The Shabbat Table – Meatballs that Super Bowl fans will love to tackle!

(Flickr photo - )

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! The Super Bowl will take place this year on Feb. third and even if you’re not a football fan, being a food fan is perfectly fine! These marvellous meatball recipes are ideal for Shabbat and also make perfect party fare for the Super Bowl when you’re chilling out and watching the football game.

Choose a recipe that works for your needs—Mighty Good Meatballs are ideal for a smaller get-together, while Cranberry Chicken Meatballs are a delicious option when serving guests who are calorie-conscious. Honey Garlic Meatballs are absolutely scrumptious when you’re in the mood for Chinese food, and my Mmm-Good Meatballs (the name describes them perfectly) are always a hit when serving a large group.

You’ll score high points any time you serve any of these delicious meatball recipes—you’ll be a winner in everyone’s books!


  • Switch A-Ground: You can use lean ground turkey, chicken, or veal in any recipe that calls for ground beef.
  • Boost the Nutrients: Add grated vegetables such as zucchini, onions, carrots, or mashed, cooked or canned beans to replace a portion of the ground meat or poultry in recipes. Instead of grating the veggies, process them on the steel blade of your food processor. It’s a ‘grate’ way to sneak some nutrition onto your plate and boost everyone’s intake of veggies!
  • Handle with Care: If you over-mix the ground meat mixture, your meatballs will turn out tough!
  • Shaping Tips: Wet your hands for easier handling when shaping meatballs. Some people prefer to use a small cookie scoop so their meatballs will be uniform in size.
  • Store it Right: Use raw ground meat or poultry within 24–48 hours of purchase. Always store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator at 40ºF or lower.
  • Freeze it Right: You can freeze raw ground meat or poultry for 2–3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, calculating approximately 6 hours per pound.
  • Frozen Assets: Cooked meatballs can be frozen for approximately 3 months if stored in an airtight container.



Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

They’ll never guess that the sauce for these scrumptious meatballs is made with diet cola and barbecue sauce! These do double-duty as a main dish or appetizer. The recipe makes a small batch, but if you’re expecting a crowd, it’s very easy to double the recipe (see below)!



1 lb/500 g lean ground beef (or ground veal, chicken, or turkey)

1 large egg (or 2 egg whites)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic (about 1 tsp minced)

1/4 cup rolled oats or matzo meal

2 Tbsp barbecue sauce

3 to 4 Tbsp water



1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup barbecue sauce

3/4 cup diet cola


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix lightly. Wet your hands and shape the mixture into 1-inch balls. Arrange in a single layer in prepared baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, combine peppers, onion, mushrooms, barbecue sauce, and cola; mix well. Pour sauce mixture over and around meatballs.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour or until sauce is bubbly and meatballs are cooked through.

Yield: About 40 meatballs (4–6 servings as a main dish, 8–10 servings as hors d’oeuvres). Keeps for up to 2 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 3 months.


Norene’s Secrets:

  • No Barbecue Sauce? Use ketchup and add 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce to the sauce mixture.
  • Pick a Pop: Instead of diet cola, use ginger ale, 7Up, or other lemon-lime carbonated beverage.
  • Double Without Trouble: If doubling the recipe, make it in a large pot on top of the stove. Prepare sauce mixture and heat until bubbly. Add meatballs to sauce and reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.




Adapted from The New Food Processor Bible (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

These tasty meatballs can also be made with lean ground beef, veal or turkey. They can be used either as an appetizer or a main dish and make the perfect fare for your upcoming Super Bowl party!



