Shape mixture into 80 balls about the size of a walnut or a ping-pong ball.
Bake for 15-20 minutes for small meat balls, 30 minutes for large sized meat balls.

In a crockpot or large kettle add the tomato soup, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. If using a kettle let meat balls simmer in sauce for about 20 minutes.
If using a crockpot, leave on low as long as needed until ready to serve. If I'm home I will start the crockpot on high, then switch to low after the sauce has heated up.Then I leave the crockpot on low until ready to serve. This works great if you plan on serving within a couple hours.

The process is so easy...

 Roll meat mixture into small sized balls. Bake 20-30 minutes depending on size.

 Add to special sauce.

And serve...

We had these with our Christmas dinner right along side the ham, rolls, salads, and vegetables. It adds a little variety to the meal. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has. It has been in my files for over 20 years, and will remain a favorite!

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