Well Dined

23Aug/168

Food ‘n Flix – Hotel Transylvania 2 (Oozing Eyeball Pasta)

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Holy miracle, Batman - I finally got my act together in time for Food 'n Flix again!  It's been almost a year, yikes.  This month, our film was Hotel Transylvania 2, hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles.

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix

This film is a sequel, and though we didn't have to, I watched both films - I had been meaning to see them anyway, because my neighbor's kids are obsessed and quote them all the time.  These are really cute films about acceptance, diversity, fear mongering, and family.  Big topics for kids movies, I know.  They voice actors are big names, too - Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi.

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix

They also had all kinds of cute and creepy (but not too creepy) foods - like "scream cheese" and "monster-ball soup".  So there was lots of foodie inspiration.

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

I had seen a Buzzfeed video for Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs and thought how cute those would be as Oozing Eyeballs!

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Start by combing cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, spinach, and garlic powder into a creamy mixture.  Then combine ground beef, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, and an egg.  Form golf ball sized pieces of the beef mixture into flat patties, spoon some of the spinach mixture in, and fold up into a ball.

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Try really hard to completely seal the edges.  I am terrible at this, I don't know why.  I fail at juicy lucy burgers for the same reason, *sigh*.

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Sear the meatballs on each side in a pan with plenty of olive oil (so that they don't stick and tear open).  Then add tomato sauce, cover, and simmer until cooked all the way through.  You can see that some of mine cracked open - if that happens to you, just be careful moving them around so that they stay mostly together.

Well Dined | Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs

Serve with pasta and Parmesan, and enjoy the oozing surprise!  Meatballs with a creamy, molten spinach dip center - fun for the whole family!

Spinach Dip Stuffed Meatballs
adapted from Buzzfeed Tasty
serves 4-6

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove all moisture
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or beef, pork, veal mixture)
1 large egg
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or add 1 tsp Italian seasoning to plain breadcrumbs)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce (I love Rao's)
1 lb pasta (I used spaghetti rigati because it has ridges to catch sauce)
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.  Reserve about a cup of the pasta water before draining.  Do not rinse.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, spinach, garlic powder, and mozzarella until smooth.  I found this easiest to do with clean hands.

Mix ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper until evenly combined.  This is also easiest to do with clean hands.

Take a golf ball-sized handful of the meatball mixture and press it flat in the palm of your hand.  Place a spoonful (about 1 tbsp) of the spinach dip in the center of the meat and fold the edges over the dip, sealing it and rolling into a ball.  Repeat with the remaining meat and dip, you should have about 16 meatballs.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Sear the meatballs for about a minute, then flip.

Add the marinara sauce and mix gently.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.  Add in the reserved pasta water and cook uncovered for a minute or two.

Serve over the pasta, and sprinkled with Parmesan.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago - Grilled Vegetable Flatbread
Two Years Ago - Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
Three Years Ago - Summer Tartines
Four Years Ago - Shrimp Tacos, Salmon Burgers
Five Years Ago - Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese

Comments (8) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You had me at cream cheese. I’m so glad you liked the movie and got a really great inspiration from it.

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. These look AMAZING! And I love the fun HT2 inspired name. I’m definitely going to try making these. Good to have you back! 🙂

  3. It is hard to seal the edges on stuffed meatballs, but you definitely achieved the oozing eyeball look. (That is a complement!) Welcome back!

  4. Wow these sound ahmazeballs!!!! I am drooling here and think they are a perfect fit for this month’s movie. Welcome back.

  5. A great dish for Halloween, very appetizing…considering the name lol.

  6. These look amazing! And so perfect for the movie!!

  7. Still trying to learn to get as good shots as these.

    • Thank you! And it’s all about light. I just use my iphone camera. I have a table with windows on 2 sides that create a great area for photos. It has to be done during daylight. Artificial light just doesn’t look the same.


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