Cheesy Bechamel Covered Meatballs

I’m always looking for new ways to spice up and prepare old classics, so I was excited when I came across this Cheesy Bechamel Covered Meatballs recipe. Meatballs are always a win and are just as good as a ‘stand-alone’ dish as they are when paired with spaghetti. These tasty meatballs are packed with flavor, and the cheesy Bechamel sauce is delicious! This is a great, quick meal idea and always goes down well in my house, especially with a crusty loaf of garlic bread and a side of greens.

Many meatball-type recipes are included in the Apicius, an ancient Roman cookbook, and were also included in some of the earliest Arabic cookbooks where they tended to be larger (up to 8 inches in diameter, but generally ‘orange-sized’) and were often glazed with egg yolk and sometimes even saffron. Early Chinese recipes originated from cooking styles in Shandong province and date back to 221 to 207 BCE. Because meatballs are so versatile, there are many meatball recipes found worldwide. While recipes differ, a meatball is always made of ground of minced meat which is rolled into a small ball and often consists of ingredients including onion, bread crumbs, eggs, and seasonings. Meatballs are usually made from ground beef or pork but are also made from ground lamb and poultry, including chicken. This particular meatball recipe calls for both ground beef and ground pork, but could just as easily be substituted for a ground meat of your choice.

To make the meatballs for this delicious Cheesy Bechamel Covered Meatballs, combine your beef and pork along with parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and spices. Mix everything together and then roll into balls roughly 1-inch in diameter. If making as a stand-alone meal, these meatballs can be made bigger. Once your meatballs are created, place them in the oven and cook them until they are browned on the outside. Next, you make your Bechamel sauce.

Bechemel sauce, also known as ‘white sauce’ is a simple sauce consisting of white roux (butter and flour) and milk. It is considered one of the ‘mother sauces’ of French cuisine and is often used as a base for other popular sauces, including Mornay sauce, which is Bechamel with cheese. Bechamel first appeared in Le Cuisinier Francois, the foundation of French cuisine, in 1651 and originally included a large of amount of cream. To make the Bechamel sauce for this Cheesy Bechamel Covered Meatballs recipe, melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in flour, stirring continuously until the roux is a golden and smooth paste. While continuing to whisk, stir in whole milk and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until the sauce is thickened. I like to add a few spices to my Bechamel sauce, including garlic and onion powders or parsley to give it a little extra flavor. For the next part of this meatball recipe, you remove the meatballs from the oven, transfer them to a baking dish, cover them with Bechamel sauce and grated mozzarella cheese and return them to the oven to bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked, and the cheese is melted. The meatballs are best served hot from the oven!

This meatball recipe serves 4-6, but you might want to make a slightly larger batch since these are such a crowd pleaser. I always like to make extra meatballs and then freeze them as well. The Bechamel sauce is quick and easy to whip up, and since this Cheesy Bechamel Covered Meatballs recipe is always a favorite, I love having meatballs already prepared – that way if I’m running late or don’t have much time, I can defrost them and prepare this tasty dinner recipe in under 30 minutes. So go ahead and give this delicious meatball recipe a try – you won’t be disappointed with the results!

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