Thank you Simply 7 Snacks for sponsoring this Cauliflower Ranch Mini Meatballs post and thanks to you, my readers, for supporting the brands that make My Cape Cod Kitchen possible. As always, all opinions are my own.
Cauliflower Ranch Mini Meatballs. Perfect for tailgating or serving up as bite-sized appetizers for your fall get togethers.
These savory meatballs are oven-baked and made with cauliflower rice (yep!), onion, organic grass fed beef, Simply7 Organic Ranch Veggie Chips and spices. So flavorful. So good. Make extras, you’ll want ‘em.
What’s your favorite fall party app or tailgating app? While I love easy and fuss-free hummus + veggies, chips + salsa, fruit + cheese + crackers, it’s also nice to have some more substantial, hearty and warming apps to go along with the cooler fare.
One of the foods I’ve been craving as of late is meatballs – mini meatballs specifically, because sometimes large meaty meatballs are too “meaty” for me. Know what I mean? I think this craving may be because we’ve been eating (mostly) vegetarian recently because of Lucca’s reaction to fish a few weeks ago. During normal weeks, we eat fish and shellfish 2-3 times a week, sometimes more. But now we’re much more limited in our dinner selection, at least until we can figure out if he has a fish allergy, and I think my body was craving some meatier foods and iron.
So, when Simply7 challenged me to come up with a fun and tasty tailgating appetizer using their Organic Ranch Veggie Chips (so good!), my mind went immediately to mini meatballs. I love them because they’re bite-sized, packed with flavor and you can dunk them in your favorite savory dip. We chose ranch dressing as our dipping sauce because we used Simply7 Organic Ranch Veggie Chips instead of oats and breadcrumbs in the meatballs, so the dressing goes with the meatballs perfectly. And Lucca likes it. You could also use barbeque sauce or a teriyaki / soy + sesame + ginger based sauce.
This meatball recipe is lightened up quite a bit by using cauliflower rice, which cuts back on the saturated fat and calories because you’re using 1/2 the beef, but also keeps the meatballs tender and adds nice texture and flavor. You know how mushrooms can add moisture, tenderness and flavor to meatballs/meatloaf/burgers? Same thing applies here, just the flavor is different (a bit less “meaty”). We love cauliflower rice and saute it up quite often. Lucca adores rice (shovels it in his mouth like it’s going outta style) and likes cauliflower, so cauliflower rice is a huge win for him.
Here’s how to make these Cauliflower Ranch Mini Meatballs.
- • 1 tablespoon olive oil
- • 12 oz cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen – we used the fresh variety found in the produce section of the grocery store)
- • 1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
- • 2 cloves garlic, minced
- • 1 pound 85% organic grass fed ground beef
- • ¼ cup grated parmesan and romano cheese
- • 2 1/2 cups Simply7 Organic Ranch Veggie Chips, smashed
- • 1/2 cup whole milk
- • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- • 1 egg, lightly beaten
- For serving:
- • ½ cup ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or tinfoil) and spray with cooking spray.
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cauliflower and saute another 10 minutes until most of the moisture is absorbed and cauliflower and onions are lightly browned. Add garlic and saute one more minute. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, cheese, chips, milk, pepper, salt, garlic powder, parsley and egg with your hands. Add in cooled cauliflower and mix to combine. Scoop mixture into your hands by heaping tablespoon and roll into balls. Place meatballs a few inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 30-35 minutes until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, as measured by a meat thermometer.
- Remove meatballs and place on a serving platter. Serve meatballs with toothpicks and ranch dressing for dipping plus Simply7 Organic Ranch Veggie Chips and celery/carrot sticks.
- *We had these meatballs reheated in the oven on the second day and they were just as good! So, make extras for the day after your party or freeze for future use.
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About Simply 7:
Simply 7 is committed to making wholesome snacks that taste really good. They stand by their 7 Simple Standards:
No Added Preservatives
0 Grams Trans Fat
No Artificial Colors or Flavors
Check out their recently redesigned website, full of great recipes, usage tips and interactive nutrition information about their products.
Find Simply7 Snacks at one of these retailers near you: Kroger, Target, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Shaw’s, Fresh Market, Giant, Wakefern, and Walmart to name a few. You can also use the store locator on their website.