Bite-Size Spaghetti and Meatball Party Boats
This post is sponsored by General Mills but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for reading!
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Old El Paso Taco Boats are back, you guys!! This time I'm bringing you my favorite party food essential in a BIG way with... Mini Boats! Get ready to kick off your game day celebration with these super adorable Bite-Size Spaghetti and Meatball Party Boats.
Remember this post where I wrote about my discovery of Old El Paso Soft Taco Boats and how they are pretty much the most amazing party food in the whole world?
No? That's OK. Head over, check it out and come back...
Back? Hi again! OK, so, taco boats.
You guys, I am obsessed. For the first time (ever) I actually want to host football parties (or any party) at my house just so I can have an excuse to run out to Walmart and stockpile these adorable taco bowls. Don't let the name fool you- these boats are not made just for tacos. Due to the thick(er) flour tortilla, these boats are pretty durable little serving bowls, and hold up surprisingly well.
If you have a type-A personality like myself, I can almost guarantee that you will love them just as much as me. Why? It's easy to make each and every little bite-sized appetizer look amazing and perfect because they are so darn cute. I am not even kidding. They make any beginner party-thrower look like he/she has been doing it forever.
Confession- I am not one of those people with the time to throw a Pinterest-looking party. Of course I could do it, with enough time and enough money, but I hardly remember to brush my teeth in the morning, let alone throw a totally awesome themed party. Thankfully, Old El Paso Soft Taco Boats help me feel like I am a football-party-throwing-rockstar without the stress on my wallet or need to give up my sleep. If you're wondering, ok, so they are cute and they look good, BUT do they TASTE good?
After all, what good is a celebration if the food is bad? Especially football celebrations where so much of the good times are focused around friends, family and delicious food (at least that's what football means to me).
For the next football gathering I wanted to fill my Old El Paso Flour Tortilla Taco Boats with something completely unrelated to tacos. You guys, the ideas really are endless, but I finally decided on Spaghetti with Meatballs.
And this time I wanted them in MINI flour tortilla taco boats.
After all, it's a party; there should be finger food.
These itty bitty Meatball Boats are perfect for entertaining for many reasons,
- They're delicious
- Everything can be prepared ahead of time
- You eat them with your fingers
- Kids will love them
- They're budget friendly
I made homemade sauce and meatballs for these Meatball Boats, but they would be just as good with your favorite store-bought version (and would save you some time if you're in a hurry).
My husband devoured about 5 of these within minutes and I wasn't far behind.
Bite-Size Spaghetti and Meatball Party Boats
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 18-24 Mini Meatball Party Boats
2 (12 count) Old El Paso Mini Flour Tortilla Taco Boats
1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti noodles (or noodle of choice)
Parmesan Cheese, for serving
Fresh chopped basil, for serving
For the Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground turkey
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste (more if needed)
1-2 teaspoons sugar
salt + pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water and a drizzle of oil to a boil over high heat. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions or until noodles are al dente (firm, but cooked). Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent noodles from cooking further.
For the Meatballs-
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the ground turkey and mix well using a wooden spoon or fork. Add the turkey and gently mix all ingredients until completely combined (using your hands works best here).
- Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, or small spoon, form mixture into small balls (yield will vary depending on size of your meatballs).
- Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving space between each meatball. Gently brush the tops of each meatball with olive oil and bake until cooked through (approximately 20 minutes).
For the Sauce-
- In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a dash of salt, mix well. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring onions occasionally to prevent burning. Add Italian seasoning and chopped basil and stir; cook for an additional minute. Add the diced tomatoes (with liquid) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and carefully mix in the tomato paste and sugar. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Carefully transfer tomato sauce to the bowl of a large food processor or blender. Pulse until large chunks have been blended, or desired consistency is reached.
- Return tomato sauce to the skillet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer over medium-low heat, or until meatballs are heated through and ready to serve. Add chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time, to thin the sauce (if needed).
Build the Boats-
- Fill each Old El Paso Mini Soft Taco Boat with cooked noodles followed by a heaping tablespoon of tomato sauce. Add one meatball to the top and more sauce (if desired). Sprinkle each taco boat with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Find these Mini Soft Taco Boats and all your other game day essentials at your local Walmart :)