I've relied on this recipe many times as a soothing finish to a hectic day...and since I usually have all the ingredients on hand, there's no last- minute rush to the store, either.—Judy Larson, Greendale, Wisconsin
- 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 3 slices process American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, egg, bread crumbs, onion and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls.
- Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan and bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink; drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine remaining tomato sauce with vegetables and seasonings. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until heated through; stir in meatballs and set aside.
- Place potatoes in a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Brush with butter and bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven; top with meatball mixture. Arrange cheese strips in a lattice pattern on top. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Midwest Meatball Casserole in Country Ground Beef 1993, p41
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