These meatballs are seriously insane! Super juicy, super tender and loaded all kinds of deliciousness thanks to 3 meats and banana peppers!
I. LOVE. SUMMER!
Seriously! The heat, the sun, and all of the fresh fruits and vegetables! How many of you have a garden? Who all grows banana peppers? And hey if you don’t grow them, they are readily available at most farmer’s markets and grocery stores. All I know is you need to pick some up and make this recipes!
These Three Meat Banana Pepper Meatballs are everything AND then some! So tender and juicy thanks to the milk bread. The blend of the three different types of meats give it such a rounded flavor profile. And the addition of the chopped banana peppers.. fahgeddabout it! These meatballs honestly deserve a mic drop after one bite! They are THAT good!
Seriously I’m at a loss for words in describing just how amazing they are. Me… speechless? Is that actually possible? LOL But okay let me try to put my writer hat on (so not a writer by the way) and tantalize you with words other than for the love of all that’s holy people, make these! Yeah… kinda pushy but seriously.. make them. LOL Well okay don’t make them if you have a delicate tummy as I don’t want you to get a belly ache because you can’t handle the heat.
See I care *wink*
I’m sure most of you have had or heard of Stuffed Banana Peppers, right? They are sweet with some heat. They aren’t as hot as a jalapeno but they do have some bite. And yes, some are hotter than the other but for me they are the mildest of the hot peppers out there. Well these meatballs are a play on the stuffed banana peppers. Stuffing the peppers takes some practice as you have to make sure you put enough filling in but not so much that you split the pepper apart. Honestly, it can be a pita at times but they are so yummy. Well these meatballs allow you to have all of the same great flavors but without the pain of stuffing them. PLUS they are meatballs which mean you can use them in pretty much any dish where you’d use a normal meatball.
Just put it all in a bowl, mix and shape.
Here’s a tip to shaping meatballs that I swear by. I always keep a bowl of water near me and keep my hands wet as I roll the meatballs. It makes it so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands and helps you shape the ball. Once they are shaped all you have left to do is bake. Now some of you may fry your meatballs first but I’ve been finding better results in baking mine. If you want that ‘crust’ if you will that browning in a pan gives, just drizzle these with olive oil before they bake.
Once they are done the types of meals you can incorporate these in are endless. Since I have to watch eating pasta (it sometimes makes me sick) I love nothing more than a bowl sauce and meatballs! Maybe a grating of cheese over top and a couple slices of warm crusty bread to dip!
- Meatball Casserole (see the recipes notes)
- Meatball Hoagie – I use my Soft ‘n Chewy Hoagie rolls, slice them open, add some meatballs, sauce, cheese and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. PERFECT!
- Spicy Meatballs and Spaghetti – make these meatballs, boil up your favorite spaghetti and top with my Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce!
- Meatball appetizers – make these about 1″ round, bake and when done, top with a cube of mozzarella, broil for a minute just to melt the cheese and then add a toothpick/mini fork for serving with a side of sauce
When I first made these, our accountant was over the house. Knowing how much of a spicy food fan he was I whipped these up. I initially only made 12 meatballs for the 3 of us as these are not small meatballs. Yeah… they were GONE! Thankfully I had another tray on the counter waiting to be baked. He took them home then called me later asking for the recipe. LOL I told him the only way I’d give him the recipe is if he let me claim Mr. Fantabulous as my man-child on our taxes. LOL
So if you want something with a bit of heat, a whole bunch of flavor and that will quickly become a family favorite, then definitely head out to the store to get the ingredients to make these meatballs. You will NOT be disappointed!
Plus you can freeze these! The beauty of these is that you can freeze them unbaked or baked. Unbaked will last 2-3 months in the freezer. Baked will last about 4 months. I will par bake then freeze. This way when I want to heat them up I’m not overcooking them in the oven. I’m just finishing up the bake when I want some spicy meatballs in my life!Print
- 3 banana peppers, seeded and chopped small
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
- 1/2 pound loose Italian hot sausage
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 1/2 Tbl garlic, minced (~5 cloves)
- 1 Tbl oregano
- 1/2 Tbl parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 slices bread, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Xl eggs
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce warmed (or favorite marinara)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl add the milk and bread. Press the bread down to ensure all of the pieces are wet. Let sit for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the pork, beef, sausage, chopped banana peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, tomato puree, eggs, cheese and milk/bread mixture. Gently mix just to combine. The mixture should be wet but hold a shape
- Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray. Scoop enough meat mixture to form a 2” round ball. Place the meatballs on the pan and repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before plating.
- Serve this with my Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce and a side of pasta or as a hot meatball sub! See notes on how to make this a meatball casserole
To make a meatball casserole I baked the meatballs then added about 1 1/2 cups of warmed Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce to the bottom of a baking dish, added my cooked meatballs then covered. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and add a cup of shredded mozzarella and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Keywords: gardening, farmers market, vegetables, casseroles, meatball subs