Spanish Meatballs

These little veal and pork meatballs--albondigas in Spanish--are popular served as tapas. Good with crusty bread or as a main course dish with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Prepare ahead: The meatball mixture can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Or, the entire dish can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and reheated.

Freeze for up to 3 months.

Leftovers can be coarsely chopped, mixed with their sauce, then warmed and used to fill a toasted pita.

Instead of frying the meatballs, they can be baked for 30 minutes in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven.


Preparation Time20 min

Preparation Time - Text20 mins

Cooking Time1 min

Cooking Time - Text60

Cooking Methodbraising


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, tapas/small plates

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch, snack

Taste and Texturegarlicky, meaty


  • 1 lb 10oz (750g) ground veal
  • 9 oz (250g) ground pork
  • ½ cup minced parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (from day-old bread)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1¾ cups hearty red wine
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Large flameproof casserole


  1. Mix the veal, pork, parsley, and garlic together in a large bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes, or until softened. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, until lightly thickened. Rub through a wire sieve and return to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside.

  3. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread crumbs and add to the meat mixture. Add the eggs and 3 tbsp of the wine sauce, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Roll the mixture into 48 balls, each about the size of a golf ball. Dust the balls with the flour.

  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. In batches, add the meatballs and cook, turning often, until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

  5. Bring the sauce and meatballs to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the meatballs are cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.



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