I know what you’re thinking right now. Cinnamon meatballs?? What the heck?? J said the same thing when I told him I was making them. It sounds weird, sure. But when you taste them, you will understand.
I, on the other hand, am not as big of a marinara fan, but I loved the sauce. And the meatballs. Seriously. Greek yogurt might sound odd, but it did amazing things for keeping these meatballs moist and holding all the cinnamon flavor. Yum, yum, yum.
I’m a big fan of meatballs, in many varieties, but these are up there near the top of the list for me. And once you try them, they will be for you too.
- 6 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 lb lean ground beef (I used ground chuck)
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup finely diced shallot
- ½ cup red wine
- 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
- ½ cup grated Parmesan (optional)
- Mix Greek yogurt and Panko together in a large bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Add beef, parsley, egg, garlic, salt and cinnamon to the yogurt mixture and mix well.
- Use a medium cookie scoop (or tablespoon) to form meatballs, and place on a plate or cutting board.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet and once hot, place the meatballs in single layer (you may need to do a couple of batches depending on the size of your skillet), and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until nicely browned.
- Remove meatballs to a plate while you make the sauce.
- Add the shallots to the same skillet you cooked the meatballs in (there should be some olive oil left, but if not you can add another teaspoon of it.) Cook for about a minute, then add the wine and cook another minute.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, and stir well, then add the meatballs back into the sauce.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Sprinkle parsley and cheese on top and serve with your favorite grain or pasta and veggie of choice.