Three Cheers For Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Turkey Meatballs.

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So I just found out, from my good friend at Organized Island, that today is National Meatball Day!

I honestly had no idea about this wonderful day, as I had already made these Cheez-It turkey meatballs last night. I’m so happy we have leftovers to celebrate with, not to mention that it’s easy enough to whip up a whole new batch for the family.

Meatballs are a crowd-pleaser around here. Cassidy likes them, I’m more than in love with them, Des agrees with me, and even Scarlet – the pickiest of the bunch – likes meatballs, mostly as long as they are made with chicken or turkey. There was that time she devoured some Irish Wedding stew in New Hampshire, and that was beef and pork meatballs. I also find that when we have parties here – dinner parties or big birthday parties – meatballs are the first appetizer to go. We never have any left over. You can just put these babies on toothpicks, serve them, and watch them disappear rapidly. Every single time.

I also have a deep love for Cheez-It Crackers that I’ve had since childhood. I was happy to learn recently that Scarlet knew all about Cheez-It Crackers too. I decided to go to Target and pick up some new flavors to see if they’d be a hit at home.

For the most part, we can do hot & spicy foods in this house. Des has had a taste for spice since he was a baby. Last year we discovered that we ALL four have not only a taste for meatballs, but a taste for the college basketball series. Who knew?? It’s ever since our favorite team won. Cassidy has the games on every year, and I’ve grown fond of the sounds – the squeak of the sneakers on the stadium floors, the cheering, the applause.. With Scarlet’s new obsession with Cheez-It Crackers, and wanting to kick up a recipe a notch because of the college basketball season, I decided to make Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Turkey Meatballs.

What You Need:

1/2 cup of Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves – pulverized into a bread crumbs consistency (or something like it. I preferred cracker chunks in mine!)

1 pound ground turkey

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beated

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 cup parsley

What You Do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Combine turkey, Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, oregano, parsley, and whatever else you want in terms of herbs, spices and vegetables, together in a bowl.

3. Roll meatballs into desired size and place two inches apart on a lightly coated baking sheet.

4. Bake in the oven until they are no longer pink in the inside, and the outside is browned. It was about 15-20 minutes here.

5. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 165 degrees or more for safety.

6. Serve with toothpicks and a dipping sauce, or even eat with your starch and vegetables of choice:

What are our favorite tips and tricks for having college basketball game watch parties in our family?

1. Snacks! Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves pair well with many foods in recipes, and also stands alone as a perfect party snack. What’s another great college basketball watching snack? Cheez-It Sriracha Snack Mix!

2. Decorate with what you have – kids love balloons! You can have everyone wear the team colors or team jerseys/hats.

3. Break out the kiddie basketball hoop to have a shoot-off before the game!

4. Consider making your party a potluck.

5. And Scarlet’s personal favorite – have a novelty dessert shaped like a basketball or basketballs. This can be a cake, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more! Remember, food is a big part of a college basketball series party, and that’s the fun part too!

Cheez-It Crackers are a perfect game day snack! Real cheese matters.

Large boxes of Cheez-It products are 3 for $8 the 3rd week of February – the 1st week of April at Target!

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  1. My husband would love it if I started watching March Madness with him. I just can’t do it. By the time football is over I need a break from sports. He would also love it if the kids were into spicy foods. They do love meatballs though, and I bet these would be tasty even made without the spicy cheese-its.

    1. Turkey meatballs are just all around good – spicy or not! I like to make chicken meatballs too.
      As for basketball, I remember being shocked that after football, there was a non-baseball sport going on for weeks upon weeks!

  2. I am in love! Two of my favorite food items! Seriously this is amazing. I don’t think I have ever seen this before. Great job- NAILED IT!

  3. Omg, Lily would love these as she loves meatballs and Cheez-Its, too. So I am so going to have to try these for her now. Thanks so much for sharing and made my day!! 🙂

      1. I bet you they don’t (Walmart). Target is a little farther than I want to venture this time a day. I’ve calmed down now. Whew. LOL! But I’ll let you know if I changed my mind. The only thing that keeps me in this time of day is the fact that getting out of our neighborhood desperately needs a red light and I have to turn left.

        1. So you don’t like turning left in general, or at that particular intersection? This time of day can be tough! Where I live, the busy time is 2:00-3:00. Don’t kids take the bus anymore??

          1. Yeah left across that intersection is hard. Too much to look for this way and that. There was a town meeting last year that I attended (I even had a letter to the editor published) regarding that intersection. We are supposed to have a light by the end of 2017.

  4. So cool that your son likes spicy food. We are trying to ease our kids into it by first introducing spices. Alan’s really good at that because he has the kids eating mild curry already! And I would have never thought to put Cheez Its in meatballs. Will give it a try next time! Yes, they are a pretty perfect food, appetizer or not :).

  5. Using Cheez-Its instead of bread crumbs? Genius! My family loves homemade meatballs, so I’ll have to try this recipe!

    1. Right? If you had to ask me what I’d like to snack on at a party, I’d probably say meatballs and cheese crackers. Not necessarily together, but that works too!

  6. OK why did I never think of this? This is amazing and I love cheez-it’s. We always have some on hand for snacking for Madison. Now I know what I’ll be making when I get back from vacation. They’ll make great appetizers for sure.

  7. Ooh these are so creative! I would have never thought to use Cheez-It’s in meatballs, but they sound amazing! Eve too has had a thing for spicy since she was a baby — if she sees us putting hot sauce on our food, she wants it, too.

    1. That’s so awesome! Have you see those sippy cups that are made to look like sriracha bottles? Those are awesome. Good for getting raised eyebrows in public.

  8. I use to love cheese crackers. I haven’t eaten any in a long time though. Although, I made some a few months ago with my kids. There was a recipe in their High Five magazine that was really easy. Everyone that tried them thought they were really good.

  9. I love pretty much everything that has cheese. We have cheese-it chips/junk food here and I loved it as a kid and until now. Meatballs are also a crowd favorite in my home. Reiko loves them. You made yours creatively!

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