Friday, February 3, 2012

Baked Stuffed Meatballs and Creamy Polenta

I've been saving this recipe for a while. I actually had something like it at a delicious restaurant in town on a date night with Hubby a few months ago. That week, I ran to the store and bought everything I could think of to attempt to recreate the ridiculous deliciousness of this meal. I didn't take pictures and I didn't blog it because I wasn't sure it would turn out. But it did. And it blows my spaghetti recipe out of the water. I quickly snapped a cellphone pic before I gobbled it all up politely ate my dinner.

You could use these meatballs for spaghetti, subs, or whatever you can dream up. But I'm telling you, on polenta it is delicious.

Seriously, you guys have to try this.

The meatballs are really the key. I've got a few tricks up my sleeve, so prepare to be schooled in meatball making. By an Irish girl. How do you like them apples?

The first little trick up my sleeve is to saute the onions, garlic, and parsley BEFORE adding them to the meat. This step really reduces the bitter flavors behind them and the crunchy texture in the meatball. You have to make sure to let the mixture cool a little before adding it because you don't want the heat to scramble the eggs... but I'm telling you, it's worth it.

I always make my meatballs out of ground turkey because they sell it at Costco in large amounts for very cheap  it's really good for you. I add a grill seasoning blend and Worcestershire sauce to kick up the flavor. I'm not really sure what it does, to be honest, and if you are please feel free to leave a comment below. I've literally spent seconds contemplating what the heck it is, but in the end I decided to go in blind. All I know is that it makes my meatballs amazing and so I use it. And you should, too.

I also throw in some Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs and not one, but two eggs. They make the meatballs thicker and more hearty than meatballs with just one egg. Then I just mix it all up with my hands and form large meatballs. I like to make my meatballs about the size of a lemon. I then stick a pre-cut cube of smoked mozzarella in the middle. This is really the key step to the meatballs. You guys have no idea. Pure meatball heaven.

Then I bake these bad boys at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

While these meatballs are cooking, I usually boil the noodles and heat up the sauce. Not this time my friends. This time I used this little gem I found in my grocery store. I know you can make your own from scratch, but it takes like 45 minutes and I just don't have that kind of time. Plus, I found one with sundried tomatoes, so score! If you haven't had it before, you and polenta are going to be very good friends.

First, I sauteed a small shallot (although you could totally use an onion) and some garlic in a sauce pan. Then I sliced the polenta in the pan, added some chicken stock and mashed it with a potato masher  until it was smooth. After letting it cook for a few minutes I added 1/4 a cup of marscapone cheese and a few cubes of smoked mozzarella.  

To serve you ladle some polenta onto a plate, top with a few meatballs, and drizzle with tomato sauce. This is seriously so good, I can't even tell you. Savory, smokey, and a little sweet. I know it sounds complicated, but its seriously so easy. I made this in probably 30-35 minutes total. I loved it. Hubby loved it. Even Reese loved it.

Seriously, make it.

Like, yesterday.

You won't regret it.

Baked Stuffed Meatballs and Creamy Polenta

For Meatballs:
1 small onion-diced
3 cloves garlic- diced
1/4 cup parsley
1lb ground turkey
1Tablespoon grill seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
smoked mozzarella- cubed

For Creamy Polenta:
One package polenta
1 small shallot
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup marscapone cheese
left over smoked mozzarella
1 cup of marinara sauce

Preheat Oven to 350. Prepare a baking sheet.

Saute onion, garlic, and parsley in a small frying pan. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine the rest of the ingredients (except the smoked mozzarella) in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly with hands and form large meatballs. Stuff each meatball with a cube of mozzarella and close meatball over the cheese. Place on the baking sheet. Bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes.

While meatballs are baking saute a small shallot and 2 cloves of garlic in a sauce pan. Add sliced polenta and chicken stock. Mash ingredients together and cook for 6-7 minutes. Add marscapone cheese and desired amount of mozzarella. Cook for a minute more, stirring together until cheese is melted and Polenta is creamy.



  1. WOW you are a serious meatball pro!! This sounds delish, I have had a tube of polenta in my pantry for months now.. I'm pretty sure I just found the perfect recipe for it! Thanks girl :)

  2. This loos so good! I want to try it like... now!

  3. ok I am seriously going to make this. Thank you for sharing it! And I'm pinning it. :)

  4. My stomach is now talking to me as I type this. That looks so delicious! I never thought about using 2 eggs instead of 1- that's good to know! Thanks for sharing!


  5. Just found you on keeping up with the cantelmo's.
    These look amazing. Definitely going to add this to my list. I haven't gotten to look around too much, but I just had to comment because these look so good!

    Glad to find you.

  6. my husband LOVES polenta but we make it from scratch in like 5 minutes.

    - 3 1/2 cups of h20 divided
    - 1 tsp salt
    - 1 1/4 cups corn meal

    bring 2 1/2 cups of h20 w/ salt to a boil. mix corn mean w/ remaining h20 in a bowl, slowly stir into boiling water. reduce heat to low, stir constantly for 5 mins or until it's thickened.

    mix in cheese, seasonings, whatever.

    see- SO easy! :)

  7. Sooo...I made these! And they're going into our recipe rotation, though with some tweaks for our preferences. For example, I love onions but my husband hates them with the hate of a thousand suns, onions. And I realized I don't like smoked mozzarella! So the stuffed meatballs I will end up with will closely resemble yours but will be a leetle different. Kind of like siblings.


  8. These look so amazing!!! I lack creativity in the kitchen so I rarely cook, but I would make these in a heartbeat!!

  9. This looks really good! I cook alot with polenta - I don't use the one in the tube but the quick cooking one and mixed with a bit of parm - so good! I'll have to give this recipe a shot!