Harvest Meatballs

November 8, 2013

I have been on a real meatball kick this year! First I made a recipe for sun-dried tomato and spinach meatballs and then I morphed that into simple herby meatballs.

 

This latest version might be my favorite yet!

This inspiration lies in some of my favorite fall ingredients…

These actually weren’t butternut squash. They were Honey Nut squash I found at the Twin Oaks booth at our market. But since Honey Nut is probably hard to find, Butternut will do just fine.

The toasty pecans add a really great crunch!

Like the other meatball recipes, this one just involves mixing things in a bowl, forming balls and baking.

Ta-da!

I made the meatballs smaller this time so there would be more per plate. If you make smaller balls expect to get nearly 30 out of the recipe. Large balls will yield closer to 24. I made a section of them pecan-free for Mazen. He loves them, although I still do cut them into smaller pieces for him.

We served them with squash and roasted zucchini – gotta make hay while the sun shines use the oven while it’s hot!

Harvest Meatballs


by Kath Younger

Keywords: bake entree butternut squash beef Thanksgiving Weeknights fall winter

Ingredients (24 large or 30 small balls)

  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mashed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Place chopped pecans on a sheet pan and toast for about 3-5 minutes, keeping careful watch that they don’t burn.
  3. Beat eggs in the bottom of a mixing bowl.
  4. Add meat, Parmesan, butternut, garlic, spices and salt and mix to combine.
  5. Add pecans.
  6. Form into balls and arrange on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until balls begin to brown and the middle is done per a meat thermometer.

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Next I’m going to try them with pumpkin : ) Let me know if you do!

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeri November 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

These look really good. I wonder if these could be some kind of dessert. Hmmmmm

You’d be proud of me! I listened and I drank a cup of tea with no added sugar and it was actually good. Baby steps become little steps then big steps.

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2 KathEats November 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

Get it girl!

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3 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs November 8, 2013 at 8:56 am

These sound delicious! I’ve got some ground turkey that needs to be used this weekend — this might be the perfect way to use it!

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4 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh November 8, 2013 at 9:06 am

Oh my goodness! These look amazing! Fall balls! :-)

Have a great weekend!

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5 Irene November 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

Wonderful! I have some mashed squash in my freezer that needs to be used. Making these! Thanks for the recipe.

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6 Leah November 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

Hi Kath–these look so good! I can’t mix dairy with meat…wondering if I can omit the cheese all together or if I need something to replace it to hold it together?

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7 KathEats November 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

I think you can. It’s mostly for flavor

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8 Becky November 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

Eggs are good binder – could you use those?

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9 Jessica November 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Eggs are dairy, aren’t they? Or am I crazy?

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10 Pat November 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Um no, dairy refers to cow or goat milk products. It’s the proteins on the milk that cause allergies, more so with cow than goat. You can also be allergic to eggs, though, and vegans avoid both as animal products.

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11 Liza November 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I doubt she’s allergic. I understood it as she keeps Kosher and therefore cannot combine meat and cheese.

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12 Jess November 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

Yum! Definitely bookmarking these to make ASAP. I’ve had a ridiculous pecan craving lately and I think these would be just the remedy :)

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13 Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac November 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

Yum! I am excited to try these! I have a butternut on my counter begging to be made into something besides simple roasted butternut squash!

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14 Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon November 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

I love the idea of adding squash into meatballs- I will have to try these with lots of roasted veggies. And you are absolutely right, it is so easy to roast everything in my fridge once the oven is on! Haha.

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15 Elly Cowley November 8, 2013 at 10:06 am

Perfect timing! I have so much pumpkin to use up! Thanks :-)

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16 Lea November 8, 2013 at 10:16 am

I tend to cook meatballs on the stovetop, rather than bake, so I move them around to brown on all sides… do you flip your balls around during cooking?

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17 KathEats November 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

No they seem to brown pretty evenly

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18 Christina November 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

Oooh these look SO delicious! Trying them next week!

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19 Matt November 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

You’re a meatball master!

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20 Livi November 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

all the perfect flavors of fall! yum- I can’t wait to make these!

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21 meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles November 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

I am definitely making these for my son! It is times like these I miss eating meat! Perhaps I can make them with mashed kidney beans or chick peas. Or both.

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22 Olivia at ohmy Olivia November 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

These pretty much combine all my favourite foods! Definitely something to make xo

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23 Amelia November 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Delish! I am printing this recipe to make for next weeks meals. I can’t wait. :)

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24 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog November 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I love the idea of adding squash (or veggies in general) to meatballs. That’s something I never thought to do, but such a great way to increase veggie consumption. I look forward to trying this recipe.

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25 Pat November 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

these look delicious and I will be trying them. :) But for me, I’d use different sides that more squash.

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26 Emily @ Life on Food November 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Meatballs are always fun. I love all the new combos you have been coming up with. It means the family will never get sick of them.

