Zombie Eyes (Halloween Meatballs)

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8black olives, halved
  • 1 (1 ounce) stick string cheese, cut into 16 slices
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

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  • Step 2

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  • Step 3

    Whisk Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, parley, basil, and oregano together in a large mixing bowl. Fold in ground beef and mix with your hands until blended. Form 16 equal-sized meatballs using a cookie scoop.

  • Step 4

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer cooked meatballs to a baking sheet using tongs.

  • Step 5

    Bake browned meatballs in the oven for 8 minutes.

  • Step 6

    While meatballs bake, use a plastic straw to punch a hole through each olive half to create a circular ‘pupil.’ Use the same straw to punch a hole through the center of each string cheese slice. Insert the round olive piece inside the hole in the string cheese slice to create ‘eyes.’

  • Step 7

    Remove meatballs from oven and let cool until safe to handle.

  • Step 8

    Assemble zombie eyes by twirling a few strands of cooked spaghetti around each of 16 forks. Spear a meatball onto each fork and arrange forks on a serving platter. Spoon a dot of spaghetti sauce onto each meatball where you want to place the ‘eyes.’ Apply the olive-cheese ‘eye’ over the sauce. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over the twirled spaghetti on the forks.

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