DSCN0861For Memorial Day weekend, I’m heading up to our family mountain cabin in the middle of nowhere, northwest Georgia. There’s not really anything official on the itinerary – probably some hiking, tubing on the river, or heading into the little town of Blue Ridge for their annual arts festival. One thing’s for certain, though: we’ll be eating and drinking. A lot.

Since the whole family will be there, my mom will probably take over most of the cooking and I’ll just help out where I can. But I never like to go anywhere empty-handed, so I decided to contribute these meatballs as an appetizer/snack. One of my roommates and his fiance brought Swedish meatballs to the mountains last year and we ate them constantly for two days straight, so I’m hoping these will be a similar success. I’m planning to toss these in a crock pot on low with a barbecue and tomato sauce mixture so that people can just eat them throughout the afternoon. This recipe makes about 40 meatballs, and since you can keep these warm in a crock pot or chafing dish, they’d be great for a tailgate or other big get-together.

I referred to a few different recipes to make these, but meatballs are so flexible, they didn’t really come from any one place. Mine are a mixture of beef and bulk pork sausage, with lots of parsley, bread crumbs (gluten free, for my little bro’s girlfriend), eggs and spices. I totally blanked on putting parmesan cheese in these, but there’s no way that can be bad, right? I’ll definitely grate some parmesan or pecorino into these next time I make them.

DSCN0856 DSCN0858Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound mild italian bulk pork sausage

3/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 slices toasted bread (gluten free, in this case), crumbled

2 eggs

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. The best way to combine all the ingredients is with your hands, so wet them with cold water and don’t be squeamish.
  2. Once all ingredients are well-combined, pinch off pieces of the mixture and roll between your hands. I rolled my meatballs to be 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter so that I could make a lot of relatively bite-sized portions. You could easily roll these into larger portions for hoagies or sliders (although I flatten mine slightly for sliders). Bake until meatballs are cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Slice one in half to test.
  3. To serve, combine a 12 ounce can of tomato sauce and half a bottle of barbecue sauce in a crockpot, then add meatballs and set your temperature to low. You should have a really addictive snack ready to serve all day long. Just don’t think about the calories.