If you’re like me, you enjoy macaroni and cheese. And meatballs.
And as the saying goes,
Two rights make 180.
(Math joke, anyone? Just me? Okay.)
Well, you get the idea – two good things, when put together, make a thing that is even better than the original things separately. Cake and Ice Cream. Peanut Butter and Nutella. Chocolate and…Anything.
While this recipe was inspired by the lovely guys at Epic Meal Time with their Mac & Cheese Balls video, I wanted to put my own spin on it.
Instead of frying them, I went the “healthy” route of baking them. And then to undo that silly thinking, Tom suggested adding meatballs. Meatballs enclosed in a macaroni & cheese blanket? Sounds precious. And, more importantly, delicious.
So for Tom’s family’s Thanksgiving gathering, we decided to provide a couple hors d’oeuvres (I still have to Google those words for spelling. French. Bah.) and we set out to make these heavenly orbs or meat and cheese and pasta.
We learned a few tricks along the way while making these, as some parts were kind of difficult. I found that the entire process is best done with a partner, so make it a fun activity with a friend or significant other! Finster wanted to help, but I told him to keep his paws off our balls.
Alright, so here it goes; this recipe makes about 20 balls, depending on how big you make them.
Ingredients for balls (heh):
- 1 box of elbow macaroni
- 20 Swedish meatballs
- ½-ish pint of heavy whipping cream
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 package each of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese (or preferred shredded cheeses)
- Tin foil pieces – make each about the size of a piece of paper
- 3 smallish bowls
- 6ish eggs
- 2ish cups bread crumbs (seasoned if you like some extra flavor)
- Cook and strain entire box of macaroni. While macaroni is cooking, now would be a good time to thaw the meatballs. I just followed the directions on the package – microwave 1 minute for every 6 meatballs, turning after each minute.
- Pour macaroni back into pot, turn heat on low, and add cream and stick of butter. Stir frequently until butter is melted.
- Add cheese as desired, stirring continuously as cheese melts. (Note: Tom was cheese-happy, so we actually added probably half of each bag – about 8oz in total.)
- Turn heat off and let cool a bit since you will be handling it. With you hands. (Note: We didn’t let the macaroni mixture cool, so not only was it kind of hot to handle, it was difficult to work with and it didn’t want form into balls that would stay together.)
- Sprinkle some flour into the macaroni mixture, and stir. This allows the macaroni and cheese mixture to stick together more.
- Okay, here’s where a partner comes in handy. So while person A handles the macaroni, person B should have the pieces of tin foil ready. (Note: Although the size of the pieces of tin foil might seem excessive, trust me when I say too much tin foil is better than too little.)
- Person A: Grab a handful of macaroni and cheese and spread on your palm, like a blanket. Place meatball in the center of your palm and wrap in the macaroni. Squeeze so that ball maintains shape.
- Person B: Place piece of tin foil flat on palm and let Person A place mac&cheese&meat ball into center. Wrap so that macaroni is completely encased.
- Once all of the meatballs are tightly wrapped in macaroni that is tightly wrapped in tin foil, place tin foil wrapped creations on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer. Wait around for about 20 minutes. (Note: The longer the better. I know you’re anxious about these cheesy truffles. But trust me. Wait.)
- Preheat oven to 375ish degrees (F).
- Now it’s time to make the coating before baking. In one of your bowls, pour some flour. In another, beat a couple eggs. In the last, pour the bread crumbs. Grab your partner because they will make this part easier!
- Person A: Take balls out of freezer and begin (carefully!) unwrapping from their tin foil blankets. If they are not staying together, put back in freezer for a bit.
- Person B: Take balls and cover completely in flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. Place on a lightly Pam-ed (greased) baking sheet.
- When all balls are on baking sheet, place in oven for about 20ish minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool. (Note: I know it’s tempting to just throw them in your mouth, but you’ll just end up burning your tongue and then lack the ability to taste how delicious these are.)
Ingredients for cheese dip:
- 1 package (8oz) cream cheese
- 8oz sour cream
- More shredded cheese
- In small pot on low heat, stir together cream cheese and sour cream until there are no lumps.
- Add cheese and stir mixture until creamy.
- Serve with cooked balls. It’s easier to spoon the cheese dip onto the balls rather than actually dipping the balls.
So there you go! Overall, they ended up being a hit, so happy cooking and eating! Make sure you don’t eat too many of them or else you’ll ruin your meal! Unless of course you decide to make this your meal! Fin here had one too many, and ended up lounging on the couch the rest of the night.
If you try this out, take a picture and share it with me! If you found a better/easier way to do something, let me know! If you added your own twist, I’d love to hear it!
Also, we did not feed Fin any of these balls. I think he did get some Thanksgiving turkey though.