At first glance, the list of ingredients seemed a bit unusual, but it intrigued me enough to give it a whirl. This Sheet-Pan Meatballs with Red Onions and Artichokes recipe, courtesy of Anna Kovel from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, was indeed a culinary success!
Since we have two ovens, and because they didn’t seem anywhere near done, I left the meatballs in the 400° heated oven when it was time to put the sheet pan full of red onions and artichokes under the broiler. Then when the veggies completed their turn under the intense heat, I turned off the oven with the meatballs, put the veggies in it to keep warm, and moved the tray of meatballs under the broiler.
Our sheet pans were slightly smaller than 10″ x 15″, but worked out just fine. In Step 8, directions indicate to squeeze a half lemon into each vacated sheet pan to scrape up the brown bits. In our case, there was no residue whatsoever on our veggie pan, so the entire lemon went to the meatball pan. Don’t omit this step, it adds a lot of finishing flavor to the overall dish.
The original recipe says the baby spinach is optional, and/or you can make a bed of pasta. We opted for the greens where they made a perfect companion to the rest of the ingredients. Sans any mint, I used a combination of fresh parsley and chives in the meat mixture. Finally, we had a can of quartered, instead of whole, artichokes, so there was no need to cut them further. Just make sure to extract as much water as you can after rinsing them.
Sheet-Pan Meatballs with Red Onions and Artichokes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 ¼ lbs. ground pork
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ cup chopped parsley, mint, and/or chives
- ¼ cup shallot, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 medium red onions, leaving the root end intact, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
- 1 14-oz. can whole artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, halved, and patted dry
- 5 oz. baby spinach, washed and rinsed
- Shaved parmesan curls, and a bit more parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush two approximately 15×10-inch baking pans with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- In a large bowl combine bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons water; let stand 5 minutes, then stir in beaten egg.
- Stir in pork, lemon zest, herbs, shallot, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper until well-combined, but don’t over mix. In your palm, gently shape mixture into 2-inch balls (makes about 15-16 balls). Place in one prepared pan.
- Place onions and artichoke hearts in second prepared pan; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake on separate oven racks 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Turn oven to broil. Broil vegetables 4 to 5 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring halfway through.
- Repeat for meatballs, broiling until done (165°F) and browned, turning halfway through.
- Transfer meatballs and vegetables to a platter with a bed of baby spinach (or pasta). Pour half the lemon juice into each hot pan; scrape up browned bits. Drizzle lemon juice mixture over meatballs and vegetables.
- Serve over a bed of baby spinach for more color and nutrition. (Or substitute a bed of cooked pasta.) Garnish with parmesan shavings and a smattering of chopped parsley.
With tongs, allow dinner guests to serve themselves.