Italian Meatballs

photo credit: primal kitchen chaos

Sticking with the WW Italian Food Recipes, I thought I’d share this outrageously delicious Italian Meatballs Recipe. Each serving has just 6 Points, which really is not bad, considering that we’re talking about beef meatballs here. Plus, this recipe makes 8 servings, so it’s great for a big family dinner or potluck. The cinnamon and nutmeg give the meat such a great flavor, and the sauce is so full bodied and delicious…no one will have any idea that this is a low calorie meatball recipe. Enjoy!

Italian Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients:
– 1lb extra lean ground beef (96% lean)
– 1/2 cup bulgur
– 2 cups whole-wheat bread, cubed
– ½ cup yellow onion, diced
– 6 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 3 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
– 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
– ½ cup liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp nutmeg
– 3 bay leaves
– 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 packet Splenda
– 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Directions:
Place bulgur in a medium bowl and cover generously with hot water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain in a fine sieve, pressing to remove excess liquid.
Meanwhile, spray a large Dutch oven with nonfat cooking spray and place over medium-low heat. Add the onion, oregano and ½ the garlic; cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. Stir in canned tomatoes and bay leaves; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and let simmer while you prepare meatballs.
Whisk egg substitute in a large bowl. Add the bulgur, the bread, beef, Parmesan, cinnamon, nutmeg, the rest of the garlic and the salt & pepper. Gently combine with a potato masher and/or your hands. If mixture seems too dry, add in 1-2 tbsp of water. Form into 28 meatballs, about 1 inch.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; blot with paper towels. Brown the remaining meatballs.
Mash the simmering tomato sauce with a potato masher to break down any large chunks of tomato. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Add in the Splenda. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 50 minutes. Serve the meatballs with the sauce, and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Entire recipe makes 8 servings
Serving size is 3 meatballs with sauce
Each serving = 6 Points

PER SERVING: 237 calories; 7 g fat; 20 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 5 g fiber

9 Comments

  1. Virginia Pelletier Reply

    I see this recipe calls for three 28 oz. cans of tomatoes for only i pound of meat. Is this a typo?

    • LaaLoosh Reply

      No, it’s correct. The recipe produces a wonderful sauce in which the meatballs are cooked, so you can use it over pasta or vegetables if you’d like.

  2. Accidentally doubled the cinnamon and it ruined it. Tasted like holiday cookies with tomato sauce. Next time will leave out the cinnamon altogether.

  3. Shay Prendergast Reply

    I swear I’m not a stalker, but I have been pinning your recipes for two hours now and am 26 pages into the site. Your recipes are creative and look amazing, and I cannot wait to try them! Thank you!

  4. These look great, but could I substitute just bread crumbs for the bulgur and whole wheat bread? Or what about quinoa for the bulgur? My son has Celiac Disease so I always have to convert recipes to be gluten free. Always a challenge to accommodate a gluten free diet with the Weight Watchers diet! haha!

    I too just found your web site, and love it! Thanks.

    • I wish I could give you a definite answer to this, but have no idea if your substitution would affect the taste/texture of the recipe. And I'm sure it would affect the overall PointsPlus value, so you'd have to recalculate the nutritional stats based on what you use. But give it a try and let us know how it goes!

  5. I found your website yesterday and made this last night. This was TERRIFIC. My son said "Mommy do you smell that, what is that smell? I love the smell of these meatballs, it is delicious." (he is three). Thank you for the great and easy recipe.

    • Too cute!!! I LOOOOVE hearing what toddlers have to say…..it's always the truth!!

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