Chimichurri Meatballs

Two Friday nights ago, I made Chimichurri meatballs for dinner. OMG was it wonderful!! Now, chimichurri sauce with grilled steak and some roasted potatoes is already really good but with these meatballs it was just that much better. I got the idea from NoblePig when I was searching for a summery meatball recipe. These fit the bill perfectly. We have a favorite recipe for chimichurri sauce that we’ve modified from a Bobby Flay recipe so I used that instead of NoblePig’s chimichurri sauce. And, I used NoblePig’s meatball recipe as a starting point, but of course I changed it some. I also served them separately because Son #2 is piii…cky!

 Doesn’t that look absolutely divine?

Being new to this whole food blog thing I almost forgot to take a photo of the meatball ingredients before I mixed them up. To make the meatballs combine 1 lb ground beef (I use organic ground beef from Costco), 3/4 lb Italian chicken or turkey sausage (take it out of its casing), 1/2 cup panko, 1 egg, 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (the whole scallion, white & green parts), 3 large cloves crushed garlic and salt & pepper to taste. I went light on the salt & pepper since the chimichurri is very strongly flavored.

Instead of frying the meatballs I baked them in mini muffin tins. I love the idea of not having to cook them in extra oil plus it’s hands off which gives you time to make the chimichurri sauce. I got THIS idea from Alton Brown. Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2″ meatballs and place in a mini muffin tin. I was able to get 43 meatballs out of it.

Don’t they look yummy? As NoblePig mentioned, these would be great served as an appetizer with frilly toothpicks. An additional benefit of cooking them in muffin tins is that they stay nice and round.

While the meatballs are baking, get started on your chimichurri sauce. You’ll need lots of herbs – an entire bunch of both flat leaf parsley & cilantro plus a half bunch of oregano. These must be fresh herbs. Some stems are OK since it’s going in the food processor but you want mostly leaves. By “bunch” I mean the amount that comes bundled at the grocery store. So, if you’re using homegrown herbs just guesstimate; it’ll still be divine! The parsley & cilantro are critical but if you can’t get fresh oregano just leave it out; don’t substitute dried for the fresh. Place the herbs in your food processor and add 6 cloves of garlic (we like garlic so adjust to your tastes), a sprinkle of chipotle powder, salt, white wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth.

I just love the vibrant green of the sauce.  It’s great in the summer with grilled food but would also be wonderful in the winter to perk up a monochrome meal since the herbs are pretty much available year round at the grocery.  I’m thinking it would do wonders for a rotisserie chicken.

Serve meatballs & sauce separately. I can’t believe we had NO leftovers!  Almost 2 lbs of meat and it’s all gone. THAT is the sign of a good recipe.

Chimichurri Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 lb Italian chicken or turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed in garlic press
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and form into 1 1/2″ meatballs.  Place into mini muffin tin.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  You can check with a toothpick; if it comes out dry the meatballs are done.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 bunch cilantro, large stems removed
  • 1 bunch flat parsley, large stems removed
  • 1/2 bunch oregano, large stems removed
  • 6 cloves garlic (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. It should be a strongly flavored garlicky sauce.

Do you like chimichurri sauce?  Have you ever made chimichurri?  Let me know if you try my recipe and what you think!

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