We kept away from sodium-heavy prepared ingredients, like ketchup and chili sauce, and included whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs, so you can feel good about this sweet and spicy appetizer. These mini meatballs are perfect for holiday parties and tailgating. To serve, use a slow cooker set on its warming setting, which makes a great stand-in chafing dish. You can also serve these meatballs for weeknight dinner (about 7 to 8 meatballs will make up a 310-calorie main course serving). And if you want to up the kid-friendly factor, omit the ground red pepper in the grape jelly glaze and serve alongside mashed potatoes (à la Swedish meatballs) or with brown rice. For a tangier glaze, substitute cranberry sauce for the grape jelly.
1 cup water
1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. olive oil
5 tablespoons organic grape jelly
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon unsalted tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Est. added sugars 4g
How to Make It
Combine water and bulgur in a small bowl. Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Combine bulgur, beef, and next 8 ingredients (through olive oil) in a large bowl; gently mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill 45 minutes. Shape into 39 (1-inch) meatballs.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange meatballs in an even layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring grape jelly and the remaining ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Place meatballs in a large bowl. Add the jelly mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
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