Tender, Gluten-Free Meatballs

photo from Epicurious
These meatballs have become a regular dish at our house - usually in sandwiches but sometimes with pasta. (I use brown rice pasta, and if you're gluten free I'm sure these would be good with rice too).  They are so tender that it made the perfect first food when my son was ready to move past purées (even meat purees can have a rough texture, as moms know). I use all ground beef but you could easily use beef & pork (or chicken/turkey which may not be as tender, so definitely cook them low and slow and do not overcook). I use oats instead of flour which is healthier and enhances the moistness. If you happen to follow the link to Epicurious, there's a sauce recipe included. I've only slightly adapted the recipe by swapping out the breadcrumbs and using a little more milk, and you don't even miss the breadcrumbs. I hope you love it as much as we do!


1 lb any ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or a blend)
1 cup oats, blended to a flour-like consistency
1 cup parmesan cheese, fresh or the Kraft kind
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1-2 cloves fresh garlic if you have it
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano, basil etc. (optional)

Stir together oat flour and milk and set aside.  Gently mix the rest of the ingredients in another bowl by hand (literally - use your hands).  Combine the oat mixture with the meat mixture, do not over work.  Chill for 10-15 minutes.  This is a good time to warm some tomato sauce in a large pan on the stove (and start the pasta if you're having it).  Form loosely shaped golf-ball size meatballs and add to the simmering sauce.  Simmer on low without disturbing the meatballs for 15 minutes or so, then gently turn them over and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.  Bon Appetit!  

If you do use chicken or turkey, please let me know how it turns out!

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