My hubby just celebrated his birthday the end of last month, and when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he simply said, “Spaghetti!” So I set out to surprise him and make it EXTRA special, aaaaand THIS happened! These Giant Smothered Italian Meatballs, needless to say, were a smash hit!!
They’re easy to make and what a fantastic presentation they make! Definitely company-worthy in not only the whole “ta-dah” thing, but in flavor, too! I’m sure these colossal monsters would be quite a show-stopper at any gathering or special event, so let’s get right on it and make them together!
Grab a large bowl and crumble the beef in keeping it loose and spread out. This helps later when you add the rest of the meatball ingredients to make the combining easier and quicker, preventing over-mixing and handling. The results are a tender meatball! Very important!
Simply add ingredients over the meat sprinkling EVENLY, don’t “plop” them in like you see in all those quickie videos or you’ll never get them distributed evenly throughout without over-mixing, turning the meat into pâté that’s tough when baked.
Divide the meat mixture in half, use a scale if you need to, and shape into giant meatballs. *I used 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, and after adding the rest of the ingredients, they weighed just over a pound each (1 pound and 6 ounces)! So after baking, they’ll definitely be one pound!
(Aaaaand here we have “meatball boobies”…reality food porn.)
It’s ok to laugh, I laughed, too!!!
Once you shape them, making sure there aren’t any big cracks (so that when they bake they won’t open or fall apart), place them onto a sprayed, foil-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle the tops with a nice amount of coarse ground black pepper. Then pop them into the oven and bake!
When they’re done, remove them from the oven and scrape away the impurities that will have cooked out of the meat and surround the meatballs.
Next, top them with spoonfuls of sauce if you’d like, and nice thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, however much makes you happy, and run them under the broiler to melt.
Sorry about the sauce on the cheese! I was covered in it when I went for the slices! And after rearranging them, they got a wee bit messy!
Keep an eye on them while they’re broiling! You sure don’t want to burn the cheese! Not to mention those glorious meatballs!
And here they are! All smothered and blanketed with melted, gooey, mozzarella cheese!
Which one do you have your eye on? This one?
Ooorrrr, maybe this one??
You can have whichever one you want! You choose!
Then, just add whatever you’d like to serve these over onto plates. *I made my homemade Classic Italian Spaghetti Sauce the day before. I reheated the sauce while the meatballs were baking, and cooked and drained some mixed pasta noodles and stirred them into the simmering sauce.
But you can just serve this over plain marinara or meatless spaghetti sauce if you’d like. But it was my hubby’s birthday, so I went ALL out!
And then topped it with lots of freshly grated parmesan and asiago cheese!!
Then nestle a meatball on top, and HOLY. COW.
Seriously. Just look at these monsters! Ha!! SO cool.
I didn’t even make us salads, and just served some garlic bread on the side!
And they were absolutely pheNOMenal!!! My hubby said it reminded him of a restaurant that he used to love back on the west coast, and said that they were every bit as good, too!
I’m definitely going to have to make these for company! And when I do, I’ll be sure to order some cute “doggie bags” online, though!
Because see that little sliver of a wedge that’s cut? That’s all I could eat with a little pasta and one piece of garlic bread!!
My hubby went into attack mode, and managed to eat half of his, though! And these ended up providing us 5 meals total! PLUS! We had plenty of leftover pasta after that, and that gave us 4 additional meals! All from a 2.25 ounce package of ground beef. So it’s actually very economical, too.
I really enjoyed making this for him, and it was so much easier and quicker than doing 25-30 regular-sized meatballs!
So if you have a special day coming up, or want to make a show-stopper for company (that’s actually super easy to make!), I highly recommend that you save this Giant Smothered Italian Meatballs recipe!
My hubby was so happy, that he actually said, “This is exactly what I wanted!”. It doesn’t get any better than that. ♥
*I served these monster meatballs over a half of a batch of my Classic Homemade Spaghetti Sauce using the rest of a 2.25 pound package of extra lean ground beef that was left over from the meatballs. I stirred in cooked and drained mixed pasta noodles and it was wonderful! Company-worthy! Plus when the meatballs were finally gone, there was still a few servings of meaty sauce to enjoy!
- For Meatballs:
- 1½ lbs. extra lean ground beef
- ½ cup plus 1 Tbl. dried italian bread crumbs
- ½ cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated fresh asiago cheese
- 2 tsp. dried minced onion
- 1½ tsp. whole fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. dried italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- more fresh grated parmesan and/or asiago cheese
- (finely chopped fresh parsley or fresh basil sprig to garnish, optional)
- *Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In large bowl add ground beef crumbling in lightly. Evenly sprinkle and drizzle rest of ingredients over meat. Fold mixture with a large spoon just a few times to get it started, then mix with your hands until combined, ingredients are evenly distributed, but don't overwork meat.
- Divide meat in half, form into two large balls making sure there are no cracks, and place onto a sprayed, foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with more coarse ground black pepper and bake for 1 hour.
- Place thick slices of fresh mozzarella on top, and broil until cheese has fully melted.
- Serve over sauce, or sauced spaghetti. (Please see the link to my spaghetti recipe above!)
- Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and/or asiago cheese. Sprinkle with finely chopped fresh parley or a fresh basil sprig.