Thursday, August 4, 2011

{Diet} Dr. Pepper Meatballs - What's Cookin'

First of all, let me give credit where credit is due: I got this recipe from and it is called Lyndsie's Dr. Pepper Meatballs. I went ahead and doubled the recipe so we could have leftovers for lunches, and used Diet Dr. Pepper instead of regular just because I am a fan :)

This recipe took a little longer than my family would like to wait for dinner, but if you are super organized the meatballs can be prepared the night before and then refridgerated. Or, you could utilize your crock pot and throw the meatballs and the sauce in the morning and cook on low all day.


2.75lbs of Ground Turkey
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 packages of  ranch dressing mix
1 onion, minced
2 green pepper, minced
2 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper
2 cups of Ketchup
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Here's what you need:

Oops...Forgot the ranch seasoning...

The first step I tackled was chopping up the onion and green peppers. I like to get all of the prep work done and the recipe called for 2 minced green peppers and 1 minced onion. Easy right? I thought I'd just pull out my handy dandy Bullet and mince those bad boys, but instead I got green baby food with giant chunks.

So by hand it was - which added more time to the overall process...

Ahhh - much better!

 After all that chopping, I needed a nice glass of Diet Dr. Pepper!

In a large bowl, I combined 2.75lbs of ground turkey, two handfuls of the chopped green pepper, two handfuls of the onion, the two packets of ranch seasoning, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 2 eggs, and 2.5 cups of bread crumbs (you could probably get away with just 2 cups if you like a firmer meatball). I also sprinkled in some black pepper and garlic powder. 

Then, using my hands (remember to remove any jewelry), I combined all of the ingredients together until it looked like this:  

Still using my hands, I formed the meat into large (approx. 2inch) balls and placed them into a 9x13 casserole dish that I had greased with extra virgin olive oil so the meatballs wouldn't stick.

I placed the meatballs in a 375F oven and moved on to the fun part, the sauce! In a large pot ( I used a pot because I thought I would have to heat up the sauce, but you don't, so a large bowl would work as well), I put in the rest of the onion and green pepper, 2 cups of ketchup (I will use tomato sauce next time I do this recipe - I think the ketchup is too sweet), 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, the whole can of diced tomatoes (the recipe called for 2 cups, but it turned out fine), a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of black pepper and garlic, and the finishing touch - 24oz of Diet Dr. Pepper.

This is what the concoction looked like after I added the Diet Dr. Pepper:

And after I mixed all of the ingredients together:

After about 15-20 minutes, I pulled the meatballs out of the oven.

And then, I added the sauce:

I covered the dish with foil and placed it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Then, I removed the foil and baked it an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Look what came out of the oven:

I let the meatballs rest for another 10-15 minutes and paired with some white rice and seasonal vegetables. 

Overall, the dish was tasty - it was a little sweet which I was not expecting so I think that caught me off-guard. I actually enjoyed it much more the next day when I brought it to work to share with a few of my favorite coworkers. For lunch, I left out the rice which made the meatballs taste better. When I do this recipe again, I will pair with brown rice. I think that texture and taste of brown rice will counter the sweetness of the sauce a little better than the white rice.

So, in conclusion, if your looking for an adventure, like a little sweetness, and have about 2 hours to prepare a meal - try making these {Diet} Dr. Pepper Meatballs!

If you try this recipe or have done it in the past, please comment and feel free to email me pictures! I'm planning to blog the pictures you send in to me in the near future!

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