This recipe should be called cheesy meatballs. Guess what? I like to call it Cheesy Meatball Fondue as it is so much fun to serve to your friends. This recipe always puts a smile on everyone’s face when you arrive at the table with a big pan full of cheese and meatballs. It is so cheesy that I can get away with calling it fondue. Guess what else? Kids love this recipe just as much as adults. Winner Winner Chicken (or meatball) dinner!
This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Cooking Light last year. It was the photo more than the recipe that caught my eye. There were so many things that I did not agree with their recipe that I decided to recreate my own version. The meatballs are made with lean grass-fed ground beef and loads of flavor such as onions, parsley, smoked chili flakes, and oregano. The sauce is a super simple tomato sauce with some onion and garlic. The topping is ultra creamy and rich as I used lots of fontina and mozzarella. Pile it on, I say!
Pass lots of warm bread so you can be sure to get every last drop of cheesy goodness!
Cheesy Meatball Fondue
** serves 6 – 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely minced
2 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
28 ounce can crushed low sodium tomatoes
2 pounds lean (85%) grass fed ground beef
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely minced
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely minced
1 teaspoon smoked or regular chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 pound fontina, grated
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
In a dutch oven or very large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the 1/2 cup of the yellow onion, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, rosemary and tomato sauce. Turn the heat to a very low temperature and cook, stirring often for 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Mix the ground beef, the remaining 1/2 cup of yellow onion, parsley, chili flakes, oregano, parmesan cheese, and egg. Mix well with your hands and form into meatballs. I like the meatballs more medium sized than too small or large. This recipe made about 30 meatballs that were medium sized. If you like small meatballs go for it or if you like them large then go for that!
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet. Slide into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Lower the heat of the oven to 350.
Pour about a cup of the tomato sauce into a large frying pan. Top with the meatballs and then cover with the remaining sauce and all of the cheese.
Place into the oven and bake until bubbly and lightly golden brown – about 30 minutes.
Serve with warm crusty bread.