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The Daring Cook’s Challenge Edible Containers: Stuffed Meatballs in a Parmesan Crisp Bowl

Stuffed Meatballs in Parmesan Crisp Bowl
Stuffed Meatball with spaghetti in Parmesan Crust cup

This month there was another great challenge to create something to serve in an edible container.

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at!

I chose to make a simple Parmesan Crisp bowl and fill it with stuffed meatballs.  I made two versions, one for an appetizer and one with spaghetti that could be served as a meal.  I thought both turned out well and would be great for parties as you could make the bowls and meatballs ahead then just reheat and assemble.

First I made the crisps which are really simple.

Shredded Parmesan spread on cookie sheet

Place about 2-3 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan, depending on the size you prefer, spread into a circle.

Melted Cheese

Bake at 400 degrees for about 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Making the bowl shape

Remove from the oven and quickly (but carefully as it will be hot) place in small heat proof bowls molding to the shape of the bowl.  You can do this either inside or with the bowl upside down, I chose to do it on the inside.  I would only do a couple at a time because you have to work quickly the cheese hardens fast.

Parmesan Cheese Crisp Bowl

Let cool and pop them out (or lift them off) and set aside.

Next the stuffed meatballs:


1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (hot or mild as you prefer)

1/2 pound ground beef

1 cup bread crumbs (I used some really good but stale ciabatta rolls)

1 small onion chopped very finely

4 cloves garlic chopped very finely

3 tablespoons mixed fresh Italian herbs ( oregano, parsley, basil)

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup Pizza sauce (homemade or purchased)  You could also use spaghetti sauce but it might be a little thin.

1 cup shredded mozzarella


Mix all ingredients except the pizza sauce and cheese in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly, but don’t handle more than necessary.

Make the balls:

Make a disk

Start by making a flattened round disk.

Add some sauce

Add a small amount of pizza sauce.

Add cheese

Sprinkle with some cheese.

Cover the filling

Make a second flattened disk and cover the filling.  Make sure and seal the edges well, then pick it up and roll (very) gently between your hands to round it out and make sure all the edges are sealed.

Ready to bake

Place in a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes depending on how big you’ve made them.  I made two versions, one small for appetizers and one of large ones for the main dish.

To serve the appetizer size, just add 2-3 small meatballs to each bowl and sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan.  For a meal, serve a large meatball with a portion of your favorite spaghetti mixed with sauce in the bowl and sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan.

Ready to serve

9 thoughts on “The Daring Cook’s Challenge Edible Containers: Stuffed Meatballs in a Parmesan Crisp Bowl


    This was definitely thinking outside the plate! Your “plate” is very creative, and this meal looks fabulous/delicious.

    CA annie

  2. Audax Artifex

    WOW I love your step by step photos and the idea of stuffed meatballs and crisp cheese bowls is excellent! Your photography is superb, and the recipe is so delicious. well done on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. Renata

    I was just thinking… imagine biting into this meatball and finding oozing cheese in pizza sauce… mmmmmmmmmm… then biting some crispy cheese from the edible cheese bowl…that was above yummy! Great job on the challenge, and thanks for participating!

  4. Recipe Chefs

    Excellent post thanks for sharing. Food is something I can enjoy all around. If I’m not eating it. I’m reading and looking at pictures about it.

    Rise n Shine Eggs – Breakfast Recipe

  5. Jenni

    Oh my gosh!!

    I completely love this idea! Your parm crisps are so cute, and ohholycrap, stuffed meatballs! You win! 🙂

  6. noelnoms

    This looks tasty and interesting. Can you use softer cheeses (like cheddar), or do you have to use a hard cheese? Thank you for posing this!

    1. simplycooking101

      I’m sure cheddar would be great too!

  7. Teresa!

    This is great! I was wondering, if you placed the meatball w/ the sauce in the parmsean crisp bowl, will the crisp melt?

    1. simplycooking101

      I haven’t had that problem but I put them together right before I serve them and I don’t use a lot of sauce. They probably would get soggy if you left them too long.

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