You know, I was off to such a wonderful start with this one. I mean, would you just look at those perfectly prepared meatballs posing so nicely with all of their ingredients surrounding them, like a warm little meatball hug. This is usually a fool-proof, go-to recipe of mine (that I will get right next time to properly show you), and I killed it. Ugh.
You see, it’s an
interesting funny gross story, really. I got these prepped and then popped them in the oven just a bit before I went to get the little one out of bed from his nap. I should have had plenty of time to grab him, change him, and bring his cute little patootie downstairs to have a juice before the timer went off, telling me the glorious meatballs were done and dinner was solved. But. (oh, it is a big BUT) I open the door to that “cute little patootie’s” room……and…. poop. Just. Poop. Smeared e v e r y w h e r e. Holy crap. For real. Needless to say, I missed that timer… and totally forgot about meatballs.
Ok, so they were dried out. It’s cool.. I only paid $9 for that meat. They weren’t burned, so at least there is that. I was NOT going to throw them away, so I looked around my kitchen and did what I usually always do. I made up a casserole.
And crossed my fingers.
Not too shabby of a meatball-fail comeback, if you ask me.
So, here’s what happened in my head. I knew that I needed to add something to give it moisture. I also wanted to give my casserole some substance, because I just love a good, stick to your ribs casserole. I immediately thought of zucchini to solve my dry meatball problem, and I decided to finally use the darn butternut squash that has been staring at me from my shelf for a while ( I will not admit at this moment exactly how long – but it was still edible), to add that substance I was looking for.
And then, it just happened. It turned into what tastes like Thanksgiving stuffing, but with an unmistakeable meatball flavor.
Butternut squash just makes me immediately think of Fall, because that would be appropriate, and then I think of Thanksgiving, and then, well, stuffing. I am a fan. Who cares if it is June, 90+ (Hell) degrees outside, and I am sweating in my kitchen as I am making this “Fall” themed casserole? Not me. This girl is about to have some childhood-nostalgiac awesome.
What you need:
1 lb. dried up meatballs (you really could substitute all sorts of leftover meats)
1/2 butternut squash ( I actually used a bit less than half of mine… it was kind of big)
1 small to medium sized zucchini
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup almond meal, divided
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp ghee (not melted)
1/4 tsp dried, rubbed sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
sea salt and pepper to taste
3-4 pasture raised eggs, beaten
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease casserole dish with a bit of coconut oil, or oil of choice.
Peel, then shred 1/2 butternut squash and zucchini in food processor, then place in separate bowl.
Throw the meatballs and coconut oil in the food processor and pulse a few times to chop and mix well with the oil. As you can see, I didn’t bother to clean out the veggies.
Toss the ground meatballs in the mixing bowl with the shredded squash and zucchini and add about 1/4 cup of the almond meal, along with the remaining ingredients except for the ghee, then mix well. Pour into pre-greased casserole dish.
In a separate bowl, combine the ghee and remaining almond meal by mixing with your fingers until the entire mixture is soft and crumbly, then sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Now you will know the amazingness of paleo meatball stuffing. Yum!
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