This kid-friendly, adult-pleasing recipe is pure comfort food. Easy to make—with the kids helping!—dish that can easily work for a weeknight.


  • 1 lb ground beef (I used ground venison; ground turkey or ground chicken may also be used)
  • ½ cup uncooked rice (see more info in notes below)
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic or celery salt
  • 2½ cups tomato juice (see notes)
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (optional; amount to taste if used)
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (see notes for substitutes)
  • dash or two of red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Combine the meatball ingredients and shape into meatballs; set aside.
  2. Combine the sauce ingredients right in a large, deep skillet to make the sauce.
  3. Add meatballs and stir until all meatballs are coated with sauce.
  4. Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat; stir if needed. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Cover skillet. Simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring two or three times. After the last stir, add any other ingredients that are going into your skillet supper.

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