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Mini Meatballs in Saffron Sauce

Mini Meatballs in Saffron Sauce

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  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1 1/2-inch-thick slice French bread, crust removed, soaked in water 3 minutes and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

Recipe Preparation

  • Mix pork, veal, 1 tablespoon parsley, half of garlic, egg, bread, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl to blend. Shape meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Dust meatballs with flour. Set aside.

  • Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and sauté until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to plate. Add onion to skillet; reduce heat to medium and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in paprika, then 1 cup broth and wine. Return meatballs with any accumulated juices to skillet. Bring to simmer. Cover and cook until meatballs are tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover; add 2 tablespoons parsley, remaining garlic, and saffron. Simmer until sauce thickens, turning meatballs occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer, thinning with broth if necessary.

  • Place meatballs with sauce on platter. Top with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Reviews Section

Best Spanish Meatballs in Almond Sauce

Spanish albóndigas en salsa de almendras or silky meatballs in almond sauce with saffron… A surprising meatball dinner!

Both the hubs and me love meatball dinners.

And you bet I always keep a stash of them in my freezer because whenever I see any kind of meat mince for a bargain at my supermarket I will take it home, make meatballs or burgers and freeze them for later.

Tender Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Extremely tender meatballs in homemade tomato and saffron sauce. An easy-to-follow recipe for this classic Spanish tapas dish.


  • 750 grams Ground Beef
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 pinch Parsley
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 3 pinches Salt
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 cups Flour, All Purpose
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Tomatoes, Ripe
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 pinch Oregano
  • ½ teaspoons Saffron
  • 2 cups Water


1. Combine ground beef, minced garlic, parsley, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the eggs and mix well until evenly blended.

2. Place flour on a plate and flour your hands. Form the meat mixture into bite-sized meatballs and coat each with flour. Set meatballs aside on a plate.

3. Place a cup of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once the olive oil is hot, add the meatballs into the pan and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden.

4. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them in a plate. Keep the frying-pan with the used oil to make the tomato sauce.

5. Chop the onion. Cook onion over low heat for 10 minutes in the same frying-pan with the already used olive oil. Add a pinch of salt.

6. Peel and dice the tomatoes. After 10 minutes of cooking the onion, add them to the saucepan along with the sugar to cut the acidity (add your favorite spices such as basil or oregano). Cook over low heat for 12 to 15 minutes.

7. Use an immersion blender to puree the tomato sauce. You can do this in a normal blender as well but make sure to puree it in small batches and allow room in the container so that it doesn’t explode.

8. Place saffron and a pinch of salt into a spice mortar. Grind for 3-4 minutes.

9. Heat 2 cups of water (you can do this in the microwave or in a saucepan). Add the mixture in the mortar into the hot water and stir to dissolve.

10. Place meatballs, tomato sauce and dissolved saffron into a large pot. Cook and stir over low heat for 15 minutes.

Middle Eastern-Style Meatballs

Combine meat, potato, egg, tomato paste, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until incorporated.

Roll meat mixture into approximately tablespoon-sized meatballs.

Roll each meatball in almond flour to coat.

Preheat a pan and pour in oil. Then place meatballs in one by one, searing on all sides.

Once meatballs are browned all around the outside, add in apricots and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir gently with a wooden spoon so onions touch the pan. Add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, lightly cover the pan with foil (or lid) and let cook over low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice during that time.

Add red wine, and scrape up bits from the pan using a wooden spoon. Let cook for at least 1 minute.

Add saffron broth and stock. Stir.

Cover again and lower flame. Let cook for at least 45 minutes (they can go longer on a low simmer).

The raisins and pine nuts in these meatballs may sound strange but trust us: they add the right amount of sweetness and texture.

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Meatballs are so easy to make. I bake mine now to avoid the fat from frying them. I remember though big pans of hot grease on the stove when my mom would make meatballs and her frying those tasty morsels. She would make meatballs the size of a hard ball. Then we discovered mini meatballs and have been making them that way ever since. It was much easier to make sauce so meatballs were a special treat when we had them. I’m not sure exactly when we started baking them but it sure is a time saver and it makes them healthier for us at the same time. I always add them at the end of the cooking time if I add them to the sauce so that the meatballs don’t break up.

These are the lightest meatballs you will ever make. Adding the water to the breadcrumbs lets them swell up to provide the light texture you get when you make them this way. You can use ground turkey or chicken also for the meatballs. The ground beef I use now is 94% so it is really lean. If you use regular ground beef which is fine, just realize the meatballs are going to shrink as they bake. Sometimes when I need more than just a lb. of meatballs and I need to double the recipe for the second pound of meat I use a mixture of half pork and half veal with the 1 lb. ground beef. So good!

The pasta in the front of the picture here is the One Pot Pasta I made which I just loved. You add everything to the pan, including the uncooked noodles and cook until the pasta is done. Dinner can be done in less than 20 minutes with this recipe.

