Applesauce Meatballs

This recipe is one of our favorites, a good way to use homemade apple sauce. The applesauce makes these meatballs moist and tender. It’s adapted from an old pamphlet cookbook published in 1969, called “Real, Old-Time Yankee Apple Cooking” by Beatrice Vaughn

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Apple Sauce Meatballs


For the sauce
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1/2-3/4 c. apple sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning, or chopped parsley
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp oil (or melted fat like bacon grease)


Pre-heat the oven to 375.
In a sauce pot, saute onion, carrot & celery about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds, then add crushed tomatoes, salt, & sugar (to cut the acidity). Fill the can of crushed tomatoes half way with water and add to sauce. Bring to simmer and allow to simmer while you make the meatballs.

Combine meat, egg, applesauce & seasoning in a bowl. Add enough breadcrumbs to hold the meat together. Shape the mixture into small balls, then dredge in flour and brown in melted fat or oil. Place browned meatballs in a casserole dish.

Pour sauce over meatballs, cover dish with foil and bake at 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve with pasta.

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One Response to Applesauce Meatballs

  1. Robin says:

    Oh, I bet these meatballs are wonderful! There are so many different ways to make them. Did you know that every village in Italy has their own recipe for meatballs? My MIL family makes them with raisins!

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