Brie Cheese Stuffed Meatballs with leftover Cranberry Sauce is the perfect leftover Thanksgiving dish. Take a break from the turkey but use up some of the other leftover components from your meal. This is also a winner of an appetizer dish on the day of – and no one complains about the cranberry sauce.
Ooey and Gooey Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
I’m sure you’ve heard of them before but if you haven’t, let me introduce you to a little slice of heaven. This meatball dish is filled with velvety smooth Brie cheese and adds such a decadence to a really simple dish. If you’ve ever had Grape Jelly Meatballs the sweet and tangy flavors from the leftover cranberry sauce are very reminiscent of that common appetizer. With just a few steps and simple ingredients you can completely transform your Thanksgiving or holiday leftovers into a dish that adults and kids can’t help but love.
How to Make Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
Select the Leftovers: At my house we love Brie cheese. It’s always on the cheese board around the holidays. But you can easily substitute with cheddar, mozzarella, or whatever cheese you have on hand. It doesn’t matter if it’s cubed or shredded, both will melt nearly the same. Cubed is just usually easier to form the meatball around.
Create the Meatball: If you have a secret family recipe for meatballs, by all means use that. Our meatballs have always been really simple, and delicious, by using 80/20 ground beef, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and occasionally eggs. Either way, mix up the meatball recipe of your choice in a large mixing bowl and start to form pockets one at a time using about 2 Tablespoons of the meat mixture for each meatball.
Wrap the Cheese: Using a decent size cube, about 1/2 inch, place it in the center and pinch closed. Gently roll around in your hands to form a ball. Set the cheese stuffed meatballs on a 12 inch skillet as you roll them.
Easy Bake in the Oven: I find the easiest way to cook meatballs is by baking them in the oven. You don’t have to worry about rolling them, hot spots, or anything of the like. And with stuffed meatballs you want to fiddle with them as little as possible to minimize the risk of squeezing cheese out.
Top with a Cranberry Glaze: Much like grape jelly, cranberry sauce will reduce and become a bit sticky as it’s cooked. With about 10 minutes left on the meatballs, I remove the skillet from the oven and generously top the meatballs with the leftover cranberry sauce and use a pastry brush or the back of the spoon to coat them. Then return to the oven and let the oven do the work of creating a tangy, sticky glaze on top of the meatballs.
Common Questions About Meatballs
What to Serve with Thanksgiving Leftover Meatballs?
One of the beauties of this is dish is the versatility. You can easily serve this with a side of leftover mashed potatoes or stuffing. But you can also serve this as it’s own dish with asparagus, green beans, or as a festive appetizer!
Storing leftovers of leftovers might sound a little crazy but hear me out. You likely will have a load of Thanksgiving leftovers and even a few days after the fact, you may be all tuckered out from even your most favorite of dishes. Thankfully, you don’t have to toss those leftovers. You can use this recipe as a make-ahead meal for one month to even four months out!
To freeze these meatballs, season, stuff, and shape into the cheese stuffed meatballs. Freeze on a sheet pan until firmly frozen. Then toss into a Ziploc bag or vacuum sealer bag and back into the freezer. Freeze the cranberry sauce separately. The day before you’re ready to serve, remove both packages from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue the next day with the recipe as normal. Easy enough, right?
If you’re looking for more of a short term solution, you can of course save any leftovers in an airtight container within the refrigerator. Just use within 5 days.
Brie Cheese Stuffed Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce Glaze
- wooden spoon
- 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoon scoop
- Cutting board
- pastry brush
- 2 pounds ground beef 80/20
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- zest of half a lemon
- 4 ounces Brie Cheese 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and spices. Mix well.
- Cut the Brie cheese into about 1/2 inch cubes. Use a cookie scoop to measure out equal portions of the meatball mixture.
- Form a dimple or pocket in the center of the meatball with your thumb. Place the cube of cheese in the center and pinch the meat up and around the cheese. Roll between hands to form a nice ball. Place formed meatballs onto the 12 inch skillet as the rest are finished.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Halfway through remove the skillet from the oven and spoon or brush cranberry sauce over the meatballs. Return to the oven for the remaining 10 minutes.