This dish is one I find really special and comforting. It brings me right back to my childhood and reminds me of all the great meals my mom cooked for my siblings and me while growing up. Without a doubt, this was one of our absolute favorites — even today when we go visit my parents, at least one of us requests Million-Dollar Meatballs for dinner!
These delightful bites are spinach meatballs served with a brown gravy, which we typically serve over egg noodles. It almost has a beef stroganoff-like vibe, but without the mushrooms. This recipe would be perfect over mashed potatoes or pureed cauliflower, too. However you want to serve it, I have no doubt it will be a lovely comfort food for you and your family, and to that end, you're notgoing to want to skimp on the gravy!
The essential building blocks for this recipe (and for all meatballs, for that matter) are lean protein, breadcrumbs, eggs and seasonings. Lean protein prevents excessive fat cooking out of the meatballs, which can lead to dryness. The breadcrumbs help maintain moisture inside. Eggs hold the meatball mixture together when mixing and cooking, and seasonings make these meatballs taste great!
After browning the meatballs on the stovetop, use the same pan to put together the gravy. The broth will deglaze your pan and release all those delicious bits left behind, adding more flavor to your gravy. To thicken the gravy (or any sauce you cook), mix together coldwater and cornstarch to form a “slurry.” Bring the broth and seasonings to a boil and whisk in the slurry. It will quickly thicken into a light brown gravy – it’s almost like magic!
Some more tips about this recipe:
- Any lean protein works here, such as ground beef (90/10) or ground turkey!
- Thaw your spinach in the fridge! Take the spinach from the freezer and set in the fridge the night before so it will be defrosted by the time you’re ready to cook. Otherwise, you can microwave it for a few minutes to thaw it.
- Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the chopped spinach before adding to the meatball mixture.
- Keep breadcrumbs, panko or even crackers in your pantry for meatballs any day of the week!
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, panko or crushed crackers
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded, plus additional for serving, divided
- 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
- 1-2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) beef broth or stock
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- In medium or large bowl, mix ground beef or turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, spinach, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, until combined. Roll into balls.
- In medium or large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook meatballs, rotating every 4-5 minutes, until cooked through. Avoid overcrowding pan; cook in batches, if necessary. Remove from pan and set aside.
- To make gravy: In same skillet, bring broth or stock to boil.
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder and soy sauce; mix well.
- In small bowl or cup, thoroughly whisk cold water and cornstarch to form slurry. Mix into broth.
- Reduce temperature to medium and cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Plate meatballs and top with gravy. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Hi! I am Claire Jaspers, of @Claires.Table on Instagram. I live in Kansas City, Kansas with my husband, Austin, and our dog and cat, Teddy and Olive. I started my cooking and food Instagram a of couple years ago, as I really began diving into food and learning new techniques, challenging myself to weekend baking projects. In my free time, you can usually find me flipping through food magazines, reading cookbooks, and listening to the latest foodie podcast, in addition to exploring all the culinary corners that Kansas City has to offer. At Claire's Table, I share tips and recipes (and those baking challenges) to inspire and empower others to learn and cook in their own kitchens and love it as much as I do! I also love to share all the good eats around KC. I hope you enjoy this recipe and come check me out on Insta!