The quest to make a healthier meatball has been a challenge. Often using leaner ground meats leads to tough and dry meatballs. Cottage cheese is the 'secret' ingredient that keeps these better-for-you meatballs moist and delicious. Share the fun and host a weekend meatball party. Invite your friends over to make big batches of these tasty, oven-baked meatballs to fill everyone's freezer with a quick weeknight meal solution.

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
45 mins
total:
1 hr 10 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Stir the cottage cheese with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1 clove garlic, eggs and half each of the salt and pepper until well combined. Crumble in the ground beef and sausage meat; gently mix until well combined.

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  • Shape the mixture into 24 equal-sized meatballs; arrange, in a single layer, in a 9 x 13-inch (3 L) baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

  • Meanwhile, stir the passata with the grated onion, hot pepper flakes, remaining garlic, salt and pepper. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the meatballs and cook for 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened; gently stir in basil. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve meatballs over hot cooked pasta or rice.

Tips:

To shorten the prep time, make 12 large meatballs instead the small ones.

Spoon the meatballs into long buns and top with shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese for a meatball submarine sandwich.

Recipe doubles or triples easily to serve a crowd.

Increase hot pepper flakes to taste for a spicier sauce.

Make ahead: After baking the meatballs for 15 minutes, cool slightly and transfer to an air-tight container along with the uncooked sauce. Reserve in the refrigerator for 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and thickened.

Nutrition Facts

310 calories; protein 27g; carbohydrates 17.8g; fat 14.7g; cholesterol 121.6mg; sodium 1205.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (9)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/31/2015
These meatballs are delicious - I made a big batch and they were gone way too quickly. I suggest subbing in Nordica 4% Cottage Cheese as I am a big milk fat fan! It is good for you - trust me! Read More
(2)
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2017
The cottage cheese really did keep the lean ground turkey moist! I used extra ground turkey and added seasonings to replicate the sausage taste and really enjoyed it. Good stuff! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/31/2015
These meatballs are delicious - I made a big batch and they were gone way too quickly. I suggest subbing in Nordica 4% Cottage Cheese as I am a big milk fat fan! It is good for you - trust me! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2017
Made a great meatball sandwich! Didn't change a thing. Very very good! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
02/15/2017
Very easy and very tasty! I used Italian bread crumbs instead of plain and also tucked a little mozzarella cube into the center of some of them. Next time I will probably add a bit of Italian seasoning to bring up the flavor a bit, but overall these are definitely worth making! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2016
Very moist meatballs! Thank you for sharing:) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2019
very good loved it liked the cottage cheese in it healthier great taste high protein will make some ahead to freezer for later Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2017
Now this is a great recipe!! I'll admit I was lazy and just mixed everything together and made it "meatloaf" style...fantastic!! Definitely will keep and make this recipe over and over. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/20/2019
These meatballs are the bomb... as in 4th of July fireworks... great recipe that you can adjust the herbs and spices to. And kids love them! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2019
This was definitely a winner for us. I agree with some of the others gone within one sitting so I will double the recipe next time. I did turkey meatballs - so good. I would recommend adding more sauce to the final baking dish as it needs more sauce to cover the meatballs. Read More
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