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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

I am a firm believer that everything doesn't have to be homemade for it taste good. I cut corners all the time especially on those busy school nights. Since we are in the midst of a pandemic and most of our kids are starting the school year virtually, the last thing we need to stress about is what's for dinner. It is possible to get a good dinner on the table and use some shortcuts to get the same results. There are times where I will use canned marinara sauce instead of making it myself. There are times where I will use minced garlic from the jar instead of chopping it myself and there are certainly times where I will use shredded cheese in the bag instead of grating it myself.

This recipe speaks to 'those times." This recipe can be on the table in 30 minutes or less because you are using canned marinara sauce instead of simmering homemade sauce for two hours. The trick to get it to taste homemade is to saute some diced onions and add fresh basil. I brought a basil plant from Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and I keep it on the window seal in my kitchen. It is cheaper to have the plant than to buy a few leaves of basil from the produce section. You also need string cheese for this recipe. My 5 year old loves string cheese so I always have it in my fridge. I hope this recipe helps you get a good meal on the table in a short amount of time.

Ingredients Needed to Make the Turkey Meatballs

1 lb of Ground Turkey or Ground Beef

3 teaspoons of minced garlic

1/4 cup of breadcrumbs

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 pieces string cheese

1 jar of marinara sauce

1/2 of an onion, diced

1 Tablespoon of FlavorGod Italian Zest or Italian Seasoning

3 leaves of fresh basil, chopped (dried basil will do too)

1 package of dry thin spaghetti

1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions to Make the Turkey Meatballs

  1. Add minced garlic, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, parmesan cheese, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to the ground turkey or beef and mix. Don't overmix.

  2. Cut string cheese into 1 inch pieces. Roll meat mixture into a ball and place piece of cheese in the middle. The end goal is to enclose the cheese into the meatball.

  3. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and fry the meatballs on the stove until brown. You can also bake them in the oven at 425 degrees but frying them saves time.

  4. Cook pasta according to directions on the box.

  5. In a saucepan, saute diced onions until translucent. Pour in the jar of sauce and add chopped basil and FlavorGod Italian Zest Seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  6. Top with shredded mozzarella and place under broiler until the cheese is melted.

  7. Serve with cooked pasta and enjoy!

From one mom to are a few tips when making this dish

Boil the water for the pasta when you start making your meatballs. Once the pasta is done, add a little olive oil so it doesn't get dry and save some pasta water too just in case. The goal is to have everything ready at the same time. If you want to shorten the cooking time, you can pour the sauce from the jar over the meatballs and skip the sauteed onions. If you have fresh basil, add it and if you don't...that's ok too!

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