This Weeknight Italian-Style Beef Meatballs Simmered in Tomato Sauce recipe comes together easily for a delicious weeknight meal. Jarred tomato sauce works well here and when you’re done, I show you how to re-purpose the empty mason jar into spray bottle for DIY Warm Autumn Spice Room Spray!
Some meals are always saved for special occasions.
Usually if it’s just my hubby and I for dinner and pasta is on the menu, I whip up a quick tomato sauce with browned ground beef. Meatballs in my house usually mean a special occasion, mostly because I typically don’t take the time to make them.
But this recipe comes together fast enough to be weeknight-friendly, promise.
I generally try to eat paleo-ish 80% of the time, and paleo-friendly meatballs have been on my list of things to make for a while now. Here almond meal replaces the more common breadcrumbs that are typically found in meatballs. With garlic, onion, and Italian herbs, these meatballs are full of flavor. (In order to keep this full recipe paleo, be sure to look for a paleo-friendly tomato sauce or make a quick homemade version.)
Speaking of flavor, instead of baking or frying these meatballs, I simmer them in tomato sauce, which not only eliminates an extra cooking step (and an extra dish to wash), but also infuses them with even more flavor. Here I used CLASSICO® Tomato Basil, which is a tasty sauce and a great way to help this meal come together quickly. As the meatballs are simmering, you can cook up pasta or spiralize your favorite vegetable into “noodles”. Here I just shredded up some zucchini and quickly sautéed it in olive oil with a ladle of the tomato sauce that the meatballs cooked in. It’s quick and healthy, and makes a delicious bed for the meatballs.
And I’m sharing something special along with my meatballs recipe: a pretty fabulous way to upcycle pasta sauce jars once they’re empty! We all know about reusing glass jars for salad in a jar, smoothies, and storing coffee/sugar/flour/etc. in the pantry, right? I took upcycling to the next level here and filled an empty mason jar with a DIY scented room spray and topped it with a reCAP® Mason Jars Adapta Cap Sprayer.
The room spray I made is easy to make (it literally comes together in three minutes!), and smells like fall. I combined bright-scented orange essential oil with pure vanilla extract and warm cloves for a richly aromatic autumnal and holiday-ish scent that’s perfect for setting a festive mood. (Note that the photo shows whole cloves in the spray, which I used for visual effect, but clove essential oil, which is specified in the recipe, is a more practical choice.) Witch hazel or vodka is there to help make the aroma last; use whatever you have on hand because either will work. (I just want to mention, be careful when spraying linens or furniture to avoid staining.) If you make a pretty label for the jar, this would also make a lovely homemade gift…something to keep in mind for your holiday gift giving!
What’s your favorite way to upcycle a mason jar?
- 1 lb (450 g) lean ground beef
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (58 g) almond meal
- ½ small onion, grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or grated on a microplane
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb mix
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 (24 oz/680g) jars tomato sauce (I used CLASSICO® Tomato Basil)
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- For the meatballs, add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine (being careful not to over-mix). Form the meat into 12 meatballs; place them on a plate and refrigerate 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add all ingredients for the sauce to a medium-sized saucepan. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to simmer.
- Once the meatballs have chilled for 15 minutes, add them to the simmering sauce and cook 20 minutes. Leave the saucepan covered until the last 5 to 10 minutes so some of the liquid can cook off.
- Serve the meatballs with pasta or any kind of spiralized vegetable “noodles” you like.
Disclosure: I received the CLASSICO® and reCAP® products that I used in this post for free, and I also received compensation for this post. As always, opinions stated are my own.