Italian appetizers never tasted so good! Big beef & pork meatballs, stuffed with mozzarella cheese, wrapped in bacon, and drizzled with maple balsamic sauce are all you need to get the party started!
MEATBALLS and BACON!
Is there a greater marriage in the world of carnivores than beef + bacon? I really think not. Unless you add some ooey gooey melty cheese to the combo, in which case you’d better be eating spinach salads and drinking water for the rest of your daily meals.
You know…because you aren’t going to want to stop eating these Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Meatballs with Maple Balsamic Sauce.
I just can’t imagine a plate of old-fashioned spaghetti without a healthy pile of marinara-soaked meatballs mounded on top.
It’s just part of who I am as an unabashed meat-eater. I’m a fruit and veggie superfan, am a sucker for whole grains…there’s really no food group I don’t welcome in my diet with open arms. But when it comes to ongoing love affairs, meat and I go way back.
I totally admire vegans. I’m just not sure I could ever pass up a juicy burger or a plate of chicken wings, no matter how much I truly love animals.
And these meatballs. Holy hell.
You’ve all had the slow cooker appetizer version, right? Previously frozen meatballs, simmered in grape jelly tainted chili or BBQ sauce? The ones found at every Superbowl party and baby shower this side of the American continent.
Yep. These are absolutely nothing like them.
With a little time, a little work, a little patience, and a lot of appetite, these little guys can be in your belly before you can even say their long-winded name.
Try them this way first – with the super simple, tangy, and delicious maple balsamic sauce. The contrast of the balsamic and beef, paired with the symmetry of the maple and the bacon, makes for one incredible appetizer.
And then the oozy cheese, of course. Unnnffff.
This recipe makes a good amount of meatballs, so if you find yourself overloaded with them, they also make amazeballs meatball subs. Marinara, provolone, toasted hoagie roll…
Aaaand I’m drooling.
Or you could freeze the rest for next week’s spaghetti dinner. You may never top your pasta with normal meatballs again.
And you definitely won’t go back to the mushy, frozen ones. I gey-ruhn-tee it.
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
- 8 oz. package Mozzarella Pearls
- ¾ lb. bacon, cut in half
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray and set it near your work area.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Add beef and sausage and, using your hands, mix ingredients until just combined without overworking meat.
- Use a 2-Tablespoon scoop to portion meat, placing a Mozzarella ball inside and rolling into a ball. Repeat with each portion, setting them on the roasting pan.
- Wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Place each on the broiler pan and bake 30-40 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
- While meatballs are baking, prepare your sauce. Combine balsamic and maple syrup in a small saucepan set over low heat. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook 3-4 minutes until sauce is reduced. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Drizzle maple balsamic sauce over warm meatballs and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Can’t get enough meatballs? Take a look at these other amazing recipes from the #SundaySupper folks!
- Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Meatballs with Maple Balsamic Sauce from The Crumby Cupcake
- Cheesy Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs from The Weekend Gourmet
- Crab Cake Mini Meatballs with Tartar Sauce from The Texan New Yorker
- Garlicky Shrimp Meatballs from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Grilled Korean Meatballs from Palatable Pastime
- Saucy Thai Meatballs from Brunch-n-Bites
- Slow Cooker Turkey Appetizer Jelly Meatballs from Noshing With The Nolands
- Stuffed Meatballs from The Freshman Cook
- Tofu Nuggets from NinjaBaker
- Turkey Meatballs in Orange Sauce from Pine Needles In My Salad
- Turkey Meatballs with Spinach and Goat Cheese from Our Good Life
- Russian Meatball Soup from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Main Dish Meatballs:
- All-Purpose Meatballs from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Baked Meatballs with Swiss Chard from And She Cooks
- Bourbon Baked Bean Meatballs from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Cheesy Italian Meatball Sandwich from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Chicken Parmesan Meatball Casserole from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Deep Dish Skillet Meatball Pizza from From Gate to Plate
- Fightin’ Irish Balls from Monica’s Table
- General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Grandma’s Italian Meatball Subs from Family Around The Table
- Hamballs from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Kefta Mkaouara (Moroccan Meatballs Tagine) from Curious Cuisiniere
- Keftedakia (Greek-style Meatballs) from Tramplingrose
- Kofte-Style Lamb Meatballs in a Tomato-Pepper Sauce from Caroline’s Cooking
- Meatball Subs from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce from MyGourmetConnection
- Orecchiette and Meatball Skillet Dinner from Momma’s Meals
- Persian Lamb Meatballs from Food Lust People Love
- Portuguese Meatballs in Garlicky Wine Sauce from Family Foodie
- Roasted Vegetable Meatballs from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Slow Cooker Meatball Stew from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Slow Cooker Spanish Meatballs from The Chef Next Door
- Sriracha Sesame Turkey Meatballs from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Sun Dried Tomato & Bulgarian Feta Chicken Meatballs over Lemon-Spinach Orzo From Simply Healthy Family
- Swedish Meatballs (Frikadeller) from Feeding Big
- Swedish Meatballs with Zucchini Ribbons from Angels Home Sweet Homestead
- Sweet & Sour Freezer to Slow-Cooker Meatballs from Wholistic Woman
- Tajine-el-Khoukh (Algerian Stuffed Peaches) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Thai Meatball Lettuce Wraps from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Thai Spaghetti and Meatballs from Kitchen Gidget
- Thai Red Curry Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce from kimchi MOM
- Ultimate Pasta & Meatballs from MealDiva
- Brownie Meatballs with Frosting Spaghetti from Pies and Plots
Plus Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and More Amazing Meatball Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
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