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27 Melissa November 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

All of your meals always look so fresh and beautiful! I especially love the way the roasted squash looks and I’m so intrigued by this variety, I definitely need to look for it in my area, but I don’t think I’ve seen it before, unfortunately.

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28 Kavi November 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

YUM! Love the fall twice on a classic. I also love that you paired the meatballs with more veggies, instead of pasta!

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29 Shel@PeachyPalate November 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Such a great idea! Totally inspiring a new vegan meatball recipe! :)

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30 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna November 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I have to admit, I’ve never actually made meatballs myself and always saw them as being not-so-healthy, but I think you might have made me have a change of heart – I’ma try them out this weekend!

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31 Allie Ferguson November 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Meatballs… great idea! Needed a recipe for dinner tonight. Done and done. Thank you!

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32 Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog November 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Is there nothing which can’t be improved with squash :-)

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33 Natasha November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Recently diagnosed as dairy free so looking to gather lots of new recipes to try and these are going to be high on my list! If anyone is interested in supporting my journey I’d absolutely love it (shameless plug! http://theintolerantstudent.wordpress.com/)

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34 Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food November 9, 2013 at 1:08 am

Yum these sound delicious!!

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35 chris November 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

Looks yummy Kath! Keep forgetting the Sat Market is still open, hmmm

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36 Renee November 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

these sound so yummy, I am going to have to make them. I wonder if it would be just as good with roasted pumpkin. I love pumpkin this time of year. Great recipe one I will be saving to make later this week.

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37 Kate L November 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Just made these with pumpkin (I used Libby’s canned)! I can’t believe how great they taste. A little spicy, a little sweet. The perfect combo! “Harvest” is a very appropriate title, they taste just like fall :) thank you for the recipe.

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38 KathEats November 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Yay!

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39 Hannah @ Sprints & Scones November 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I put these on my meal plan for this week! I am going to try them with pumpkin and ground turkey. I will let you know how it goes :)

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40 Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen November 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm

yum these are probably really moist!

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41 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance November 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I just made a giant batch of meatballs for my boyfriend and I am kicking myself for not throwng in butternut squash and pecans!

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42 Annie November 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

How would these freeze? Making them
As we speak :)

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43 KathEats November 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Most likely well!

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44 Michelle Trenholm November 10, 2013 at 7:45 am

These sound delicious. I don’t normally like meatballs – but I’m going to give this recipe a shot! :)

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45 Alex @ Kenzie Life November 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Do you think these would work with beans instead of the beef? I think I want to try that :)

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46 KathEats November 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I think if the beans were pulsed into a dough almost, then yes

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47 Alex @ Kenzie Life November 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Thanks Kath! I’ll let you know how it works out!

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48 D November 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Kath,
A couple of suggestions to clarify on this recipe. What size eggs were you using…I had large and my mixture was very wet. Also, for the parmesan was that shredded or grated. I used grated figuring it would help bind like bread crumbs and that is what it looked like in your bowl. Mixture still was very wet and even added bread crumbs. Letting it sit in the fridge to see if this will stiffen up once more chilled.

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49 KathEats November 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Good suggestions. Mine was on the wet side too, but it baked out ok. My eggs were large (but definitely not XL) and I did use grated Parmesan.

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50 Julie November 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I made these this evening. I added onion (about 1/2 cup). A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Nice creation!

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51 Christie Ellis {Pepper Lynn} November 11, 2013 at 2:57 am

Thanks for a great recipe, Kath! I came across this post as the same time that I was looking for ways to use up some kabocha squash puree, and I made these right away. I was a little worried at first that they wouldn’t hold up because they seemed so soft before baking, but after they came out of the oven, they were perfect! The flavor is spot on, too. Definitely will be making these again!

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52 Lisa @bitesforbabies November 11, 2013 at 6:45 am

These sound absolutely divine!! I much prefer these kind of meatballs rather than the regular all-meat ones! We love these at home: http://www.bitesforbabies.com/gluten-free-veal-and-rapini-meatballs/

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53 Connie November 11, 2013 at 11:18 am

i just made these with sweet potato that i happened to have already roasted in my fridge, and walnuts. they are amazing. they are so good that I’m eating meatballs at 11am.

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54 KathEats November 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Haha awesome!

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55 Jen November 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

These look amazing. Butternut squash is my fav, so I am excited to try these!

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56 Olivia November 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Wow, these meatballs look amazing! The pictures are great too! Wow, I’d definitely love to try this!

Check out our blog filled with recipes! Many blessings :)
http://fit2behealth.blogspot.com
http://www.nutrisimo.com

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57 Kim November 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I made these the other day and they were great! Today I modified the recipe and used tofu instead of meat and they still tasted great. Be sure to squeeze out the water from the tofu and then just crumble it up with your hands and mix it with the other ingredients. So nice to have a few for a snack or more for a meal! Thanks for bringing back meatballs into my dinner routine!

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58 Whitney December 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Made these for the second time tonight! Love the Harvest Meatballs so much! Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe!

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