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Meatball Parmesan Casserole



Meatball Parmesan is a recipe that I love to make when I’m feeding a large group or just to meal prep for the week. I promise these meatballs are legit and with the first bite you will know that a good Italian boy wrote this recipe

Ricotta: my secret weapon for Moist Meatballs

Ricotta has been my secret weapon for any meatball or meatloaf recipes for years. It gives the meat a much lighter texture and keeps everything held together so that you really don’t need to use much of a binder to form the meatballs. Ricotta cheese combines with the meat much better than cream cheese or Marscapone. Meatball Parmesan Casserole feeds a lot of people and is great reheated the next day and day after that making this perfect for meal prep.

How long to cook Meatball Parmesan Casserole 

I bake these meatballs at a higher temperature so I can develop a nice crust on top of the meatballs. Because they are larger they can handle the higher heat without overcooking.  Once the meatballs crust has formed I top the meatballs with a generous amount of sauce making sure to completely cover the meatballs with sauce. This will protect the meatballs from the high heat as well as give the sauce time to absorb into the meat really keeping them moist and tender. After adding the cheese and baking until it’s golden and bubbly I recommend you wait at least 10 minutes before serving. This will let the sauce cool down and continue to absorb into the meatballs for maximum flavor.

No Breadcrumbs??? And you call yourself Italian!

I know this will seem Sacrilegious to some but using rolled oats is another secret ingredient that helps these meatballs stick together without turning out mushy or dry. It’s also a great option to keep these meatballs gluten free. If you want you’re more than welcome to substitute the rolled oats for seasoned bread crumbs but I promise this recipe is kid tested and Nona approved. If you are on a keto diet I’ve got you covered as well. I substitute Pork Panko Pork rind breadcrumbs. They’re a great zero carb substitution that I use for breading chicken tenders and all kinds of other LowCarb recipes.

How Big to Make the Meatballs

You can Make you're Meatballs as large or as small as you like. I went with Jumbo 6 oz. Meatballs because it takes less time than rolling lots of smaller meatballs. If you do decide to make smaller 2 oz size meatballs I found this Neat Meatball Scoop that will make the task more manageable. The Casserole dish i use is a 9×13 Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Pan. Its a really great serving dish because it keeps the food warm a lot longer than other casserole dishes.

Homemade Marinara Recipe



  • In a saucepan over medium low heat saute diced onions, garlic and olive oil until onions are lightly caramelized.
  • Add Tomato paste and seasoning, continue to saute for 2 minutes
  • Pour in red wine and canned tomatoes. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat, add butter then pulse with Stick Blender. You can Control how chunky or smooth as you prefer.

More Casserole Ideas

Meatball Parmesan Casserole


Meatball Parmesan Casserole

Course Main Course
Cuisine Casserole, Comfort food, Italian, Meatballs
Keyword Cuban Casserole, Meatball parmesan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 507kcal


  • 9×13 Oven Safe Casserole Pan


Meatball Mix

Additional Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 24 oz Marinara
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 lbs Penne Pasta Optional (served on side)


  • Combine all ingredients of Meatball Mixture. Make sure the fully incorporated but don't overwork the meat. Form Meatballs and place in Casserole Pan. Bake for 30 Minutes at 425 degrees F.
  • Carefully drain off any excess liquid then cover meatballs with Marinara, Mozzarella and Grated Parmesan Cheese. Bake For and additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let meatballs rest for 10 Minutes before serving.


Makes Fifteen 6 oz Meatballs. Portion size One meatball with sauce and cheese. Add pasta separately 


Serving: 6oz | Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 572mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition Facts
Meatball Parmesan Casserole
Amount Per Serving (6 oz)
Calories 507 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 165mg55%
Sodium 1049mg46%
Potassium 572mg16%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 592IU12%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 227mg23%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Japanese Grill night



This cook was years in the making. Inspired by cooks from @CPARKTX2 and @The Cen-Tex Smoker many many moons ago, I've had yakitori and onigiri on my mind,  for far too long. So, I dusted off The Japanese Grill book, checked out some other recipes, and got to work.

Onigiri, with miso butter.

Chix thighs with scallions, glazed with the yakitori sauce from The Japanese Grill book. Drumsticks glazed with an orange, soy sauce, yuzu kosho sauce. 

Shisito peppers, cherry ‘maters.