Lamb koftas with cranberry, cumin and pine nuts with spiced orange yoghurt

This is humble, home cooking at its finest… what all the best meatballs – and memories – are made of.

Serves 4
3 heaped tsp cumin seeds
500g minced lamb
100g dried cranberries
2 large eggs
1 medium onion, minced in a food processor or very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 heaped tsp ground turmeric
1 small (20g) packet of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped – stalks and all
2 heaped tsp salt
A generous amount of black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

For the yoghurt
250g thick Greek yoghurt
Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed oranges
Juice of ½ an orange
2 heaped tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
Generous seasoning of salt and pepper to taste
1 small packet (20g) of fresh mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped

To serve
Tortilla wraps

1 In a preheated pan over a medium/high heat, dry-fry the cumin seeds to waken up/intensify their flavour this will take a few minutes, but be careful not to burn the seeds– just toast them lightly.

2 Preheat a large frying pan over a medium heat (or high if using electric).

3 In a large mixing bowl, add together all the kofta ingredients along with the toasted cumin seeds, then really work the mixture thoroughly using your hands, pummelling and working the meat mixture through, making sure the ingredients are evenly combined.

4 Drizzle some oil into your frying pan – just enough to coat the base of the pan.

5 Make your koftas by taking a small amount of the mixed meat mixture – about the size of a ping-pong ball – and then roll each one into a ball. Then roll and flatten the ball in the palm of your hand into slightly elongated shapes and fry them for about 6-7 minutes on each side, until nicely browned and cooked through.

6 Mix the ingredients for the yoghurt together.

7 Season the koftas with sumac before serving in a wrap with the yoghurt drizzled over them.

Mini Greek Meatballs recipes

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Moroccan Meatballs with Couscous and Saffron Harissa Sauce

First of all, I must encourage you to not freak out. Yes, that is a very long ingredient list, but it's all so do-able. Most of this stuff you probably already have in your pantry, except possibly the saffron and Harissa. If you can find it in your heart to spring for these two ingredients, you will be well rewarded. Oh my heavens, this is a very special, flavorful, festive dish and possibly the best meatballs I've had. Still, I did some major tweaking to the original recipe, which was delicious, but in my humble opinion, the sauce needed a bit of help. I used the yogurt to add some body and the Harissa for a lovely flavor punch. If you've not had Harissa, you're in for a treat. It's basically a sauce of roasted red peppers and spices and is ever so delicious. If you like spice, it can be spicy, but if you're preferring less spice, it comes in a mild version that's dialed back on the heat but retains its earthy spiciness.

Recipe Adapted from David Tanis, NY Times

1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 inch piece cinnamon stick

Large pinch saffron, crumbled

3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

(I got out a small bowl and measured all of the spices into it and then stirred it well before adding it to the meatball mixture for even distribution)

1 and 1/2 cups cubed day ­old firm white bread

1 pound ground beef, turkey or lamb

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion

All­ purpose flour, for dusting

Olive oil or vegetable oil

½ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water to soften, then drained (optional)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and

cook without browning until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more. Add broth and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.

Put bread cubes and milk in a small bowl. Leave bread to soak until softened, about 5 minutes, then squeeze dry.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and add add salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, cloves, coriander and cumin. Mix well to distribute seasoning. Add 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro and scallion, stir well and then add squeezed-out bread and the ground meat. Use your hands to mix it all really well. This may be prepared several hours in advance, up to a day.

With your hands, roll mixture into small round balls, a little smaller than a golf ball. You should get about 25 or so. Dip each ball into a bowl of flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil, or a quarter-inch depth, over medium-high heat and fry meatballs until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side and set on a rack over a baking sheet while you finish the rest.

Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer, partially covered over medium low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the sauce and keep warm. Let the sauce cool for a few minutes. meanwhile, stir together the yogurt and Harissa. When the sauce has cooled somewhat, whisk the yogurt mixture into the sauce until well combined. Return the meatballs to the pan and warm through.

Cook the couscous according to package directions, fluff gently and stir in butter and raisins. Season with salt and cinnamon, and toss well.

Serve the meatballs over the couscous and pour some of the sauce over the meatballs. Garnish meatballs with remaining parsley, cilantro and scallion. Place the remaining sauce in a pitcher to pass at the table.

I served these with The Splendid Table's saffron tomato sauce. Delicious.

I have found that baking my meatballs in the oven on a parchment lined sheet pan, yields perfectly cooked meatballs. Frying sometimes lends itself to meatballs that fall victim to burning, sticking and sometimes breaking up if stuck and non-mobile. I normally bake my meatballs (usually scooped 2 TBS each) at 350 F for 15 minutes, or until my thermopen tells me the internal temperature is at least 145 F. Any suggestions for this recipe, where you're using a fragile cheese in the mixture. Thanks.

Watch the video: Κεφτέδες με ζμι - Σουτ Μακάλο - κεφτεδες με σαλτσα Αγάπα Με Αν Dolmas (July 2022).


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