I’ve always been a fan of pesto sauce. My sister, Kristalyn, used to make a chicken pesto pizza which was one of my favorite meals for the longest time. I often order it when we go out to eat. However, I haven’t actually bought it for a very long time.
Well, during our trip to North Carolina, I discovered how much I loved having a bottle of pesto in the refrigerator. Forrest’s parents had some, and I found it to be a great topping for just about everything! Sure, it’s not super healthy and does have some dairy in it…but I didn’t care, because it was just so good (and no, I didn’t gain 10 pounds when we were there!)
So, of course when we got back to Denver, I had to buy a jar. And ever since, I’ve been coming up with yummy ways to use it. This recipe I’m about to share is not only my favorite way I’ve used it, but probably one of my favorite recipes I’ve created to date.
We were planning to have spaghetti for dinner to other night, and I decided I wanted to dress it up for a little bit. There was a pound of sausage in the refrigerator that needed to be used, and instead of just incorporating it into the sauce, I decided to make meatballs. I had never made sausage meatballs before, so I figured it was a good time to experiment. As I was making it, I kept throwing in random ingredients until I felt it looked perfect. And believe me, they were perfect.
I used some of Kraft’s lactose-free Italian cheese, bread crumbs, some different seasonings, and, of course, pesto to create these meatballs. They were very hearty, and went perfectly with the simple sauce that I made. I just took a jar of mushroom and onion spaghetti sauce, threw in some garlic and Italian seasoning, and let it simmer while the meatballs cooked. Everything tasted perfect together. These would also be perfect to use as an appetizer.
And even though pesto may be an ingredient children are unfamiliar with, these are definitely kid friendly. I added some extra pesto on top, but if you have a child (or maybe even an adult) who won’t eat green food, you can omit that. My brother, Michael, who can be picky at times, liked them, so I considered it a success. I didn’t give Jack very much of the meatball, since they weren’t totally lactose-free, but as you can see, he definitely enjoyed the meal as a whole!
Cheesy Pesto Sausage Meatballs
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 3 tablespoons prepared pesto
- 1/2 cup Kraft Italian cheese
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine sausage, pesto, cheese, and Italian seasoning and mix together with hands until well-combined. Form the sausage mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches wide, and roll in bread crumbs. Place on a well-greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cut into one to make sure it was cooked all the way, and remove from cookie sheet.
- Serve with spaghetti, or however desired.
- Serving size: 3
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips says
How cute is Jack with the spaghetti?! These look so yummy!
Thanks! It was a mess to clean up, but we sure got a few good laughs out of it!
Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life says
I make my own meatballs all the time, and never thought to put pesto in them. Hello, I love pesto, how did I not think of that? Seriously doing this the next time I make meatballs. Thanks Katie!
Definitely do! It makes them so much yummier!
That picture of your son eating the spaghetti is priceless!