Meatball Mania: 5 Easy and Delicious Meatball Recipes
Meatballs are easy to make, flavorful, and versatile. It's no surprise that many countries and cuisine have their own version of meatballs. The origin of meatballs has been lost to the flow of time, but it's believed that the homey fair has its roots in a Persian dish called kofta that contains a mixture of meats and either rice, bulger, or mashed lentils. Today, meatballs are a symbol of comfort food in the United States, and home-cooked meatballs are often the family favorite, and no wonder: They are delicious whether served on their own as appetizers, on top of subs, or with spaghetti!
It's almost impossible to mess up meatballs, but whatever meatball recipe that rolls your way (and we have 5 here today), there are some tips to help you make those juicy meatballs just right.
Certified Piedmontese's Meatball Tips
It's common to mistake the eggs as the source of moisture, but eggs only act as a binder in meatballs, helping the ground meat, breadcrumbs, and other ingredients stick together. Adding too many eggs will make your meatballs spongy, soggy, and far too dense. As a rule of thumb, crack in 1 egg (2 if they are small eggs) for every 1-2 lbs of ground beef.
An alternative way to bind your meatballs AND add moisture is to use breadcrumbs soaked in milk! Soak breadcrumbs in milk until they become soggy, then mix them into the ground meat. It will help add moisture, preventing the meat from drying out and becoming tough. You might consider leaving out the eggs if you're already using breadcrumbs soaked in milk as a binder.
When incorporating all your ingredients together in a big bowl, use your hands instead of a kitchen utensil. Only human hands will have that light touch needed to mix all ingredients thoroughly without crushing the ground meat. You'd still want to see pieces of ground meat at the end for the best texture.
A trick to keep your hands un-sticky and ground-meat-free when rolling up your meatballs: lightly oil your palms using olive oil or cooking spray. When forming the meatballs, use a light rolling motion, and make sure you're not squeezing too tight. Your meatballs will form better and crack less. Meatballs come in all sizes: medium meatballs for spaghetti, large 2-inch meatballs when served on their own, or small-sized meatballs when served in soup. Pick the best size to fit your needs.
Heat up the pan and sear your meatballs for that crusty, caramelized, crispy brown surface before arranging them on your baking tray (if you're putting them in the oven) or braising them in sauce. It helps speed up the cooking time, brings out flavor, and seals in moisture.
IMPORTANT RULE: Cooked meatballs should have an internal temperature of 160-165°F. Check with an instant-read meat thermometer when you think they're done!
Time to dive right into the diverse and delicious meatball recipes we all love! From spicy-sweet to rich-and-cheesy, these meatball recipes will satisfy your meatball cravings for days. Who knows? You just might find a new family favorite!
Moroccan-Spiced Meatballs are easily adjustable to suit the level of heat your taste buds prefer. Thrill-seekers, feel free to add more harissa or cayenne powder to the ground meat. Using a whole teaspoon more of spice would crank up the heat and shock your senses.
½ grated onion (or 1 small onion)
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp harissa or cayenne powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs (optional)
2 tbsp avocado oil
Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Place the cast-iron pan in the oven to preheat, too.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly mixed, then roll into even balls.
Carefully pull the cast-iron pan out of the oven and move it to the stovetop. Set stovetop to medium-high heat and add avocado oil to the cast-iron skillet.
Put in the meatballs and sear the meatballs until they have a slightly brown surface.
Return the cast-iron pan to oven for about 20 minutes, turning the meatballs halfway through.
Cheesy Baked Meatballs
Cheesy Baked Meatballs are every bit comforting and delicious. Ground beef is rolled together with herbs and spices, nestled into marinara sauce, and baked until tender. Top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese for the ultimate Cheesy Baked Meatball!
1 large egg
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp dried parsley
24 oz pasta sauce of choice
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, egg, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and dried parsley. Use your hands to gently combine together, being careful not to over-mix.
Pour the pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish (or one of equivalent size). Use a large cookie scoop (roughly 5 1/2 tablespoons) to scoop the ground beef mixture into meatballs. Gently roll them in between your palms to smooth them out before placing them into the prepared baking dish with the pasta sauce.
Bake for 30 minutes. Then, evenly top the meatballs with the shredded mozzarella and bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Garnish with freshly chopped basil if desired and enjoy!
Mango Thai Curry Meatballs
These Mango Thai Curry Meatballs take 30 minutes in the kitchen to make, and you'll feel like you're eating gourmet Thai cuisine. They're deliciously fun to eat – the flavors just explode in your mouth!
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup red pepper, minced
1 cup cauliflower rice
½ cup onion, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup bell peppers, sliced
½ cup onion, sliced
½ tbsp ginger, minced
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp coconut aminos
½ cup mango, chopped
2 tbsp coconut sugar
Preheat oven to 400 °F. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into meatballs about 1-inch in diameter.
Heat the skillet on medium-high heat on the stovetop, and add 2 tbsp vegetable oil to the pan before adding meatballs. Sear on all sides until lightly browned.
Move meatballs to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
While meatballs are cooking, sauté coconut oil, bell peppers, onions, and minced ginger in the skillet until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, coconut aminos, mango, and coconut sugar into the skillet. Mix well. Turn down the heat to low.
Let the curry sauce simmer until the meatballs are done. Add the meatballs to the skillet and let cook for 5 minutes before taking off the heat.
Sweet and tangy with a touch of heat from freshly grated ginger, these Mongolian Meatballs are just so good you won't be able to stop till you finish every last one! The secret? Sticky and savory glaze made with twelve ingredients. They're great as appetizers to be popped in your mouth with toothpicks, so make sure to form small-sized meatballs!
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
½ tbsp champagne vinegar (or any other type of vinegar)
1 large egg
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp grated ginger
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
⅔ cup water
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red chili flakes (or hot sauce)
1 splash of champagne vinegar
Sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds as garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 °F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all the ingredients for the meatball in a large bowl. Mix well.
Form small meatballs and place them evenly on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
(Alternate step: Lightly sear the meatballs on medium-high heat until they have a brown crust before placing them in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.)
While the meatballs are in the oven, mix all ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan over the stove at medium-high heat.
Bring the glaze to a simmer before turning the heat to low and let it bubble and thicken, stirring continuously. Take it off the heat when it reaches a thick consistency. Adjust taste as needed with more soy sauce.
(Optional: Add a little cornstarch slurry near the end to let your sauce get that shiny, restaurant-level look)
Toss your cooked meatballs in the glaze, and garnish with roasted sesame seeds.
Spanish Smoked Meatballs
This Spanish-inspired spin on meatballs loaded with flavor is one recipe you'll keep on wanting. The combination of fresh and smoky ingredients comes together as a great appetizer to serve with a side of fresh salsa.
1 lb bacon, cut into thin 1-inch strips
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 large jalapeño or serrano chilies, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
1 large egg
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated smoked cheddar
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup salsa, for dipping
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil and spray the foil with vegetable oil spray.
Add bacon to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Discard all but 2 tbsp bacon fat from the skillet. Add onion, garlic, and chilies to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
While the vegetables cook, combine egg and milk in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add breadcrumbs, cheddar, cilantro, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, and liquid smoke and mix well.
Combine onion mixture, bacon, beef, and milk mixture. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, and mix well.
Form mixture into 1½-inch meatballs and arrange on the prepared pan.
Spray tops of meatballs with vegetable oil spray before baking for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove pan from oven and serve with salsa for dipping.