Recipe for: Spicy Meatballs

 Spicy Meatballs
For the meatballs:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 large eggs
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
½ cup red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 9-oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ cup crumbled feta
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp onion
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
For the sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic clvoes, minced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
½ to 1 tsp crushed dried chili flakes
¼ cup mozzarella, shredded
¼ cup feta, crumbled
fresh basil leaves, for garnish
French baguette, sliced and grilled or tosted


Preperation Time: 20 Minutes

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Total Time: 60 Minutes

Servings: 8


Spicy, Jonathan Melendez, The Candid Appetite

Best paired with


1. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Mix with your hands until evenly combined and well-incorporated. Shape into balls (about size of golf ball), and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.

2. Set large skillet over medium-high heat with three tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, brown meatballs in batches for three to four minutes per side. (You’re not cooking them all the way through here. Just brown them, and get a good sear.) Transfer to plate or platter, and continue browning the rest. Set aside.

3. Either in same skillet or clean cast-iron skillet, heat another tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add onions, garlic, and jalapeño; cook until soft and translucent (about five minutes). Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes; season with salt, pepper, oregano, and crushed chili flakes. Lower flame; cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced by half.

4. Nestle meatballs into sauce, making sure to fit them into pan in single layer. Top with shredded cheese, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with feta, and garnish with basil. Serve warm with grilled bread slices. Enjoy!

About The Chef
Jonathan Melendez 
is a passionate food photographer, cook, baker, and recipe developer whose blog, The Candid Appetite, has appeared on such sites as Bon Appetit, People, Cosmopolitan, The Kitchn, and Today. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.