Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing.
These Saucy Braised Garlic Butter Meatballs with Orzo are made with Italian spices, peppers, and parmesan. They come together easily and are warm and saucy with just the right amount of spice – so flavorful. Add bread and a simple side salad for a delicious hearty meal. Perfect as a simple family dinner yet equally great for holiday entertaining. This is such an easy, cozy, hearty dinner to prepare. Directions for the crockpot are provided too!
You know my oldest brother Creighton must be home when I start making meatballs. These might just be one of his favorite meals. When I sent him the videos, he almost lost it with excitement. I might have made his Christmas with these meatballs!
We all know that when my family comes for the holidays I love to cook for them. It’s fun to cook with a single person in mind. Most of the time it’s Creighton, Malachi, or Red. Or a lot of times, my cousin Abby. But I will take a request from anyone. It’s always so much fun to make a dish I hope they’re really going to LOVE.
With this being the final week before Christmas (just 5 more days), my focus is on family-style recipes, a Christmas morning classic, appetizers, and drinks. Hoping these are all just what you all need!
Meatballs to start, because we all know I have a soft spot for Creighton.
First things first, when I filmed the video for these, I made the recipe on the stove. The stove top is great, but I do think I prefer cooking these in the crockpot. I gave directions for both, so do what works best for you.
Start with the meatballs. I make mine using ground chicken, ground Italian chicken sausage, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, a poblano pepper, and an egg. Just mix everything together and roll it into meatballs. Then place them in a large braiser with sides and sear them lightly.
Next, pour over a couple of jars of marinara sauce and toss in a can of diced tomatoes. Add whole garlic cloves and basil, cover, and simmer. You can cook these quickly or if you have time, low and slow.
If you’re using the crockpot, they can cook quickly on high for a couple of hours or cook them low and slow all day. Either is great.
When the meatballs are cooked, pull the garlic cloves out. Then cook the garlic with butter and fresh sage or rosemary. It is during this time that I cook the orzo too.
If you’re using the crockpot, you will broil the meats with the garlic and butter. It’s simple to do.
Serve the orzo tossed or drizzled with the garlic butter, then add the sauce and meatballs. And I also like to finish with a drizzle more of butter, parmesan, and fresh basil.
Then, since it’s the holidays, I made garlic bread for dipping in the extra sauce. Plus, my favorite winter salad. ‘Twas absolute perfection.
You can serve this up one night during these next two busy weeks. But of course, it’s great to serve all winter long. It’s a hit with everyone.
Looking for other family meals? Here are a few ideas:
Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo
Creamy White Bean Noodle Soup with Rosemary Bacon.
Mustard Herb Chicken and Creamy Orzo
Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch
Slow Cooker Saucy Sunday Bolognese Pasta
Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf
Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bolognese
Lastly, if you make these Saucy Braised Garlic Butter Meatballs with Orzo, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Loved this recipe! The rosemary and garlic in the orzo really made this unique compared to a simpler meatball/orzo recipe. We made 2 batches of meatballs: one with ground chicken and sausage and another with ground vegan “beef” and they were both really good. We also used Sofrito seasoning in place of italian because we ran out and it was great. Definitely plan to keep this one for cold nights!
Fantastic!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I’m so glad it was delish! Have a great weekend:) xx
This was a good recipe. I give it 4 stars because I was expecting something a little more special. And for me, it tasted like a normal spaghetti and meatballs. But it had good flavor and such. I used the crockpot method and it worked great.
Happy Easter!! 🐰🐣🌈 Thank you very much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your comment, I’m so glad it turned out well for you! xT