Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Stuffed meatballs

These Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are a fun twist on a classic meatball recipe. They work great for an appetizer or side dish. If you want to use this for a main dish, I’d recommend doubling the recipe to be safe. This recipe makes about a dozen large meatballs. These can also be made ahead and frozen!

Stuffed meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (panko or regular, Italian seasoned or plain)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-4 mozzarella cheese sticks (string cheese)
  • marinara or alfredo sauce, for dipping
Instructions:
  1. Chop each cheese stick into half inch pieces (about 6-8 pieces for each cheese stick). Place on a plate and chill in the freezer until ready to use.
  2. Add ground beef, bread crumbs, egg and egg yolk, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to a bowl. Mush the ingredients together with your hands until everything comes together.
  3. Remove cheese from freezer. Scoop out about 4 tablespoons of meat mixture and roll into a ball. Gently push a piece of chilled mozzarella into the middle of the meatball. Roll the ball in your hands to cover the hole where the mozzarella cheese was pushed in. Place inside a greased slow cooker and repeat with remaining meat and cheese.
  4. When all meatballs are in the slow cooker (*see note for alternate cooking method), cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours or on low 3-4 hours until meat it cooked through (no longer pink). The cheese may start melting out of the meatballs, that’s okay.
  5. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of fresh chopped parsley or dried Italian seasoning for garnish and serve with your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Stuffed meatballs

Goulash Bake with Venison

 

Goulash bake venison

This goulash bake was a BIG hit with my family! 

This is what I call a “throw-together dinner.”  You know, it goes like this; You want something YUMMY, comforting, but healthy so you look through your kitchen, see what you have, and just GET INSPIRED!  I love that kind of meal as I often create what I call a “happy accident.”  This Goulash Bake with Venison is definitely one of those so I thought I should share so you can try it on purpose!

This dish is basically a macaroni and cheese base with milk and cheese.  We added ground meat and sautéed veggies (peppers, onions, and tomatoes) to it so it would be filled with even more clean nutrition.

To zest things up, the meat and veggies are spiced with garlic powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. And MAYBE a little chili powder too if you desire!

After preparing the meat, noodles, and veggies, we put everything in a baking pan, lightly mixed in globs of ricotta cheese, and then added some extra cheese from the base on top.

This dish turned out DELICIOUS as my boys and my hubby all gobbled it ALL up!

This recipe is just an approximation to use as a guideline and can be altered to your tastes! 

  • Mac & cheese base, a block of mild cheddar cheese and a 1/2 cup milk for one box pasta.
  • Venison was browned and spiced using the spices listed
  • For the veggies 1 can of tomatoes, one small onion and 1 large pepper.
  • Ricotta approximately 1 cup.
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • chili powder.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

I would love to hear your families favorite “throw-together dinner” recipes!

Baked Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Broccoli

quinoa casserole

Real food meets comfort food in this baked Quinoa dish. Casseroles are often are filled with unhealthy ingredients and fat, but this one features all real food ingredients. The chicken and quinoa are loaded with protein and the veggies add the extra bit of vitamins to make this a completely healthy dish!

baked quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded (rotisserie chicken breast is fine)
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup green onions + more for garnish, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 3 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
  • Coconut oil cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Cook quinoa as per package instructions. Add to a large mixing bowl along with chicken and cooked broccoli, and mix to combine.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, green onions, oregano, basil, diced tomatoes, and olives; cook another 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes mixture to the quinoa mixture and combine. Add 1½ cup cheese and mix to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to a baking dish and press on it gently to flatten. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with additional green onions. Serve warm.