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Albondigas – Spanish Meatballs Recipe

Few foods manage to condense a great flavor into a small size, and without a doubt, Spanish meatballs are one of them. Of course, there are different variants of these albondigas, and there are even changes that you can make yourself. 

The Spanish meatballs recipe is easy to make, you will only need a couple of ingredients, and in a little more than an hour (although you will not have to be constantly cooking) you will have a delicious Spanish dish ready.

To help you with that, here I will tell you how to make albondigas, a little more about its history, and different tips for its storage and how to serve them.

Albondigas - Spanish Meatballs Recipe
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Background of the Dish

albondigas recipe

The albondigas recipe actually comes from Arab culture, though it is also believed that there were different variants in ancient Greece.

Thanks to the trade between the Arab countries and southern Spain, this recipe reached Europe and has remained a protagonist of Andalusian cuisine until today.

Being around for so long, this recipe underwent many changes; in some cases, it is made with tomato sauce or fresh tomato, and in others, tomato is not even used. 

This also gives you the freedom to make the changes you want and adjust the Spanish meatballs recipe to your needs.

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Are you looking for a Spanish Meatballs Recipe? Then you must try our Spanish-style meatballs in tomato sauce that are so tasty and easy to make. In Spain, they are known as Albondigas, a tapas that combines the savory meatballs with uplifting tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is by far the best sauce to go with meatballs and you'll understand that once you've tried it. The Spanish tapas meatballs can be serves as an entree or as a snack. #Albondigas # spanishmeatballs #meatballsrecipe #besttapas
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Things You’ll Need for Spanish Meatballs Recipe

To make this albondigas Spanish style,  you’ll only need a couple of main ingredients, and the only kitchen equipment that you’ll use is a large saucepan.

For these Spanish appetizers, you’ll need ground beef, fresh tomato sauce, and a couple of vegetables. But like I’ll show you later, you can make dozens of replacements. 

spanish meatballs

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 500g minced meat 
  • 50 gr sliced ​​bread (3 slices)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
  • Oil (for cooking)
  • 1 cup (130g) Flour (for coating)
  • Salt 

For the sauce: 

  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon  flour 
  • 1 cup (240ml) water or broth
  • 1 cup (240ml) white wine 
  • ½ cup (100ml) tomato sauce
  • Oil 
  • Salt

How to Make Spanish Meatballs Recipe – Step by Step Guide

easy spanish recipes
  1. To begin with this Spanish meatballs recipe, you have to soak the bread in the milk. While the bread is soaking, chop the garlic very finely and put it in a bowl. 
  1. Then add meat, egg, soaked bread, chopped parsley, and a little salt. Mix everything until it is well integrated.
  1. Take portions of the mixture and give them the classic round shape. Coat them in flour and fry them in a pan with plenty of hot oil. When they get golden brown on all sides, take them out and set them aside on a plate with kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
  1. Now is the time to start with the sauce to go with meatballs. Chop the onions, carrots, and garlic very finely. Sauté everything in a saucepan with a dash of oil and fry it for about 5 minutes. Season, add the spoon of flour, and stir it until it dissolves. 
  1. After that, pour in the wine, tomato sauce, and water or broth. Let it cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, over low heat so that the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  1. As soon as the sauce is made, pass it through a blender or mixer to get a smooth sauce, though you can skip this step and make a chunkier sauce. 
  1. Finally, pour the sauce into the casserole, add the meatballs and let it cook all together for approximately 10 minutes. Now your meatballs in tomato sauce recipe is ready, you just have to serve them warm. 

Substitution of Ingredients

spanish appertizers

To know what replacements you can make, you must know what the Spanish meatballs are, aka Albondigas.

Albondigas are round balls made mainly out of ground beef plus some other vegetables. 

In other countries, there are some similar foods and they’re called meatballs.

Now that you know that, you will understand that there are thousands of substitutions that you can make. 

For example, you can make a recipe for albondigas using a mix between ground pork, turkey, chicken, or any other meat.

You can also make a completely vegetarian version by using textured vegetable protein or any other similar vegetarian option. 

When it comes to the sauce, some other easy Spanish recipes don’t call for any type of tomato sauce or tomato, especially those who come from northern Spain. 

Despite that fact, the recipe in this article is based on the southern Spain version, which is made using tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes. You can also use tomato sauce from tomato paste.

Tips on Serving Spanish Meatballs Recipe

best spanish tapas

If you check other authentic Spanish tapas recipes, you’ll see that they are usually served as an entree or as a snack. 

If you want to turn this into a main dish, you can serve them as a sandwich with your favorite type of bread.

You can also pour some shredded parmesan cheese on top, or if you are leaning into more Italian albondigas recipes then you can serve them with pasta.

The Spanish meatballs recipe is a delicious tapas that can be served whenever you have guests over. 

You can assemble a plate with chicken croquettes, mini tortilla de patatas bites, and Fried anchovies. Your guest will be thrilled to try Spanish delicacies and will certainly ask for the recipes. 

How to Store Spanish Meatballs Recipe

How to Store Spanish Meatballs Recipe

To store these meatballs in tomato sauce is very simple. You just have to form the albondigas, cook them, and you can either store them in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for one month. 

When it comes to the sauce of this tapas Spanish, you can make it and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

I don’t recommend freezing it because the vegetables will lose their freshness, and tomato sauces usually don’t freeze well. 

Recipe Card: Spanish Meatballs Recipe

Yield: 5

Spanish Meatballs Recipe

albondigas con tomate , tapas

Few foods manage to condense a great flavor into a small size, and without a doubt, Spanish meatballs are one of them.

The Spanish meatballs recipe is easy to make, you will only need a couple of ingredients, and in a little more than an hour, you will have a delicious Spanish dish ready.

Of course, there are different variants of these albondigas, and there are even changes that you can make yourself.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g minced meat
  • 50 gr sliced ​​bread (3 slices)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Oil (for cooking)
  • 1 cup (130g) Flour (for coating)
  • Salt

For the sauce

  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon  flour
  • 1 cup (240ml) water or broth
  • 1 cup (240ml) white wine
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Tomato sauce
  • Oil and Salt

Instructions

  1. Soak the bread in the milk. While the bread is soaking, chop the garlic very finely and put it in a bowl. 
  2. Add meat, egg, soaked bread, chopped parsley, and a little salt. Mix everything until it is well integrated.
  3. Take portions of the mixture and give them a round shape. Coat them in flour and fry them in a pan with plenty of hot oil. When they get golden brown on all sides, take them out and set them aside on a plate with kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
  4. Now chop the onions, carrots, and garlic very finely. Sauté everything in a saucepan with a dash of oil and fry it for about 5 minutes. Season, add the spoon of flour, and stir it until it dissolves. 
  5. Pour in the wine, the tomato sauce, and a cup of water or broth. Let it cook for about 25 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally so that the flour doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. As soon as the sauce is made, pass it through a blender or mixer. Finally, pour the sauce into the casserole, add the meatballs and let it cook all together for approximately 10 minutes.

Notes

These are the best Spanish tapas, so feel free to change the seasoning, add different vegetables to the sauce, etc.

You can also use a mix of ground beef and other meats such as pork, turkey, or even a vegan substitution. 

As well as other Spanish tapas recipes, this dish is meant to be served as an entree or as a side, so if you want to make it as a main dish then you should double the amount of each ingredient.

The authentic recipe doesn’t call for tomato sauce, but I can assure you that it really improves the flavors of this dish.

Nutrition Information

Yield

5

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 565Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 176mgSodium 788mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 43g

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