3 pounds

Ready In:

15 Minutes

Type of Recipe:

Performance Food

Good For:

Snack, Lunch, Dinner

All Italian-American Cannon Balls

These are another example of good, clean, performance nutrition. Many of my meatball recipes were originally designed for competitive fitness athletes and families who need quick and easy snacks. Most of these types of rockstars have more of an “eat to live” attitude and need something that’s simple, yet sustaining.

I came up with a remix on the old term “meatball” and transformed it into a “cannon ball,” as inspiration from my personal trainer and fitness coach, Chad Cannon, at Cannon Fitness in Bluffton, South Carolina. He’s continually reminding me to eat good, clean food in order to fuel my body to be at its best. What he taught me is that you should never go hungry – especially before a workout.

These cannon balls can be eaten on their own or made a little bigger to be burgers or sliders. I like them best as a midafternoon, grab-and-go snack, or on a wrap for lunch. You can even make them in a super large batch to freeze for easy, anytime access.

Remember – never go hungry, my friends.


2 pounds organic ground beef, turkey, or chicken

1 cup sweet onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp. garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped (or 1½ tsp. dried oregano)

1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed

1 cup gluten-free quick oats

1 cup organic low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese, strained

2 large organic eggs, beaten (or 4 egg whites)


Optional Garnish:

Raw onion


Organic ketchup


Step by Step Instructions

To prep ingredients:

Soak mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Drain and rinse well. Squeeze excess water from mushrooms and finely chop. 

In your stand mixer with paddle attachment, add chopped shitakes with all other ingredients.

Mix well, as a firmer texture is preferred in this recipe. 

Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Step 1

Preheat a standard oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a sheet pan with a clean, high-heat spray oil. Reserve to the side.


Step 2

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add all the meatball ingredients. Mix until uniformly combined. Cover and chill for 1 hour.


For medium to large meatballs:

Using a medium to large scoop (equal to ½ cup or larger), scoop the mixture into 12-14 portions, in a single layer on pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness.

For small-sized sliders:

Using wet hands, form 1½ to 2 inch balls out of your mixture. Place in a single layer on sheet pan.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness.

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