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Today I’m partnering with Albertsons® to share my Florentine meatballs with you! Wondering what makes a recipe Florentine? For starters, there is a strong emphasis on spinach! These Florentine meatballs are made with those delicious leafy greens — and a few other ingredients that I picked up at Albertsons®!
Florentine-style cooking is reminiscent of how certain recipes are prepared in Florence, Italy. One thing that sets Florentine cooking apart is that most of the dishes feature a hearty helping of spinach, like in this chicken Florentine recipe. It’s a yummy way to cook that will help you sneak in more greens.
As summer winds down I can’t help but think of fall. After lazy days spent in the sun, things really start to pick up in my house in September. Sometimes things get so busy that I can’t find the time to head to the grocery store, never mind think up what to make for dinner.
That’s where Albertsons® Fall Into Flavor content hub comes in. It’s a one-stop trusted source of culinary and lifestyle inspiration. I’m talking about ideas for meal planning, new seasonal recipes, and celebrity chef content, as well as culinary tips and tricks. When you find a recipe you like, Albertsons® makes things so easy. Simply click on the ingredients you need and fill up your cart! So much less stressful than heading to the market.
You can even sign up for virtual cooking classes with celebrity chefs. Can you imagine having your favorite chef in your kitchen with you?! It sounds like a dream come true to me.
Learn more and find your fall recipe inspiration at www.albertsons.com/fall. In the meantime, let’s get started on those Florentine meatballs!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Italian Meatballs – I opt for Italian meatballs that are made from pork, Parmesan cheese, and some yummy herbs and spices.
- Half and Half – My favorite is Albertsons®’ exclusive Lucerne®! You’ll need it for the Florentine-style sauce. I like using half and half instead of whole cream as it’s a bit lighter.
- Cream Cheese – Go for their exclusive Lucerne® again. They seriously have some of the best dairy products! The cream cheese adds a touch of well, creaminess, to the sauce.
- Spinach – You can use fresh, but I also don’t mind using frozen for this recipe. My favorite brand is the exclusive Signature SELECT® which you can find at Albertsons®. Make sure to thaw it first!
- Mozzarella – You guessed it — I love their exclusive Lucerne® mozzarella. It melts down really nicely in the cheese and spinach sauce.
- Olive Oil – You need it to brown your meatballs.
- Butter – To sauté your onion, which is the base of your Florentine-style sauce.
- Onion – I use a medium yellow onion for this recipe.
- Garlic – No savory Italian-inspired recipe is complete without a bit of garlic.
- Salt & Pepper – To taste.
- Berbere Spice Blend – This ingredient is optional, but it’s packed with flavor. You can find it in the spice aisle or learn how to make one yourself over on my sister site, Silk Road Recipes!
- All-Purpose Flour – For a bit of added thickness in the sauce.
HOW TO MAKE FLORENTINE MEATBALLS
1. Brown The Meatballs. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Cook your meatballs, taking care to brown each side. Once they are finished, you can set them aside.
2. Sauté The Onion. Using the same skillet, add the butter and sauté your chopped onion for about 2 minutes. Then, add the garlic and season the mixture with salt, pepper, and berbere seasoning (if using). Cook for 3 more minutes, or until the onions become translucent. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add The Dairy. Next, it’s time to add the half and half. Let it cook until it comes to a boil, then add the cream cheese and mozzarella to form your sauce. It should take about 5 minutes for the cheese to melt. Add in your spinach and stir to mix thoroughly.
4. Put It All Together. Add the meatballs to the sauce and mix in order to cover them. Turn the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. You can serve your Florentine meatballs as is, or over rice, pasta, or potatoes!
What Does Florentine Cooking Mean?
Florentine dishes are made “à la Florentine,” or how they make things in Florence, Italy. As mentioned, spinach is almost always present. Another key indicator of a Florentine recipe is a type of cream-based sauce, as seen here!
Is It Better To Bake Or Fry Meatballs?
It’s all about personal preference. I chose to pan-fry my Florentine meatballs as it is the fastest way to cook them up. I also love me a one skillet meal, which is the case with this recipe. It makes for a quicker cleanup — something I think everyone can appreciate!
What Are Traditional Italian Meatballs Made Of?
Like these Italian meatballs I used, traditional recipes feature some type of ground meat (typically beef or pork) as well as sausage. Parmesan, eggs, and breadcrumbs also come into play to keep everything together. Herbs and spices are also used for added flavor.
Thanks again to Albertsons® for sponsoring today’s post. Thank you for supporting the companies that continue to make Kevin Is Cooking possible.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb Italian Meatballs
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp berbere spice blend (optional)
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Lucerne® Half and Half
- 8 oz Lucerne Cream Cheese cut into 8 chunks, room temp
- 10 ounce Signature SELECT® frozen spinach thawed
- 1/2 cup Lucerne® Mozzarella cheese grated
- In a large skillet over medium heat add the oil and brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and season with salt, pepper and berbere. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Sprinkle the flour over top of onions and stir. Continue cooking over low heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the half an half and cook until boiling. Add the cream cheese and mozzarella, stirring to melt and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the drained spinach, stir to combine.
- Add the cooked meatballs, spooning sauce over top and cover. Turn heat to Low and cook 3 minutes. Serve as is or over steamed rice, pasta or potatoes of choice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.