Slow Cook Greek Meatballs and Leftover Meatball Pizzas

3 11 2011

I tried a new appetizer recipe for Greek meatballs stuffed with cheese from my Cuisine Slow Cooker Menus for a recent party. They were a big hit! Below are two recipes – one for the meatballs themselves, and one for what to do with the leftovers – meatball pizzas (thanks for the idea Martha Stewart)!

Greek Meatballs

Greek Meatballs in tomato sauce (from Cuisine Slow Cooker Menus) – the following makes about 55 meatballs:

  • 1 can dice tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp minced lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 6 oz feta cheese cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 400. Coat a broiler pan or baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside. This is to bake the meatballs, although I decided to saute them in a frying pan on the stove – either way works.

Combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper flakes and salt for the sauce in a slow cooker. Cover, cook on low-heat setting while preparing the meatballs.

Mix together bread crumbs, olives, garlic, eggs, zest, the 1 tsp salt, pepper and paprika for the meatballs in a large bowl. Add ground beef and pork, mix well. Form mixture into 1-inch balls, stuffing each with a cube of cheese. It’s easiest to form the meatballs around the cheese. Place meatballs on the prepared pan, bake until meatballs are cooked through – about 20 minutes.

Transfer meatballs to slow cooker, toss in sauce to coat. Cover, cook on low-heat setting for 2.5 – 3 hours. This Girl’s Tip: I would recommend doubling the sauce recipe, especially if you want these saucy and to use the leftovers in the recipe below.

Meatball Pizza

Meatball Pizzas with the leftover meatballs from the above recipe (from Everyday Food Magazine):

  • 4 large naans or pitas (I recommend using the naan)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup reserved tomato sauce
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 20 bocconcini or 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella (you could also use shredded pizza cheese)
  • 10 to 12 reserved meatballs
  • Grated parmesan
  • Red-pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place 4 large naan or pitas on a parchment-lined baking sheet; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Divide 1 cup reserved tomato sauce (opposite) among naan and top with 20 bocconcini, halved, or ½ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced, and 10 to 12 reserved meatballs, crumbled. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Toss 2 cups baby arugula with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. To serve, top pizzas with arugula, grated Parmesan, and red-pepper flakes.

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