Healthy, Recipes

Keto Meatball Casserole

Juicy, flavorful meatballs cooked until golden and then covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

If you are looking for a new dinner this Keto Meatball Casserole should be it. 

I love this keto friendly meatball casserole because it’s really simple to make and delicious.  It’s also great for meal prep!

I took my grandparent’s meatball recipe, made a couple of changes to make these keto/low carb meatballs. They make epic leftovers… so great for meal prepping! 

The Meat

My personal favorite meat combo when it comes to meatballs is a fifty-fifty of ground beef and Italian sausage. 

The Breadcrumbs

As you know, meatballs traditionally call for breadcrumbs for the binder. It’s purpose is to add moisture and keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking and becoming tough. I used crushed pork rinds! They work surprisingly well in lieu of breadcrumbs and they really play up the flavors.

To Pan-fry or to bake?

This is a great debate between Italian cooks – whether meatballs should be baked or pan fried. 

I grew up watching my grandmother, Meme pan-fry her meatballs. So in this house, we pan fry! Pan frying meatballs produces superior caramelization and a flavorful outer crust. You really do get the best flavor. 

Having said that, you can definitely bake up these too. 

The Sauce

Nothing fancy here, just simple and delicious! One can of crushed tomatoes and ¼ cup of red wine, I recommend Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cheese

You choose the shredded cheese… Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar… I personally like a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. 

Serve warm on top of zucchini noodles or your with a side of your favorite vegetable. 

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup grated or shredded parmesan
  • 2/3 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt and Pepper

Casserole Ingredients:

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix thoroughly. 

Make about 24 meatballs

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat. (I used my cast iron skillet)

Drizzle one tablespoon in the skillet. 

Place meatballs into the skillet and cook for two-three minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. 

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, pour the crushed tomatoes and wine over the meatballs. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another ten minutes. 

Once the sauce is bubbling, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for an additional 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

Optional: I broiled for 3-4 minutes at the end to toast the cheese. Watch it carefully if you put it under the broiler. The cheese can burn easily.

Blogs, Recipes

Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken

Edna Lewis, known as both the Grande Dame and Grande Doyenne of southern cooking, she was among the first African American women from the south to write a cookbook that did not hide the author’s true name, gender or race.

She was born and grew up in rural Virginia in an area called Freetown. She learned to cook from an extended family that included grandparents who had been enslaved. They didn’t have measuring spoons or scales, so instead, they used coins by piling baking powder on pennies, salt on dimes, and baking soda on nickels. This ensured the right amount was used in each dish. Interesting little tidbit: Lewis is said to have been able to tell when a cake was finished baking by listening to the sound it was making. 

She loved to use fresh, in season ingredients and characterized Southern food as fried chicken (pan, not deep-fried), pork, and fresh vegetables – most especially greens. She is a beacon of fried chicken perfection. Inspired by her pan-fried chicken, below is my pan-fried chicken recipe. 

She wrote and co-wrote four books which covered Southern cooking and life in a small community of freed slaves and their descendants. 

Dr. Edna Lewis passed away from cancer in 2006, at the age of 89. In 2014, she was  honored by the United State Postal Service with her very own postal stamp.

I encourage you to continue my research on Edna Lewis. She was an interesting lady with many talents! She actually made a dress for Marilyn Monroe!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. Chicken, drumsticks and thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. 

In a bowl or resealable plastic bag, place the chicken, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes and dried Italian seasoning and shake to coat the chicken. Cover or seal and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Pour 1/2 to 1 inch of oil into a deep 12-inch cast-iron skillet and heat until a pinch of flour sizzles upon contact (about 360 degrees F). 

Set a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. 

In a bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. 

Place the flour, a pinch of salt and 1 ½ teaspoon ground pepper in a separate bowl. Whisk to combine. 

Dip the chicken in the egg and milk mixture, drain off the excess, then dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Working in batches, place the chicken skin-side down in the skillet and fry for 3 minutes without moving. Continue to fry, turning the chicken every 1 to 2 minutes to ensure even browning and cooking, until the chicken is cooked through, 11 to 15 minutes. 

Drain on the rack and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.