Meatballs -with pasta – orzo – or rice. Cooking with kids FOR kids!

We make our own Feta. Cooking with kids using home made organic products is a thrill because the children can see the process from farm to table. And that teaches them to respect nature. Which is wonderful. So Jack and Jonah watch me milk our goats, turn that milk into Feta, age it over months, and then take it out to use with a delicious and fun dish such as this one. What could be better than that? Along with some terrific music of course – try Flying Cows Song! BTW I love Cooking Light and I adapted this recipe from their November 2009 one. They used ground lamb, I am using ground beef ( I find that the grandkids prefer the taste of beef to lamb). And my recipe prefers fresh herbs to dried ones as well as allowing rice instead of orzo!


  • 2 cups hot cooked orzo or any other pasta – this also works with rice!

  • 1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs – I use Panko

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano – or fresh use 1 full teaspoon since its not as condensed as the dried one – but oh so much tastier!

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt – use sea salt if possible – its heavier and you may need to use less

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound lean ground beef ( or if you want it a little less lean you could use New York Steak as a special treat!)

  • 1  garlic clove, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided

  • 2  large egg whites

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 2 cups jarred marinara sauce ( we prefer to make our own tomato sauce which I will give you in another post – I have a WHOLE pot of it cooking up right now!)

  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Cook orzo or rice according to package directions; drain. Keep warm.

  3.  Combine breadcrumbs and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl; stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley.

  4. Add egg whites, stirring mixture until just combined.

  5. Shape mixture into 12 (1-inch) meatballs; cover and chill meatballs 5 minutes.

  6. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

  7. Add meatballs to pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

  8. Drain well; wipe pan clean with paper towels.

  9. Return meatballs to pan.

  10. Spoon marinara sauce over meatballs; sprinkle with cheese.

  11.  Bake at 375° for 11 minutes or until meatballs are done.

  12. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley.

  13. Serve over orzo or rice.

About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all – Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.

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