Brown Gravy Meatballs Over Buttered Noodles

gravy meatballs

I absolutely love me some homemade meatballs and I could drink hot gravy by the gallon so I thought to myself, why not bring these two delicious things together? Brown Gravy Meatballs over Buttered Noodles is a really warm, cozy meal that is perfect for the cool nights of autumn. It’s also really easy to make and the best part?……………it’s kid friendly too! What kid doesn’t love buttered pasta and meatballs? My kids devoured this meal and even asked for seconds!

To make the meatballs, I used my Italian Meatball recipe but I just rolled them smaller into bite-sized servings. I like to bake them simply because you don’t have to pay attention as you do when frying but if you prefer to fry, that is perfectly fine too. You can even make these meatballs ahead of time which really speeds up the cooking of this meal. Simply thaw the cooked mini meatballs and add them right to the hot gravy mixture to warm through. So easy!

In our house we LOVE gravy and when making pasta dishes such as this one my husband specifically asks for his noodles to be very “saucy”. Therefore, I like to double the brown gravy so we have plenty to go around and if there are any leftovers, they will stay more moist in the fridge. You can use beef broth in this recipe as well but I much prefer beef stock as it has a much richer, beefier flavor. Kitchen Basics® brand is my go-to but any brand will suffice. Lastly, add as much (or as little) red wine as you’d like, no need to measure and be overly specific here. The red wine adds a really nice, rich flavor to the finished brown gravy. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 1 lb of 80% ground beef or a combination of beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices white bread, crusts removed and moistened with water

For the brown gravy

  • 2 cups beef stock, divided
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • splash of red wine

For the finished dish

  • 1 lb wide egg noodles
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

For the meatballs – Preheat oven to 350ºF. Except for the white bread, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, do not over mix or the meatballs will be tough. Break off small pieces of the moistened bread and add it to the meatball mixture. Mix into the meat and then continue to add more bread until it’s all combined.

Form the meat into bite-sized meatballs and place them about 1″ apart on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat® or aluminum foil. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Alternatively, the meatballs can also be fried in oil until crispy and golden brown.

For the gravy – Whisk together 1/2 cup beef stock and cornstarch in a small bowl, set aside. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a pan. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until golden brown and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups beef stock, Worcestershire and ketchup and mix until well combined. Add to the pan along with a splash of red wine. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and gradually whisk in cornstarch mixture. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add more beef stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.

To finish – Add the cooked mini meatballs to the sauce and stir to coat. Keep warm over low heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the softened butter.

Place the buttered noodles on a large serving platter and top with the brown gravy meatballs and sauce. Garnish with parsley, Serve hot.

**TIP – Make the mini meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later use in this dish. Thaw the cooked meatballs and then add them right to the hot gravy mixture to warm through. Proceed according to recipe instructions.**

Italian Meatballs

pasta and meatballs

Being Italian, meatballs were a staple in my home growing up. There was nothing better than sneaking a crispy, hot meatball right out of the fryer. Pure heaven! Nowadays, I tend to bake my meatballs because it’s less mess and they end up in the sauce anyway but when I am feeling it, in the fryer they will go!

I’m always playing around with my meatball recipe but lately my “go to” is an adaptation of the recipe listed in the The Sopranos Family Cookbook . They really are so delicious and remind me a lot of the ones my mom use to make when I was a kid. I love a strong cheese, garlic, and parsley flavor in my meatballs so I tend to throw a little extra in every time I make them. Also, if you don’t have fresh parley on hand just substitute with a small handful of dried parsley instead, they will still be delicious. The original recipe calls for only the use of breadcrumbs however, I had found that when I made them that way the meatballs were just a little too hard for my liking. You really want them to have a nice softness when eating so adding in the moistened white bread gave the meat the extra chew and softness that I was looking for. A drizzle of olive oil into the meat just adds a nice touch of extra flavor.

These meatballs are as delicious with sauce as they are for any cocktail meatball recipe too. I detest store-bought frozen meatballs so I when I need to make a cocktail meatball appetizer I always use this recipe. Just roll them smaller and bake (or fry) for less time. You can find the recipe for my out of this world Whiskey BBQ Cocktail Meatballs right here.

Once the meatballs are done cooking, allow them to simmer for a while in your homemade sauce so that they become even softer and absorb all of the delicious flavor of the tomatoes. Enjoy!
Ingredients

  • 1 lb of 80% ground beef or a combination of beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices white bread, crusts removed and moistened with water or milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Except for the white bread, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, do not over mix or the meatballs will be tough.

Break off small pieces of the moistened bread and add it to the meatball mixture. Mix into the meat and then continue to add more bread until it’s all combined.

Form the meat into balls and place them about 2″ apart on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat® or aluminum foil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Alternatively, the meatballs can also be fried in oil until crispy and golden brown.

If serving pasta, add to the simmering sauce so the meatballs absorb the flavor and become softer.

Whiskey BBQ Cocktail Meatballs

whiskey bbq

These little meatballs are always a huge hit at parties and holidays. They are the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and there is no way you’ll be able to eat just one! If you’re feeding a smaller crowd, you can easily halve this recipe and yield the same delicious results. If you’re short on time you can use a bag of frozen cocktail meatballs however, to achieve the best results, make them from scratch. Homemade meatballs are so easy to make and they have a VERY noticeable taste and texture difference from their frozen counterparts. You can use whatever homemade meatball recipe you normally use, just be sure to roll them smaller so they are cocktail size.

Also, a good whiskey will make for an extra good sauce so choose something that you would drink on its own. Don’t run out and buy some expensive bottle of whiskey just for this recipe however, also realize that the $5 bottle you have on hand might not make for the smoothest, richest flavor. I’ve used a few different whiskeys for this recipe but my personal favorite is Tullamore Dew. It has a really nice, well rounded flavor and it really makes the sauce sing!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs cooked cocktail meatballs, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c whiskey
  • 1 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients in medium sized saucepan and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer slowly until the sauce is thickened. About 20-25 minutes.

Adjust your seasonings to taste, if you prefer a very spicy sauce then add a little extra black pepper.  Also, if you like a stronger whiskey flavor, add the full 3/4 cup of whiskey however, you can cut it back to the 1/2 cup if you prefer.

Once the sauce is thickened add the cocktail meatballs and heat them through. Allow them to lightly simmer in the sauce mixture for 40-45 minutes so that they have a chance to absorb all of the flavors of the sauce. Don’t let them go too long or the meatballs will become mushy and fall apart. Serve hot.

**NOTE** – These meatballs can be made in advance, they are even better the next day after they’ve had a chance to sit in the sauce overnight. To reheat the meatballs just place them in a saucepan over medium low heat until they are nice and warmed through. Give them a few gentle stirs during reheating so that they warm evenly and don’t burn.