Moo Moo’s Baked Meatballs

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My grandmother was a superb cook and hostess who threw dinner parties with ease and grace. This recipe reflects her Midwestern roots in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

I have added fresh herbs from the garden and sparked up the sauce with vinegar, mustard and paprika. Panko is a nice switch from traditional breadcrumbs. Moo Moo usually made her apple sauce, but I bought mine at the grocery store.

Yields 16 good-sized meatballs, 4 generous servings


  • 2 pounds grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened, organic applesauce
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Beat the eggs slightly and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour.

2. Shape into meatballs, roll each one in the flour and place on a sided sheet pan.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you prepare the sauce.


  • 2 cups 365 brand organic ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, such as Colman’s
  • 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • zest of one lemon

1. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over each meatball.

2. Bake for 35-40 minutes in 400 degree oven. Serve over buttered egg noodles.

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