Had a decent spread…  from bottom left – yakitori chix, ‘maters, orange-soy-yuzu legs, shisito pepepers, ‘shrooms with bacon.

All chased with a fair bit of sake :) What a great meal! Relatively simple cook (the prep takes a little time), and the payoff is yuge. Would have eaten a bit earlier if I had fired up another cooker or two, but… lazy.

Caliqueen agreed that we need to do this more often. But, that may have been the sake talking.

By: caliking
Title: Japanese Grill night
Sourced From:
Published Date: 07/25/21

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How to Cook Over a Campfire



“To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world.”

Charles Dudley Warner

19th Century American Writer


Feeding yourself and other people during an outdoor adventure can be one of the most gratifying experiences of your culinary life. Whether you’re a car or RV camper, backpacker, biker, boater, or weekend hiker, you can eat exceedingly well. Food always tastes better when cooked over a campfire and seasoned with the Great Outdoors!

However, cooking and/or grilling under primitive conditions can be stressful if you don’t have a plan.

For starters, learn how to light a fire with a minimum of tools. If you own a charcoal- or wood-burning grill, you can practice at home, igniting tinder and adding subsequently larger pieces of fuel. (Click here for more specific directions.) If you are one of those gifted people who can make fire using flint or a bow drill, I salute you. The rest of us must rely on less romantic methods, i.e., matches. (I prefer the long-handled wooden kind.)

An ideal cooking fire has burned down to glowing, white hot embers. Allow plenty of time for this to happen—at least an hour, or maybe two. Burn additional wood on one side of your fire so you can harvest fresh coals for cooking. Neutralize potentially “hangry” appetites by offering no-cook appetizers like an easy charcuterie platter or pre-packaged snacks in advance of the meal.

Equipment: What You’ll Need

Space, weight, and your method of transportation into the backwoods will determine what your batterie de cuisine will look like. At a minimum, you’ll need:

  • A source of flame, whether it be matches or a butane lighter (bring more than one, and make sure they have a full load of butane)
  • Grill gloves
  • At least one skillet or saucepan large enough to cook for your group. If weight isn’t a concern, a lidded Dutch oven can be an asset, especially if it’s accompanied by a tri-pod.
  • A grill grate, preferably one that is supported by legs, or one that can rest on top of stones or green logs. Alternatively, angle similarly-sized green logs around the coals; they act as an impromptu grate.
  • Long-handled tongs
  • A long-handled spoon or spatula
  • Heavy-duty foil
  • Skewers or green sticks carved to a point for grilling meat or kebabs
  • Headlamp for late evening/early morning cooking
  • Flexible plastic cutting boards to use as clean work surfaces or for slicing
  • Sharp knife, preferably one reserved for food preparation

How to Manage Your Fire

Most campfire cooking utilizes direct grilling, i.e., food is exposed directly to the heat. Think burgers, hot dogs, whole fish, or kebabs. You can, however, approximate indirect grilling by angling food toward the fire on sticks or stakes, a method long used by the indigenous people of the American Northwest to cook salmon or other fish, or by moving your food to a cooler part of the fire and covering it with foil or a deep pot lid. You can create a multi-tier fire in the wild just as you can at home by raking the coals to different depths. (Always cook over mature embers and avoid active flames.)

If using a grill grate, allow it to heat up before adding food, especially stick-prone food like fish. (We like to pack a leak-proof bottle of olive oil or other cooking oil.) Flames can be tamed by raking out the coals or topping them with a layer of ash or dirt. Conversely, fanning the coals will increase their heat.

What to Cook

For me, the penultimate backwoods meal is fresh line-caught trout dredged in cornmeal and cooked in a cast-iron skillet by the Gallatin River. But the trout don’t always cooperate. So it’s a good idea to have ingredients on hand for “Plan B.”

Here are several options, from appetizers to dessert. (Note: Do as much prep work as you can at home before heading into the wilderness.)

  • Toast slices of country-style bread, rub each with a raw clove of garlic, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning or grated aged cheese, such as Manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Plank-Smoked Camembert: This recipe, always a favorite, is easily adapted to a campfire. You could even cook it on a hot stone near the fire.

  • Grilled Sangria: You’ve heard of “glamping,” privileged camping? This libation will set the stage.

  • Grilled Eggs with Prosciutto and Parmesan: So satisfying, you’ll want to repair to your tent or RV for a snooze before pursuing the day’s adventures.

