Jennifer Garner’s “Super Adapted” Version of Ina Garten’s Meatball Recipe Is Perfect for Picky Eaters

published Oct 18, 2022
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Jennifer Garner
Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In anticipation of culinary legend Ina Garten’s upcoming book, Go-To Dinners, actress Jennifer Garner shared her own spin on Ina’s meatball recipe. Featured as part of her “Pretend Cooking Show” series on Instagram, the 13 Going on 30 star showcased her modified version of the popular recipe and it’ll definitely come in handy for any parents out there that struggle with picky eaters of any age. The best part? It’s a straightforward process that ends in a very tasty reward.

To start, Jennifer minces some garlic and grates an onion. While those are off to the side, she turns her attention to the meat: a combination of ground beef, turkey, and pork in a large bowl. Salt, egg, Parmesan, ground pepper, and Italian seasoning then follow before she uses her hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly and shape the meat into a ball-like sphere.

To cook the meatballs, Jennifer heats both safflower and olive oil in a large pot until it shimmers. Placing the first round of meatballs into the heated oil, she turns each while cooking so that they brown evenly. After they’re done, she places them on a paper towel-lined plate lined so that the excess oil is absorbed. Once she’s done, she discards of the oil without cleaning the pan to prepare for the next step.

Using the same pot, she adds one tablespoon of olive oil before turning the burner on medium heat. The now-grated onions are then added and stirred until they begin to brown, followed by the minced garlic for an additional minute. Balsamic vinegar and red wine are then stirred in until both liquids cook off and two cans of crushed tomatoes are combined in before bringing the mix to a low boil. Salt and pepper are then added for flavor.

The meatballs are finally added back into the sauce and covered with a small crack left from the lid so that some steam can escape. She notes that it should be simmered on low for another hour, but you’ll want to make sure to stir it occasionally. Once finished, add a bit more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy the meatballs with pasta, on their own, or sandwiched between bread for a hearty meatball sub.

And if you have no picky eaters in the house, you can always try out the full version of Ina’s real meatballs instead.