How to Make Meatballs – Five Great Recipes

Are you wondering how to make meatballs? Here you can view five awesome and easy recipes to prepare delicious meatballs.

#1 Oven Baked Meatballs -Low-fat Version Recipe

Low-fat meatballs made easy.

Oven Baked Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • flesh and juice of 1 small tomato skinned and deseeded
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 2 – 3 sprigs dill
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 1/4 cup water or skim milk
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs or 1 slice sandwich bread, torn into small bits
  • 1 tbsp pickling spices or no salt seasonings
  • 1 tsp chicken or beef base (the no salt or M.S.G. type)

Note:

The objective of this recipe was to create a low-fat and no salt meatball.

The tomato is added to tenderize the meat; otherwise, the meatball can be tough and rubbery.

The bread is added to give the meat some extra tenderness.

The water or milk is added to give some moisture to the meatball; otherwise, the meatball will be dry.

The onion, garlic, dill and parsley are used to flavour the meat. Other fresh or dried herbs can be used: thyme, oregano, mint and cumin: use about 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dry or desired amount. Garlic powder can also be used in place of fresh.

Methods:

  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper to go up sides of pan and then set prepared pan aside.
  2. In a small bowl or food processor, mash the tomato flesh and juice.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients to form a soft mixture; the mixture will be a little droopy.
  4. Position an oven rack on the second to lowest rack level and preheat oven to 425’F.
  5. Pinch off pieces of the meat mixture to form a 1 1/2 – 2-inch balls, setting balls equally apart from each other in the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 13 – 18 minutes, turning meatballs over halfway through baking. Test meatballs for doneness by cutting through one of them; the meat should be thoroughly cooked; the juices in the pan should be clear, not cloudy.
  6. The meatballs can also be simmered in a low-fat tomato sauce, for a few minutes, and then served with pasta of choice.

#2 Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

Tender meatballs with a hint of Parmesan cheese. Makes 60 – 65 meatballs.

Parmesan Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • pulverized pickling spices or other spices of choice
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, processed into crumbs
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

 Note:

These can be baked and refrigerated, a day in advance, in a tightly sealed container. To reheat them: place them in a small pan lined with parchment paper, add the meatballs and then 2 – 3 tablespoons water, cover with foil paper well and then bake in a preheated 350’F. for 10 minutes or until thoroughly reheated. The water and the foil paper prevent the meatballs from drying out during reheating.

Methods:

  1. Position an oven rack on the second to the lowest level and preheat the oven to 425’F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper: set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together using your hands: ground beef, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper, spices of choice, bread crumbs and milk; add a bit more milk, if needed, to make a firm, but soft mixture: the mixture, though, should not be droopy. Pinch off a piece of the mixture and form it into a 1 1/2-inch meatball. Set the meatballs spaced well apart on the prepared baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 – 23 minutes, or until their juices should run clear, not pink: test a meatball for doneness. Serve the meatballs warm, or at room temperature, spiking each one with a toothpick.

#3 Meatballs in a Tangy Cranberry Chilli Sauce Recipe

Tender meatballs in a sweet and savoury cranberry chilli sauce. Makes 18 large meatballs.

Meatballs in a Tangy Cranberry Chilli Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (+-14 oz/398 ml) jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 bottle (+-16 oz/455 ml) chilli sauce
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, turned into fine bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp beef base
  • 3 – 4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots mix

Note:

Whole cranberry sauce can be substituted for the jelly type.

Use fresh bread crumbs, not dry, because dry ones make the meatballs crumbly.

I like to form the meatballs and place them on a cutting surface, instead of putting them straight into the pan. This way, I can remove a bit of the mixture from the larger meatballs and add it to the smaller ones to make them consistent in size.

If you don’t like vegetables, then don’t use them. If you like softer vegetables, then bake the meatballs covered for 30 minutes and then stir in the veggies and continue baking them covered for another 30 minutes.

The sauce, when finished is nice and thick. If you prefer a thinner sauce, then simply stir in a couple of tablespoons of cold water at the end of baking and reheat everything (uncovered) for a couple of minutes, until the mixture is bubbling.

This is great pot-luck food that can be made a day in advance. I make the meatballs 1-inch in size, instead, so there’s plenty to go around. The cooking time, though, still remains at 1 hour.

Methods:

  1. Spray the pan with the non-stick coating spray: set the pan aside
  2. Position an oven rack on the lowest level and preheat the oven to 425’F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together well: cranberry and chilli sauce; pour into the prepared pan.
  4. In the same bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, pepper, garlic powder, ketchup, parsley, beef base and water. Form the mixture into 18 meatballs, setting them on a cutting surface and check them for size as mentioned previously. Set them in the pan with the sauce and spoon some sauce over them. Cover the pan with its matching lid; or, with foil paper, tightly sealed around the edges of the pan.
  5. Bake them in a preheated oven for 45 minutes and halfway through baking: stir everything around well. Note: carefully remove the lid, or foil paper away from your face to avoid steam burns. In the meantime, rinse the frozen peas and carrots in a colander to thaw; repeat a couple of times.
  6. After 45 minutes of baking: stir in the vegetables and spoon some of the sauce over the meatballs. Continue baking for another 15 minutes covered; a bit of oil (fat from the beef) will accumulate on the surface and this is to be expected. Serve the meatballs with mashed potatoes, rice or pasta of choice, along with thick slices of soft bread.

