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Baked Sour Cream Tomato Sauce Meatballs

You might think a meatball is a meatball is a meatball, but these meatballs aren’t quite like the ones your grandma made. These ones are moist and light and surrounded in a sweet and tangy sauce that’s just the right touch of creamy. They’re so full of flavor that they might taste like an all-day effort, but you’d be wrong, they’re simple enough to throw together that they work for a weeknight meal. (There’s no day-long sauce simmering on the stove here.)

We’ve gone with a chicken based mixture for this meatball, which is delicately seasoned with some traditionals like breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, and parmesan. One not so traditional ingredient is a dollop of sour cream, which we’ve substituted for the milk that you might see in a meatball recipe. This still helps to keep the mixture moist but also adds a subtle tang to the meatball itself.

That subtle tang is echoed in the sauce, where sour cream is stirred into jarred tomato sauce. (Though of course, you could make your own if you’re so inclined.) That little hint of a sour bite balances out the sweetness from the tomato sauce so well and somehow brings out even more of the tomato flavor. The meatballs are pre-baked for a bit and then nestled into the sauce to finish simmering in the oven. They might not be your classic meatball, but we can also promise that they’re not dry, bland, or boring either.

Sour Cream Meatballs

45 minutes to prepare serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 (29 oz) jar tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated (optional, for topping)
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Add the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix together.
  3. Form mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake meatballs for 20 minutes.
  4. While meatballs bake, mix together tomato sauce and sour cream in a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of sauce into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  5. Arrange meatballs in baking dish and pour remaining tomato sauce into dish, ensuring meatballs are at least halfway covered. If desired, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
  6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and return to oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!
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