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Italian Meatball Tortes Recipe

Italian Meatball Tortes Recipe

With classic Italian flavor, these hearty dinner pies filled with tomatoes, mozzarella and savory homemade meatballs will be a hit with your family. Preparation takes some time, but the results are well worth it. &mdashSandy Blessing, Ocean Shores, Washington
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1-1/4 hours + rising Bake: 30 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup crushed saltines
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • 1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • 2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • 3. In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, oats, saltines, onion, celery and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook meatballs in batches until no longer pink.
  • 4. Meanwhile, place tomatoes and onion in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, herbs and salt.
  • 5. Punch dough down. Divide into three portions. Roll two portions into 11-in. circles; line the bottoms and press partially up the sides of two greased 9-in. springform pans. Roll third portion into a 12x10-in. rectangle; cut into twelve 10x1-in. strips.
  • 6. Place meatballs in prepared crusts; top with tomato mixture and mozzarella cheese. Make lattice crusts with strips of dough; trim and seal edges. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • 7. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. Yield: 2 tortes (6 servings each).

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 560 calories, 26g fat (10g saturated fat), 154mg cholesterol, 1119mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 37g protein.

Reviews for Italian Meatball Tortes

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justmbeth User ID: 1196484 216770
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2015

"Very time consuming but turned out great. Nice rainy day project :) My only recommendation would be to add a bit more sauce/tomatoes."

bbolster User ID: 3048147 187201
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2011

"This recipe was delicious. I brought it to work for a potluck lunch. Reprinted many copies of the recipe!"

jleathers User ID: 1169070 187469
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2011

"The whole concept is great, we loved it. Next time I would use my own italian meatball recipe. The celery and onion were still a bit crunchy in this meatball."

whoknows102 User ID: 3560285 168242
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2010

"The thing that sells this dish to me is the crust, I've used to on several adapted recipes and really adds something."

mommyoftwins80 User ID: 3177820 172740
Reviewed Mar. 27, 2010

"My thoughts on this recipe:

1. Delicious, but time consuming. I will make this again, but probably only once or twice a year and on a day I can devote to cooking. I may try to make it using pre-made refrigerate dough next time to save time.
2. Next time I make this I will double the sauce; maybe it's just my taste palate but it seemed the meatballs overpowered the sauce at times.
3. The meatballs were FANTASTIC. I will definitely use the meatball portion of this recipe for spaghetti, meatball subs, etc.
4. And to the negative reviewers, sure this may not be the healthiest recipe in the world, but it's fine in moderation. Don't you ever have pizza, dessert, etc? Balance it will steamed veggies and a salad. Plus, it is VERY filling, so one wedge will be enough for most people and keep you full for several hours."

laurieb123 User ID: 3341383 186205
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2010

"This was delicous! It did take alot of work so I won't make this often, but it sure was good!

This would make a nice dish to serve for company because it really did look & taste impressive!"

ohiocook User ID: 3758696 107198
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2009

"This recipe was fantastic (although very time consuming)! The home-made crust really adds an amazing touch, and the meatball/sauce combo was great. I used nearly twice as much sauce as it called for and the amount was perfect. Also, next time I'll probably bake the meatballs since frying them was a mess.

For those of you concerned with the healthiness of this recipe: Using an online nutrition facts calculator, I found that if you use fat-free milk (both regular and evaporated), ground turkey instead of ground beef, and part-skim cheese, there are 503 calories, 18 g of fat (6 g saturated), 144 mg cholesterol, and 1136 mg sodium per serving.
Sounds (and tastes) like a winner to me!"

charxoxo User ID: 3821093 168241
Reviewed Jun. 16, 2009

"I can't wait to try this recipe! It sounds fantastic!"

globalnaut User ID: 3430730 187465
Reviewed Jun. 16, 2009

"I loved the suggestion to serve small slices of this with a side salad and steamed vegetable medley. Sounds delicious. You could also make it healthier by adding some whole wheat flour to the dough and wheat germ to the meatball mixture. But it's a classic just as is.


Nansile User ID: 4144104 172737
Reviewed Jun. 9, 2009

"What a downer you are - Maybe you should just stick to healthy Living Magazine and comment on their food contests.  Get a life and quit trying to run eveyone else's.  There are real families out there with real friends and real food.  This is a contest about home cooked meals, yeah some of us still make everything the old fashioned way to feed our families.  Lighten up, knuckle head!"

Nansile User ID: 4144104 118313
Reviewed Jun. 9, 2009

"I made this with ready crust and turkey meatballs, my family loved it and so did I!! Get real America!"

furubafan74 User ID: 4062896 168239
Reviewed Jun. 9, 2009

"@Susan Chickess and Garay: It's not Taste of Home's fault the only good recipes aren't rabbit food and tofu. :P"

strabue User ID: 3379399 186204
Reviewed Jun. 8, 2009

"This looks like a great recipe to take to a potluck, or church dinner. What in the world is everyone else talking about? Aren't you just supposed to comment on the recipe?"

chalet29615 User ID: 4091411 186203
Reviewed Jun. 8, 2009

"I swear, some people are just always negative about everything!  Sounds like you are bitter because your receipe was not chosen Garay.  Please, tell us what you submitted, I bet it was Wheat Germ with a side of something green and full of tofu!  Yum!"

Hellann User ID: 1865873 172736
Reviewed Jun. 1, 2009

"This sounds like a recipe I would try for a cozy dinner party with friends.

Small slices served with a salad, steamed vegetable medley and crusty bread."

garay User ID: 3571833 145343
Reviewed May. 29, 2009

"Lindafra: we are all aware of the healthy eating recipe books. This is a contest, for Pete's sake that should reflect the healthy eating habits of today."

garay User ID: 3571833 102813
Reviewed May. 29, 2009

"This recipe lacks the main ingredients necessary to make a healthy meal: vegetables and fiber. But it has a great deal of fat and carbs. Is that the best you can do? Garay"

Lindafra User ID: 4119300 187102
Reviewed May. 29, 2009

"Let Susan Chickness be healthy, but not stop those that enjoy good tasting food. You have a book devoted to healthy eating. For Pete sakes, don't dictate what I like to eat."

Susan Chickness User ID: 3741284 184647
Reviewed May. 28, 2009

"I can not vote for any of these unhealthy recipes, sorry."

Susan Chickness User ID: 3741284 101528
Reviewed May. 28, 2009

"PLEASE Taste of Home choose better recipes. healthy ones. These are all unreal."

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