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Meatballs in Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Last Sunday some friends had us over for dinner. Deb brought out this huge platter of elk meatballs and placed it conveniently in front of me. "Did I have to pass them around, I wondered secretly?" I could have devoured every last one! Well, after my raving about them she kindly gave me the recipe. The next day I went to work modifying. Her recipe called for catsup. I thought I'd try to cut back on the sugar, by making a catsup-like sauce using sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of honey. Here is what I came up with.


Combine and soak to soften:

1/3 cup SUN DRIED TOMATOES (dry, not soaked in oil)
1-1/2 cups boiling WATER

In blender, puree:

Sun-dried tomatoes and soaking water
2 tablespoons HONEY
1 teaspoon SEA SALT
1 small ONION


In a large bowl combine:

2 pounds ground BISON, BEEF or ELK
1/2 cup RICE CRACKER CRUMBS (easily made in a blender or food processor)
1 cup jarred mild SALSA (I used Pace Picante)
1 teaspoon SEA SALT
1 teaspoon ONION POWDER

Shape meat mixture into 2-4” balls using cookie dough scoop. Place in baking dish and cover with the tomato mixture. Bake 350˚F for 1 hour (or until cooked through). For crispy-top meatballs switch from bake to broil for last five minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 3-5 minutes.

NOTES: The meatballs are mighty good even without the sauce.

Reader Comments (5)

The meatballs and the sauce are making my mouth water! YUM! Also, I have the same plate =) I got two when I saw them at Marshall's and I wish I got more =) Still on for Saturday I hope? xoxo

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

PS Love your new photo!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I've been craving meatballs... but I can only have organic chicken. Could you replace the chicken with the beef? And could you use gf bread crumbs instead of the crackers? I'm so new at this, I need help? :)

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Michelle, though I haven't tried these with chicken, I think you will be fine : ) A mixture of ground turkey and chicken is always nice. The ground turkey is usually a darker meat with more fat. If you are going with ground chicken breast, add a tablespoon or two of safe oil or mayo (I use Vegenaise). The GF bread crumbs should be fine, too. I like the Brown Rice Bread Crumbs I get at my local HF store. Nice to have on hand for meatballs : ) good luck. xoLexie

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

I'm allergic to rice as well as gluten, can I use quinoa?

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbbi Miles

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