Saturday, June 10, 2023

Meatball recipes: not just for a spaghetti topping!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Meatballs (and even the meatless variety) are delicious and versatile food. You may find inspiration in one of these recipes and give them a try or maybe you will use that inspiration to make a meatball (or meatless ball) creation of your own!

Meatball recipes

Excellent Meatballs

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow it to cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley, and bread crumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do 1 final really good squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The mixture should taste really good! If it doesn’t it is probably missing salt. Add more. Add more anyway.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Shape the meat into the desired size. Some people like ’em big some people like ’em small. I prefer meatballs slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to your big pot of marinara sauce. If not used right away, they can be frozen for later use. Serve with pasta and sauce or just eat them straight out of the pot! YUM!

Easy Korean Meatballs


For Meatballs

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef 80/20 is best
  • 3 green onions very thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
Korean Meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with foil, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients for meatballs, mix until just combined. Don’t overmix or the meatballs will be tough.
  3. Roll mixture into 24 meatballs. Using a cookie scoop makes it easy to get evenly sized meatballs. Place 12 meatballs on each baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and gochujang in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Whisk together until combined. Continue to cook and whisk occasionally until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Don’t allow sauce to boil, reduce heat if needed.
  6. When meatballs are done, remove from the oven. Brush with glaze. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if desired, and serve.

30-minute vegetarian meatballs


  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (roughly 1 head of cauliflower)
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa and/or brown rice (see notes)
  • 3/4 cups of a “dry ingredient” like oat flour, almond meal, breadcrumbs, etc.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 heaping tablespoon spices (chili powder, paprika, and/or cumin will work)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan with a thin coating
vegetarian meatballs
  1. Cauliflower: Cook the cauliflower florets in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, till fork-tender. Drain well.
  2. Mix: Pulse the quinoa and cauliflower through a food processor until semi-smooth (see pictures for texture). Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and combine with all other ingredients. Stir until everything is incorporated. Roll into small balls (about one heaping tablespoon per ball was best for me).
  3. Cook: Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat – add the balls and cook for a few minutes on each side – they will need to be gently turned every so often to get browned all the way around. Serve with yummy sauces, salads, bowls, or freeze for later!

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