Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Baked meatballs with the added flavor of a powerful basil pesto and feta cheese.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Christian and I make a lot of meatballs. We like to eat “snack plates” at meals. These consist of things like a couple of meatballs, sliced fruit, vegetables (raw and cooked), a few olives, and small amounts of whatever else can be found in the refrigerator. It’s just more fun to have lots of little things on the plate. Christian also likes pasta, of course, so he made some pasta to go with these meatballs and the rest went in the refrigerator for later.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Minced Garlic

Christian minced four large cloves of garlic. This is a really handy tool for mincing garlic. It’s easy to use and does a great job. I suggest rinsing it out immediately after use so it’s not difficult to clean.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

It’s so easy to make beautifully minced garlic.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Mix Wet Ingredients First

Mix together the egg and milk with a fork.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Add the cheese, pesto, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper. With all that basil pesto, we didn’t feel like we needed any other spices or sauces.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman
24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

We like to mix the ingredients separately before adding the meat to ensure that everything is mixed well. If you add it straight to the meat, things are going to get stuck and you might end up with a lot of pepper in one spot. Or, a meatball of almost all pesto.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Baked Meatballs on a Wire Rack

This is a pan that I bought with a rack a couple of years ago. I like to use it for baked chicken wings, oven baked bacon and…. of course, baked meatballs!

I always line it with foil first because I use this pan often and I want to keep it nice.

Separate the meat mixture into 16 uniformly sized meatballs. You want them evenly sized so they will all end their cooking at the same time.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Now, out of the oven at exactly 20 minutes. Yum!

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Serving Suggestion for Pesto and Feta Meatballs

Serve over pasta with stewed heirloom tomato wedges and extra pesto, garnished with cracked red pepper.

24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman



Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs

Baked meatballs with the added flavor of a powerful basil pesto and feta cheese.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ground Beef, Meatballs, Pesto
Servings: 16 meatballs
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Christian Guzman

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk 2%
  • 1/2 cup Progresso seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 tube Amore basil pesto
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper ground
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • cooking spray like Pam

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • In large bowl, mix egg and milk with fork.
  • Add breadcrumbs, cheese, pesto, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add ground beef and mix well.
  • Line a baking pan with foil. Add the try and spray with cooking spray.
  • Divide meat mixture into 16 individual meatballs and place on tray. Bake in oven for 18-21 minutes until done.
  • Delicious alone or with your favorite sauce. Calorie count is per meatball.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal

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24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman
24Bite: Pesto and Feta Cheese Baked Meatballs Recipe by Christian Guzman

Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh basil pesto, especially when you grow the basil yourself!

24Bite Recipe: Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe by Christian Guzman

Here is the magnificent basil-making Aerogarden. Because I *love* basil so much, this will be going year-round if I can.

The Aerogarden is a water based system so there is no messy soil and it has its own grow light which means we can grow anywhere, anytime.

24Bite Recipe: Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe by Christian Guzman

It only takes four weeks to go from placing the seeds to a bounty of basil.

24Bite Recipe: Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe by Christian Guzman

We harvest the basil before it flowers. It can get bitter once it flowers. And, I feel the same way about spinach. I always use baby spinach leaves instead of regular spinach leaves which can also be very bitter.

There wasn’t enough basil to make a full 8 ounces of leaves so I supplemented with spinach leaves.

I cut all the leaves from the tough stems before processing. You don’t want the stem in your pesto. It’s not going to break down as quickly as the leaves and I wasn’t ready for all that roughage. There is such a thing as too much fiber! I draw the line at stems.

As you can see, the pesto is a nice bright green, unlike the darker color when you buy it in a jar. That’s the difference between fresh, raw pesto and the pesto that is cooked for preservation in the jar. Such a beautiful color and it adds such a pleasant touch to any dish when the color is so bright.

24Bite Recipe: Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe by Christian Guzman

I literally ate several spoons of this by itself before reluctantly putting it in the jar and putting it in the refrigerator. I plan on using half of it with pasta and diced chicken. I’ll use the other half as the sauce on a pizza. Yum!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh basil pesto, especially when you grow the basil yourself!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Basil, Pesto, Spinach
Servings: 14 servings
Calories: 130kcal
Author: Christian Guzman

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Pine nuts
  • 8 ounces Basil and Baby Spinach leaves washed and pat dry
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper ground

Instructions

  • Place the chopping blade in the food processor and process the pine nuts until finely chopped.
  • Add enough basil and spinach leaves to fill the processor bowl and process until finely chopped. Continue adding more leaves to bowl to process further, until all leaves are in the bowl and processed.
  • Remove the pusher from the sleeve at the top of the processor and while the blade is still processing, slowly pour in the olive oil.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and pepper and pulse lightly until well mixed.

Notes

You can use all basil (or all spinach) in this recipe, if you prefer. The spinach is added only to supplement and bring the measurement up to the eight ounces total.
This recipe makes about 14 ounces of pesto. Calorie count is by ounce (two tablespoons).

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal

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24Bite Recipe: Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe by Christian Guzman
24Bite Recipe: Cooking with Christian Guzman