Southwestern Breakfast Meatballs

Most of us have had our fair share of sausage balls for breakfast. Those traditional sausage balls with some kind of breading or baking mix stirred in (such as Bisquick… yikes!), may hold a special place in your heart but make a little room because these breakfast meatballs are deeeeeeelicious!

There is also sausage in this recipe but not just any kind of sausage – Lisemby Farms breakfast sausage, to be precise. Any of their sausage blends that have some sort of chili or hot pepper mixed in are so yummy but you can certainly use a different breakfast sausage or just plain ground pork, if you like. I’ve even used ground beef once or twice. You can order Lisemby Farms pastured pork products through Holy Cow Beef here in Lubbock. Holy Cow also carries a very delicious all beef breakfast sausage of their own that would taste great in this recipe as well. Otherwise just look for something hormone and antibiotic free at your local health food store. Other good buzz words to look for are “non-GMO” and “organic” and “pastured or pasture-raised.”

When you use sausage in a recipe you’ll want to check the list of ingredients and see what they’ve already added to it. For instance, is there any salt? If not, you will want to add a bit to your mixture. If there is, you may not want to add any at all. So feel free to change up the recipe to fit your flavor preferences. You’ll probably always be just fine adding extra onion and garlic!

As with any meatball, these can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until the next morning when it’s time to cook them or frozen for future breakfasts throughout the month. You could even mix up a batch in bulk and then bake them up one serving at a time if that fits your needs. I have successfully cooked frozen meatballs in the oven before without even thawing them first!

This recipe makes about a dozen golf ball – size meatballs or 6 extra large meatballs. Serve them with a fried egg (or scrambled), some sliced tomatoes and some fresh berries or grapefruit. Garnish with cilantro and salsa and prepare to be amazed. For a quick meatball rolling method, check out this video!

ingredients

  • 1 pound pork or beef breakfast sausage of your choosing (see notes in post)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder (more if you’re using sausage or pork that doesn’t have any garlic already added)
  • Half a yellow onion, small diced
  • ½ C red, orange or yellow bell peppers, small diced (preferably organic)
  • 1 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • NO salt
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce**
  • 1/3 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
  • **when choosing a good Worcestershire sauce always read the label. Look for something organic, if possible. That way, if there is any soy in it, it won’t be from a GMO crop.

fanci-fy it:

  • Add in about 1/3 C diced chipotle peppers (from a jar) in place of the fresh ones for even more southwestern flavor!
  • For even more spice add 1 minced jalapeno.
  • You can chop and mix your cilantro right into the meatball mixture if you don’t want to use it for garnish. If you love cilantro as much as my husband does, though, you may just mix it in and put it on top!

instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. If you’re using a glass baking dish, that’s fine, too.
  3. Chop, mince, dice or grate all your ingredients.
  4. Put the sausage and all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a large fork or spatula to fold and stir the mixture until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  5. Now, with a large lever ice cream scoop (or a smaller one – whichever you like), mold 6 large (or 12 smaller) meatballs and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet. See short video above for reference. You can always just use a regular spoon and your hands instead.
  6. Place meatballs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes for smaller meatballs and 30 minutes for large ones. If your meat mixture was very cold going into the oven you may want to give them a bit more time in the oven. Just check them by mashing on them lightly to see if they still seem squishy in the middle or cut into one and look that way. Just a note, a little pink is OK when dealing with pork or beef. Just cook to the doneness you prefer like you would a burger or steak.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and/or salsa. Add an egg and Enjoy!

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