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Gluten-free and game day parties? Oof. Not fun, friends, not fun at all! I have learned a lot about social engagements like this though and know the best defense to any social gathering is to carry around my own dishes and drinks so I never go hungry or thirsty again. You will rarely see this girl without her own food!
Game day food is delightfully rich and comforting which is why I love it so darn much. Today I wanted to create an appetizer that echoed those feelings of comfort and what could be more comforting than a pile of homemade meatballs? This meatball sub appetizer is gluten-free, but I promise you would never know it. It’s got everything I love in a meatball sub simply minus the bread.
I’ve made meatballs a lot over the years (here is one of our favorite dinner dishes that we created together using my standard meatball recipe), but this was my first time trying to create a meatball without the addition of breadcrumbs or panko. With a blend of turkey sausage and ground turkey, I then mixed in fresh parsley, parmesan cheese, a little tomato sauce, and two eggs to bind it all together. I have a cookie dough scoop that I used to make sure all the meatballs were roughly the same size (and so they would fit on my toothpick).
These meatballs are a little more delicate without the breadcrumb binder so I baked them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet so that they would lift easily and not fall apart. Not only does this help the meatball hold its shape, but it also helps cut down your kitchen clean-up time. I would call that a game day win!
Canned crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt, and a dash of sugar yield a vibrant sauce to nestle this appetizer in. I have tried a million different brands of canned crushed tomatoes over the years and I swear by the Great Value brand ones at Walmart. I don’t know why, but it always yields the best pizza sauce for me! I try not to use anything else.
What’s Your Favorite Game Time Recipe?
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup parsley
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 packages baby mozzarella balls (over in the specialty cheese cooler by the deli)
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ground turkey, parsley, eggs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt & pepper, and tomato sauce. Stir gently to combine.
- Make your meatballs the standard size and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes (this size took 12 minutes).
- Meanwhile, in a pot heat olive oil and add your minced garlic, cooking for just one minute.
- Add your crushed tomatoes, the remainder of your small can of tomato sauce, sugar, and salt. Allow this to simmer for ten minutes.
- Once the meatballs are done, ladle the sauce into a deep dish or bowl. Skewer one mozzarella ball and one meatball on a toothpick and nestle in the sauce. Serve hot.
As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.