We love burgers around here, and making them is usually a Dude Time endeavor- which means I get a few minutes to relax while I wait for them to finish. Yay! One way to speed things up and get hungry people fed quicker is to pre-make the burgers and freeze them for a quick dinner later. This recipe will make several lunches or two hearty dinners for four.
The addition of two of my dudes’ favorite ingredients (apple sauce and oatmeal) meant they were excited to try them, and also made for a somewhat more rounded nutritional profile on the meal. We like to eat these on whole wheat toast or whole wheat buns, with a side of apple slices and carrot sticks.
We are on a major winning streak around here. What are we winning? The war against kid food, that’s what. Here’s our latest victory. My five year old doesn’t like sauce. But he consented to dunk his noodles in this, and actually liked the meatball, too. If you’ve never made meatballs, don’t worry, it’s easy. If you’re short on time, try it with a package of those frozen, ready to cook meatballs. These are better, but a Mom’s gotta do what a Mom’s gotta do.
28 ounce jar of tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes, if you'd rather. I like the tomato and basil.)
½ cup white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste.)
Combine turkey, spices, and egg as you would for meatloaf. (Around here, that's by kid powered potato masher.)
Spray a large skillet with no-stick spray (I use olive oil in a refillable pump) and heat over medium-high heat.
Use an ice cream scoop to portion the meatball mixture into meatballs. Form into a ball with wet hands. (Mom says this helps them brown better!)
Brown each meatball in the skillet, turning to brown on all sides. If the skillet is hot, this will go quickly.
Transfer to the crock pot. Add the sauce, wine, and garlic.
Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.
I know, I know. I hate crockpot recipes that say you need to brown things first. But if you skip it, your meatballs will stick together. Sorry, mamas. But you can do a big, double batch and freeze half the meatballs for next time! My mother says she doubles hers every time. Saves on cleanup!
Being a mom is awesome, but there is still nothing much that beats taking a night off! And nobody knows how to have fun better than a bunch of off duty moms- all you need to do is put out some appetizers and an activity and you’ll all have a fine, delicious time! These meatballs fit the bill, and since they take care of themselves in the crock pot, they won’t interrupt your party prep.
In addition to being easy peasy, these are also hearty and delicious, so if your friends have had to come straight from work, they won’t have to try and fill up on crackers and too much wine- they will thank you in the morning!