#4 Meatballs in Gravy Recipe

Tender tasty meatballs in a dark savoury gravy. Makes about 36 – 48 meatballs.

meatballgravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef, lean
  • a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp onion soup mix, dried
  • 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp pulverized pickling spices
  • 5 – 6 cups of your favourite dark gravy: homemade or store bought
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Methods:

  1. Prepare gravy and then set it aside. Combine the ground beef, parsley, bread crumbs, onion soup mix, tomato paste, mint, pepper and pickling spices, in a large mixing bowl, to create a large mass (use your hands to form the mixture; it’s easier than using a wooden ladle).
  2. Pour about 1 1/2- 2 cups, or more, of the gravy into the baking pan to cover the bottom of the pan.

Note:
At this point, position an oven rack on the lowest level and preheat oven to 425’F.

From the beef mixture, pinch off a bit of the mixture and roll it between your hands to form a 1 1/2inches ball. When formed, place the ball into the prepared baking pan to form a single layer. Continue with remaining beef mixture in the same way; if you have any extra meatballs (5-10 of them) that don’t fit in the pan, then just place them over the first layer: as they bake, they’ll shrink and thus space will be made to accommodate the extra meatballs.

Once the pan has been filled with the meatballs, pour enough of the remaining gravy over the meatballs to cover them, by at least 1/4 inch. Jiggle the pan around to get the gravy to pass through the gaps.

Cover the pan with the foil paper, pressing the paper around the edges to create a tight seal, then bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes of baking, remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift off the foil paper away from you, and gently stir around the meatballs using a ladle. You have to bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, in order for them to firm up before giving them a stir up, otherwise; they’ll be too soft and they’ll break apart as you try to stir them.

Cover the pan with same foil paper, making sure of a tight seal, and continue baking them for 15 – 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked and tender. Once cooked, remove them from the oven and transfer the meatballs and the gravy to a serving bowl and serve. You can cook, cool and refrigerate the meatballs with the gravy in the same pan (covered with foil paper), and when you ready to use them, simply reheat them for about 10 – 15 minutes, at 425’F.

#5 Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Spicy meatballs in a tangy, yet sweet tomato sauce. Makes about 48 – 58 meatballs.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 large onions, skinned and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves skinned and mashed
  • 6 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil: canola or vegetable
  • a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp beef base
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 3/4 tsp pulverized pickling spices
  • 1 – 2 tsp sugar

Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2- 2 pounds ground beef, lean
  • a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp dry onion soup mix
    1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp pulverized pickling spices
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

How to Make the Tomato Sauce:

  1. Sauté the onions with the oil, in a large pot, on medium-high heat, for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to sauté them for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté them for 1 – 2 minutes. Pour in the tomato juice and the 4 cups water, then add the parsley, cinnamon, beef base, cumin, oregano, pickling spices and sugar; bring everything to a boil, stirring occasionally. As the sauce cooks away, prepare the meatballs.

How to Make the Meatballs:

  1. Combine the ground beef, parsley, bread crumbs, onion soup mix, tomato paste, mint, pickling spices and pepper, in a large mixing bowl, then mix well to create a large mass. From the beef mixture, pinch a bit off the mixture, and roll it between your hands to form a 1 1/2inches ball; set it aside on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining beef mixture in the same way (use your hands to form the mixture; it’s easier than using a wooden spoon).

Completing the Meatballs and Tomato Sauce:

  1. Carefully drop about 10 – 15 meatballs into the sauce and then wait 15 seconds before stirring them around.
  2. Add the remaining meatballs in the same manner, then lower the heat to a low-medium, and cook partially covered for 30 – 40 minutes, or until balls are tender. Don’t add all the meatballs at once, otherwise; they’ll stick to each other. Instead, drop a few meatballs (9 – 10) and then wait 15 seconds before stirring them around in the pot; the heat from the liquid will quickly cook the outer area of the meatball and will give it its form.
  3. Having placed all of the balls into the sauce, make sure balls are covered with the tomato sauce; otherwise, they won’t cook properly. If balls are not covered, then add some more water to cover them. Raise the pot and jiggle it, left to right and vice-versa, to mix the water with the sauce, then lower the pot back onto the burner. Jiggle pot in the same manner every 15 minutes to prevent them from sticking as the sauce reduces.
  4. Transfer the meatballs and sauce to a serving bowl and serve. You can cook, cool and refrigerate and when you’re ready to use them, simply reheat in the oven them for about 10 – 15 minutes, at 425’F., stirring them before transferring them to a serving bowl.
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