Sheet Pan

Moo Moo's BakedĀ Meatballs

August  8, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 16 good-sized meatballs, 4 generous servings
Author Notes

My grandmother was a superb cook and hostess who threw dinner parties with ease and grace. This recipe reflects her Midwestern roots in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I have added fresh herbs from the garden and sparked up the sauce with vinegar, mustard and paprika. Panko is a nice switch from traditional breadcrumbs. Moo Moo usually made her apple sauce, but I bought mine at the grocery store. —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • Meatballs
  • 2 pounds grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, organic applesauce
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup unbleached AP flour
  • Sauce:
  • 2 cups 365 organic ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, such as Colman's
  • 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  1. Meatballs
  2. Beat the eggs slightly and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour. Shape into meatballs, roll each one in the flour and place on a sided sheet pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you prepare the sauce.
  1. Sauce:
  2. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over each meatball.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes in 400 degree oven. Serve over buttered egg noodles.
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  • Greenstuff
  • Lizthechef
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Sagegreen
  • lastnightsdinner

27 Reviews

Greenstuff March 8, 2011
Moo Moo was a grandparent's name in our family too! For us, it was fractured Swedish for mor mor (mother's mother). Moo Fa for the grandfather. Our meatballs are closer to traditional Swedish than our language, without your spice. But I do like to substitute panko.
Lizthechef February 25, 2011
Sign me up and please email me plus food52'ers where we go next. What a godsend!
TheWimpyVegetarian February 25, 2011
Give me a couple weeks and it will be ready! I'm getting ready right now for a class I'm teaching this weekend on winter greens. Finalizing all those recipes now! the blog is up next!
Lizthechef February 25, 2011
I made these with ground turkey and they passed the taste test for our healthy heart campaign.
TheWimpyVegetarian February 25, 2011
Yah team! In case you're interested, and there are certainly better ones out there than I, I'm starting a blog in the next couple weeks called the mostly vegetarian experiment. I'm in the process of building it now, but it will have a lot of recipes that are designed to be veg as well as ones that aren't but I've created them into vegetarian dishes. Part of an experiment I'm on right now - and some of these may interest you for that healthy heart campaign :-)
Lizthechef December 27, 2010
When I was first walking, according to my mother, my grandmother was absent from their apartment. I ran around, crying, "Moo Moo" and when my grandmother returned, I guess, as the story goes, I fell on her and said, "Moo Moo!" as she was so named in our family for the next forty -some years. Thanks for asking , Mare, I will spare you all the walking baby photos.
Lizthechef December 27, 2010
They were terrific, Moo Moo. Thank you, Love, Elizabeth
dymnyno December 27, 2010
I made this recipe about a month is absolutely delicious...lots of flavors and I love the name too. (How did she become Moo Moo?)
TheWimpyVegetarian August 10, 2010
I'm late to the party on this one as we were traveling this weekend, but wanted to add my 2 cents. This looks just great to me. I've never even thought of putting apple sauce in with the meat balls and the addition of the apple cider vinegar to the sauce sounds perfect. I know grass-fed beef can be dry when cooked completely, so I imagine the apple sauce plus baking the meatballs with the sauce in the oven keep them nice and moist. Yum!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 10, 2010
Oh! And I meant to add that I really love the picture of Moo-Moo. Really just lovely. Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us.
Lizthechef August 10, 2010
Thanks for both your comments! I suppose all beef was grass fed when my grandmother made these. In any event, the applesauce was entirely her idea and my meatballs came out very moist.
Sagegreen August 9, 2010
Thank you for sharing this precious family recipe! What a grand woman, Moo Moo, too!
Lizthechef August 9, 2010
I love sharing old recipes and happy family kitchen memories - thank you!
lastnightsdinner August 9, 2010
Your Moo Moo is just lovely. These sound great!
Lizthechef August 9, 2010
C'mon over - guess what's for supper ;)
dymnyno August 9, 2010
Liz, I love your history and your grandmother is beautiful! are your meatballs!
Lizthechef August 9, 2010
Thanks, Mare - it's nice to remake old family recipes and remember loved ones.
lapadia August 8, 2010
Another great recipe when I am in the mood for sweet and tangy, thanks. Beautiful picture of your grandmother!
lapadia August 9, 2010
Oh, and I also meant to say thanks for the comment you posted on my meataball recipe the other day...due to my "computer operator error" (long story), I ended up deleting the post and re-submitting...which resulted in me losing your comment and my reply Thanks again!
drbabs August 8, 2010
Your Moo moo and my Aunt julie would have gotten along great!
Lizthechef August 12, 2010
I think I commented on this on your recipe - yes, for certain...
mrslarkin August 8, 2010
Yum. Looks delicious and so easy! Great photos Liz! LOVE the one of Moo Moo. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Lizthechef August 12, 2010
It is so fun to see/hear the nickname I gave my grandmother when I was age 1. She would so love food52!
MyCommunalTable August 8, 2010
Now this sounds like the midwestern all the way. Full of Eastern European touches. I love apple cider vinegar in sauces. I am going to make this when my son comes home from overseas. It is home on a plate.I was born about 40 minutes from Kalamazoo in Marshall, Michigan. My family's restaurant is still there after 100 years. I wonder if you Moo Moo ever ate there?
Lizthechef August 8, 2010
And I went to Kalamazoo College - know Marshall well.Thanks -
Sunchowder August 8, 2010
Oh Liz, another gorgeous photo! I love this recipe and look forward to making it for my family!
Lizthechef August 8, 2010
Thanks - I know you have had a busy weekend and appreciate your comment!