If your toddler loves meatballs as much as mine does, then you are going to love today's post. I was looking for a way to add some veggies to a standard meatball recipe and after mulling it over for a while, I realized that since we love the flavor combination of sausage and sweet potato, I could use that as a starting point for meatballs.
We actually had meatballs for my daughter's first birthday because she has always loved them so much. And these, while having a different flavor than classic Italian-style ones, are familiar enough to still be accepted easily at dinnertime. The recipe uses only a half pound of meat and a full cup of sweet potato so you get the flavor of the sausage, as well as the moisture and nutrition from the sweet potato.
We've eaten them plain, along with simple side dishes, or the more expected way with pasta sauce—like our Veggie-Loaded Marinara Sauce—and noodles. They hold up well as leftovers, so you could send one in a lunch (or even slice it into a salad or a sandwich for yourself!)
I bake these meatballs and make one change from how I normally cook them—I place them on a rack. Sausage tends to have more fat than ground beef, so this way, it drains off of the meatballs. You can cook them straight on the pan, but be sure to drain them on a paper towel-lined plate before serving or tossing with sauce.
Sweet Potato Sausage Meatballs
I use cornmeal in my meatballs to make them gluten-free, but you could use regular breadcrumbs (either plain or Italian-flavored) instead. Start with the lower amount of 1/2 cup and add a little bit more at a time until the mixture holds together easily.
Makes: about 15
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup grated sweet potato
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2-3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then top with a baking rack. Spray with nonstick spray or wipe down with canola oil and a paper towel. Set aside.
2. Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl with clean hands. Start with 1/2 cup cornmeal and add more as needed to create a mixture that easily holds together in a ball shape. Form into golf ball size balls and place onto the prepared baking rack. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate if desired. (Most of the fat drains off onto the foil, but you may still want to roll them around on a paper towel before serving.)
Use breadcrumbs instead of cornmeal.
Add freshly minced parsley.
Try ground turkey or chicken.