Spaghetti & Meatballs Muffin Bites
Game Day—it’s almost here! Do you know what you’re serving? Past experience tells me appetizers score big with family and friends and these spaghetti and meatball bites make the cut. The spaghetti muffin nests are a novel way to serve mini meatballs and you use cupcake pans or mini muffin cups to make this fun recipe. And yes, these muffin bites really are finger foods!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon basil (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano (optional)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- olive oil, to cook in pan
- 1 jar Ragu® Traditional Sauce
SPAGHETTI CUP INGREDIENTS
- 8 ounces spaghetti, regular or thin, broken into 3 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded/from jar
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2-3 egg whites (I only used 2)
Extra mozzarella or Parmesan, to garnish (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and salt/pepper. Mix well and roll into 1 inch balls (or ½ inch if making mini spaghetti cups).
2. Using a large skillet, heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high. Add meatballs and brown all sides. You will not have to cook the meat through.
- In a large sauce pan, add browned meatballs and Ragu®. Allow to cook COVERED in sauce over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times.
- While meatballs are cooking in sauce, start the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook broken pieces of spaghetti for 10-12 minutes (or per package directions). Drain the spaghetti; set aside to cool. You don’t want noodles to be TOO HOT to handle so run them under cold water to cool or place them in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk egg whites and then add to cooled pasta. Stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses until combined.
- Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan (or a mini pan if you want smaller portions to go a long way) with cooking spray, and place about 1/3 cup of spaghetti mixture in each cup. Press down on the center and up the sides of the spaghetti with your fingers, forming a “bowl”.
- Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- When spaghetti cups are finished baking, allow to cool for a minute or so. Using a fork, remove them from muffin pan to a serving plate. When you are ready to serve, add a tablespoon (or a teaspoon if using mini cups) of Ragu® (from meatballs), a meatball and garnish with cheese.
Who wants to be stuck in the kitchen on game day when you could be cheering on your favorite team and scoring the new commercials?! Hop on over to Sam’s Club and stock up on their three-pack value of Ragu® Traditional Sauce (3/45 oz.). Although you know you can use Ragu® for a great tasting, traditional spaghetti sauce, it’s not just a one-trick pony. You can make all sorts of party recipes with a jar of sauce full of quality ingredients and great traditional taste, plus you’ll save yourself a lot of time.
For example, everyone loves pizza. Serve pizza bread sticks instead and use Ragu® and Parmesan cheese as the dipping sauce. Make sweet and sour franks with those little sausages by adding onions and brown sugar to Ragu®. Add hot sauce to Ragu® and drizzle over chicken wings for an easy way to make Buffalo wings. You can use Ragu® as the base for a spicy salsa by including corn, onion, lime juice, hot sauce and chopped cilantro—don’t forget the bowl of chips.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu®. The opinions and text are all mine.
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