Can we talk for a minute about meat on a stick? This is not the carnival style version or boring old shish kebabs. These are meatball lollipops, people! And they will make everyone at your party come back for seconds– including the kiddos.
My grandma Ronnie taught me the best trick for tender meatballs while avoiding those chunks of onion and garlic and parsley that can sometimes ruin the mouth feel of the best bite. Instead of doing the work to chop and dice, simply pop the onion, garlic and the parsley together into the food processor (or blender) and pulverize it. You get a savory puree that gives the ground beef all of the flavor without all the chunks. Brilliant! Granda Ronnie was a baller in the kitchen– she LOVED making Italian food and I’m still working to replicate her sauce recipe.
You can sear off the meatballs in a fry pan before putting them in the oven, but I’ve found baking them is easiest and super low maintenance. You can also make a larger portion of the meatball batter and freeze it for a later date. Or add some variety to the menu and pop the meatballs into slider rolls to serve at your next party. They’re always a hit!
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 large sweet onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- handful of parsley (about a cup loosely packed)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan (not the bottled fake stuff)
- 1/4 cup tomato pesto (sub tomato paste if you can't find the pesto)
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 egg
- 1 Tb Italian seasoning
- 1 Tb garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper, plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- Lollipop sticks (you can find them at your nearest craft store like Michael's or Hobby Lobby)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Put onion, garlic and parsley in food processor or blender and pulverize until pureed.
- Add puree to beef mixture and fold in the rest of the ingredients.
- Shape into golf ball sized meatballs.
- Spray a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray and bake meatballs for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Flip over half way through cooking.
- Insert lollipop sticks and lay out on a tray.
- Spoon your favorite tomato sauce on top of meatballs lollipops (and more cheese if you'd like) before serving.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.