Grilled Eggs with Prosciutto and Parmesan

  • Top prepared pizza crusts or Boboli breads with your favorite toppings and warm over a campfire until the cheese melts.
  • Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Trout: Remember Steven’s first show, BBQ University? It was shot on the banks of a stream, where our cameramen fished for golden trout when they weren’t working. Steven spontaneously added trout wrapped with prosciutto to the day’s menu. Genius!
  • Spruce-Grilled Steaks: An unexpected seasoning flavors these wood-grilled steaks.

Spruce-Grilled Steak

  • Dessert Quesadillas: We love s’mores, of course, but like to mix it up sometimes. Prepare these delectable quesadillas directly on the grill grate or in a cast iron skillet.

Dessert Quesadillas

The post How to Cook Over a Campfire appeared first on

By: Daniel
Title: How to Cook Over a Campfire
Sourced From:
Published Date: 07/13/21

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For the Best July Yet, 8 Great Recipes for the Grill



There’s no better month than July in North America to grill or smoke. With Independence Day entertaining now in the rear-view mirror, you can now focus on what you want to grill, whether it be a Beer Can Breakfast Burger for your fishing or camping buddies, fiery Nashville Hot Wings for a tailgate party, or Grilled Key Lime Mojitos and Jamaican Jerk Chicken for an authentic Caribbean blow-out. Make this a month to remember.

Beer-Can Breakfast Burgers
Savory pork, bacon, eggs, and cheese on an English muffin—this high-energy breakfast will fuel summer adventures for hours. They’ll be a hit in your back yard or at your campsite.

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Double-Grilled Summer Vegetable Frittata
Perfect for a weekend brunch or a weeknight dinner, this frittata features an array of grilled fresh vegetables that can change depending on what’s in season. Add meat, if desired—ham, cooked bacon, or chorizo or other sausage.

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Nashville Hot Wings
Incendiary Nashville Hot Chicken “takes wing” in this live fire interpretation. The wings get a double blast of heat from hot red pepper flakes and a cayenne-inflected baste. Said to be invented by a woman eager to take revenge on her tomcatting partner, her plan to turn his favorite fried chicken into a fiery weapon failed when he unexpectedly loved the very spicy chicken.

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Grilled Key Lime Mojitos
One theory about the origins of mojitos is that indigenous South American peoples made a medicinal concoction from limes, mint, and fermented sugar cane. Although a Havana bar disputes that. In any case, Steven’s version of a mojito, made with charred sugared limes, mint, rum, and club soda, will cure whatever ails you. Ernest Hemingway would approve.

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Cherry-Smoked Strip Steak with Cutting Board Sauce
If mastering the reverse-sear method of cooking thicker slabs of meat is on your bucket list this month, start with this recipe. (If you’re unacquainted with the technique, it involves a low and slow smoke with wood chips or chunks followed by a quick sear.) New York chef Adam Perry Lang gets the credit for developing this easy complementary board sauce using chiles, herbs, and meat juices.

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Were you aware that spicy foods actually help a body handle heat by causing it to perspire? Just look at the repertoire of hot foods in the world; they’re mostly from the steamier latitudes. Take Jamaican Jerk Chicken, for example. Steven’s version is super-authentic. Cooked over pimento wood (or alternatives), it’s a reason to party. Find pimento wood here.

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Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Golden Raisin Chimichurri
Line-caught swordfish is a summer staple in the Raichlen household. Though often served with grill-blistered cherry tomatoes and a green salad, Steven likes to mix things up by serving this meaty fish with a jewel-like chimichurri and golden raisins. Dinner party worthy? Hell, yes.

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Smoky Bourbon Peach Cobbler
This recipe, which came from our friend Russ Faulk, chief designer at Kalamazoo Gourmet, combines two Southern barbecue staples—fresh Georgia peaches and pecan wood. Ooops. Did we mention bourbon? Cooked in a cast iron skillet, it is a sublime example of cobbler and will wow summer guests. We’ve even been guilty of adding slivers of bacon to the filling. For more of Russ’s recipes, check out his book Food + Fire.

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Homepage Feature,Recipes,July Recipes,summer

By: Daniel
Title: For the Best July Yet, 8 Great Recipes for the Grill
Sourced From:
Published Date: 07/06/21

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