Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Applesauce Meatballs

Hi everyone! Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great holiday. I know I sure did. I was hoping to post a few pics from my trip, but between shuffling to my parents house, LA, and the ski house, I seemed to have misplaced my USB cord for the time being. So the photos and vacay recap will have to wait. 

While I was at the gym today, it dawned on me that the reason it was so crowded because everyone is trying to get in shape and keep their resolutions for the new year. I try to go to the gym everyday, so next year, remind me that I should resolve to stop going for the first two weeks of January until everyone gives up and stays home on the couch in their sweats watching a Real Housewives marathon. Then I won't have to wait in line to use the elliptical. 

But I digress.

For those of you looking to get in shape/eat healthier in 2012, I applaud you and sincerely hope you stick with it...at least until all the good chocolate shows up for Valentine's day. (Confession: I don't really like chocolate. I realize its possible I'm not human.)

To help you with your goals, I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite recipes: applesauce meatballs. While it's not exactly "diet" food, It's both comforting for these long winter months and lower in fat than regular meatballs because there is no eggs or cheese. It's also great recipe for people who are allergic to eggs or dairy. You might even consider these "gluten" free because there are no breadcrumbs...though I am not entirely sure all of the other ingredients are free of gluten, so don't quote me on that. 

This is also a recipe that has been passed down in my family from my grandmother and one of my father's favorite meals. It's as simple as it it is delicious which is what makes it so decidedly preppy. Lets get started, shall we?

In a large bowl (pink if you have it!) mix together 1 pound of ground beef (as lean or as fatty as you like, but remember, this is the ONLY fat in this dish), 1/4 cup applesauce, and 1/4 cup of cornflake crumbs. You can crumble them yourself or you can buy the precrumbled crumbs found in the breadcrumbs section of your grocery store. Whatever gets your dinner on the table faster. 

Season with salt and pepper. Mixture should hold together well when squeezed and be neither too wet nor too dry and look something like this: 

Form meat mixture into small balls about 1 1/2 inches or the size of a golfball.
(The size of a golfball is actually 1.68 inches. You know, in case Alex Trebek ever asks.)

Place all the meatballs in a large baking dish and add the "secret" ingredient.

If you are a food snob, you are going to want to look away. I am talking to you, Margaret Courtney.

Condensed tomato soup! The horror! 

You can use reduced sodium if you are into that kind of thing. It won't hurt at all. You could also use canned tomato "sauce" (not the jarred marinara sauce). I never do, but my mom does. This will only hurt a little.

Spoon the tomato soup over top (Do NOT add water to the soup) and transfer baking dish to a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

Serve with egg noodles, rice, or just by their lonesome if you are cutting back on carbs. Just be sure to scoop some of the yummy pan sauce over the meatballs before serving. 


Applesauce Meatballs
Serves 4

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup cornflake crumbs
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
Cooked egg noodles or rice, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together beef, applesauce, and cornflake crumbs. Season with salt and pepper; mix until just combined. 

3. Form meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place in a large baking dish. Spoon condensed soup over top. Transfer to oven and bake until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve with egg noodles or rice, if desired.


  1. Love this recipe! Thanks for posting it. It was super easy to make, and I even managed to find a pink bowl to mix all the ingredients ;-)

    I'm trying to cut back on red meat intake, so I swapped out the ground beef for ground turkey. (Shhh, don't tell Grandma!). Still yummy, and Bryan gave it his stamp of approval, as well.