Parmesan Meatballs in Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce
    Servings Prep Time
    4-6 20minutes
    Cook Time
    20minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4-6 20minutes
    Cook Time
    20minutes
    Parmesan Meatballs & Orzo in Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce (Lightened Up)
    Ingredients
    • 12oz orzo pasta
    Parmesan Meatballs
    • 1 1/2pounds lean ground beef
    • 1/4cup panko breadcrumbs*
    • 1cup finely freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/3cup dry chopped onion
    • 1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1tablespoons dried parsley
    • 1teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2teaspoon salt
    • 1/4teaspoon pepper
    • a couple splashes of milk
    Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce
    • 1tablespoon olive oil
    • 1tablespoon butter
    • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 small shallot
    • 2tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2cups chicken broth
    • 1 1/2cups milk(I use lowfat)
    • 1/2cup heavy cream
    • 2tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/3cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1/2cups shredded mozzarella
    • 1cup frozen petite peas, thawed
    • 1teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2teaspoon salt
    • 1/4teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes(optional)
    • 1/4cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, minced
    • 10 basil leafschiffonade**
    Garnish (optional)
    • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • fresh basil
    • fresh parsley
    • freshly squeezed lemon juice
    Instructions
    1. Parmesan Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (for easy cleanup). Add all of the Parmesan Meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until evenly combined. Form meatballs into heaping 1 tablespoon balls (approximately 40 meatballs).
    2. Lightly coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat to medium high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides (I did mine in two batches), drain on paper towels then line on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 -15 minute or until cooked through.***
    3. Meanwhile, cook orzo pasta in generously salted water.
    4. Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce: Whisk cornstarch with milk, set aside.
    5. Melt butter in olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 60 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 3 minutes then turn heat to low. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then mil (with cornstarch), then heavy cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer while stirring constantly. Stir in Dijon and dry spices and continue to simmer until almost thickened, stirring occasionally. Add peas and continue to simmer until thickened and peas are cooked through.
    6. Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted. Stir in fresh basil and fresh parsley, followed by orzo and meatballs, adding additional milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste.
    7. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, and fresh parsley/basil and lemon (optional).
    Recipe Notes

    *Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs and can be fond next to the traditional breadcrumbs. **To see how to chiffonade basil, click HERE ***Alternatively you can bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through without browning first. ***You can refrigerate raw meatballs or meatballs once cooked to make this a super quick meal to throw together later.