2 lb/1 kg lean minced chicken

1 medium onion, cut into chunks

1 medium carrot, cut into chunks

1 stalk celery, cut into chunks

1 egg

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup dried bread crumbs or matzo meal (or use gluten-free crumbs)



2 cans (14 oz. each) jellied cranberry sauce

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups tomato sauce


  1. Meatballs: Place minced chicken in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process onion, carrot, and celery until minced. Add egg, salt, garlic powder, and pepper and process a few seconds longer. Add with crumbs to minced chicken and mix until combined.
  3. Wet your hands and form mixture into small meatballs about 1-inch in diameter. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350ºF oven for 25–30 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a large sprayed casserole.
  5. Sauce: Place cranberry sauce and cinnamon in processor. Add tomato sauce through feed tube while machine is running. Process until blended. Pour over meatballs.
  6. Bake, covered, at 350ºF for 1 hour, basting occasionally.

Yield: Makes 10-12 servings as an appetizer or 6 servings as a main course. Reheats and/or freezes well.

Slow Cooker Method: At the end of Step 4, transfer baked meatballs to the sprayed insert of a slow cooker. Prepare sauce as directed and pour over meatballs. Cook, covered, on High for 1 hour. Then cook on Low for 4 hours (for small meatballs), or 5–6 hours for larger meatballs.




Adapted from Healthy Helpings (originally published as MealLeaniYumm!) by Norene Gilletz (Whitecap)

When I lived in Montreal, these meatballs were a huge hit with my catering clients. They’re absolutely addictive! Adding club soda to the meat mixture produces a light-textured meatball.


2 lb/1.8 kg lean ground turkey, chicken, beef or veal

1 egg (or 2 egg whites)

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup club soda or water (approx.)

1/2 cup bread crumbs or matzo meal


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Meatballs: Combine all ingredients for meat mixture and mix lightly.
  3. Wet your hands and shape mixture into small meatballs. Arrange them on baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, until firm.


Honey Garlic Sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp molasses

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tsp Oriental sesame oil


  1. Honey Garlic Sauce: Combine soy sauce, water, brown sugar, honey, molasses, and garlic in a large pot and mix well. Heat until simmering.
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in orange juice and stir into simmering sauce along with sesame oil.
  3. When sauce is bubbling and thickened, add meatballs. Simmer, partially covered, for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes about 5 dozen meatballs (8–10 servings). These reheat and/or freeze well.





Adapted from The New Food Processor Bible (Whitecap) by Norene Gilletz

These fantastic meatballs make a big batch so they’re perfect for any party. They’re so versatile—cook them in a slow cooker, on top of the stove, or bake them in the oven. They taste even better reheated!



1 jar (9 oz/250 ml) grape jelly

2 cans (28 oz/796 ml each) tomatoes

1 can (19 oz/540 ml) tomato juice

1/2 cup honey or brown sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt to taste



2 cloves garlic

4 slices bread, torn into chunks

4 lb/1.8 kg lean ground beef or veal

2 eggs

2/3 cup water

1–2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Sauce: Spray the insert of a slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add ingredients for sauce to the slow cooker insert and stir well to combine. Cover and cook sauce on high for thirty minutes, until simmering. Meanwhile, prepare meatball mixture.
  2. Meatball Mixture: In a food processor or mini prep fitted with the steel blade, process garlic until minced. Add bread and process to make fine crumbs. (You should have about 2 cups) Empty crumb mixture into a large bowl. Add ground meat, eggs, water, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine.
  3. Wet your hands and form mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Drop meatballs into simmering sauce.
  4. Cook, covered, on low for 8 hours.

Yields about 100 meatballs. These will keep for 2–3 days in the refrigerator. Reheats and/or freezes well.

Norene’s Notes:

  • No Slow Cooker? Combine the sauce ingredients in a large heavy pot. Heat slowly on low heat until simmering—stir often to prevent sauce from scorching. Make meatballs and add them to simmering sauce. Cook, partially covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Alternately, bake meatballs and sauce in a large ovenproof casserole dish at 325ºF for 2 hours.
  • Frozen Assets: After shaping the meatballs, instead of cooking them, arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen meatballs to heavy-duty resealable bags, seal tightly, and freeze. When needed, take them out of the freezer and add frozen meatballs to simmering sauce. Cook 8–10 hours in the slow cooker or 2 1/2 hours on the stovetop or in the oven.