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TCP Kitchen

Kids Cooking

Youngsters in the kitchen help make family meals truly rewarding

Megan Myers

I’ve encouraged my children to join me in the kitchen ever since they were little. Cooking with kids requires extra patience but reaps rewards down the line. Small children can practice mixing and measuring ingredients and kneading dough, and older kids can learn how to chop and take charge of the stove. Encouraging their efforts makes all the difference in kids’ kitchen success. My son adores meatballs, and this baked version keeps it simple. Serve with your favorite pasta or just scoop onto slices of garlic bread.

Cheesy Baked Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound pork sausage
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
8 ounces fresh mozzarella slices

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, crumble together beef and sausage. Mix in egg, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

2. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands. Place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and repeat until all of the mixture has been used.

3. Bake 18–20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove dish from oven and pour marinara sauce into the pan over the meatballs. Arrange mozzarella slices between meatballs, breaking into smaller pieces if needed.

4. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Serves 6.

Follow along with Megan Myers and her adventures in the kitchen at, where she features a recipe for BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza.

August 2021 Recipe Contest