We’re sort of having bad day around here at TSW HQ, but I cannot imagine it’s any worse than the past few days at the Colts headquarters (see: Peyton Manning vs Jim Irsay vs the joint statement saying they’re all a happy family), or what is still going on at Jets HQ (see: continued post-season fallout of the Rex Ryan vs locker room strife according to Darrelle Revis) or even at the Steelers front office (see: Ben Roethlisberger vs Rooneys firing Bruce Arians).

Again, this is why I believe the week before the week before the Super Bowl is one of the worst weeks of the NFL calendar. Too much time, not enough news and people just get themselves into trouble.

Spicy Spinach Pancetta Balls: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes

Spinach balls have been a cocktail party staple for decades, but I’m a firm believer that the old classic is begging to be spiced up with some hot pepper and some meaty pancetta.  I’ve never made these and not have them disappear within in minutes. Plus, these little bites can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, saving you a lot of time on game day.

Just flash freeze the spinach balls on a baking sheet for 30 minutes and then put in a freezer safe container. Add 5-10 minutes to baking time when ready to serve.

You will need:

2 12-16 ounce bags of fresh spinach
4-6 ounces of pancetta, cubed
2 cups stuffing
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable stock
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed
1 generous teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Crisp up the pancetta in a frying pan while wilting the spinach in a dry pan.

Once the pancetta and the spinach are done, drain and set aside to cool. With a sharp knife, roughly chop up the cooked spinach.

Either by hand or in a food processor, mince the onion and the garlic together.

Chop in the thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, gently fold together the spinach, pancetta, beaten eggs, melted butter, vegetable stock and onion and cheese mixture until evenly combined.

Break the stuffing into smaller pieces, but do not smash them entirely into bread crumbs.

Fold in the stuffing.

Form into generous teaspoon-sized balls and place on a lined baking pan. (I use my cookie scoop like I do for anything that has to be ball sized or does in a mini-muffin pan.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.

Serve with either marinara or ranch dressing for dipping.

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Spinach Pancetta Balls: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes
5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Recipe type: snack
Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 10-12
Crispy pancetta, onion and spinach get a kick from red pepper in this snack.
Ingredients
  • 2 12-16 ounce bags of fresh spinach
  • 4-6 ounces of pancetta, cubed
  • 2 cups stuffing
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 1 generous teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Crisp up the pancetta in a frying pan while wilting the spinach in a dry pan.
  3. Once the pancetta and the spinach are done, drain and set aside to cool. With a sharp knife, roughly chop up the cooked spinach.
  4. Either by hand or in a food processor, mince the onion and the garlic together.
  5. Chop in the thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  6. In a large bowl, gently fold together the spinach, pancetta, beaten eggs, melted butter, vegetable stock and onion and cheese mixture until evenly combined.
  7. Break the stuffing into smaller pieces, but do not smash them entirely into bread crumbs.
  8. Fold in the stuffing.
  9. Form into generous teaspoon-sized balls and place on a lined baking pan. (I use my cookie scoop.)
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside.
  11. Serve with either marinara or ranch dressing for dipping.
Notes

Can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Flash freeze on a baking sheet for 30 minutes and then put in a freezer safe container. Add 5-10 minutes to baking time.

 

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2 Responses to Spicy Spinach Pancetta Balls: 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes

  1. Ally Garner says:

    I’ve never eaten nor made a spinach ball. And I’m a huge fan of the greens. These look so good and a perfect step up from the sausage ball couchgate staple this time of year. Thanks for the recipe Sarah!

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