Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs)

Albondigas or Spanish meatballs is one of my favorite make ahead meals that I like to prep on the weekends when I have a little extra time. I keep the meatballs in the refrigerator for the day that its on the menu. Albondigas are usually found in tapas restaurants. Tapas is a small plate or serving, and it’s a great way to try something new.

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Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs)

This is a classic dish that you’ll find in many restaurants and homes throughout Spain. Serve with rice, potatoes, or bread to mop up the beefy sauce and a green salad. Use the leanest beef you can find to save on calories.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories 630kcal


For the meatballs

  • 1 c milk
  • 2 slices stale bread
  • ½ c onion minced
  • ¼ c flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 c olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ c minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 c beef broth
  • ¼ c red wine
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • ½ tsp hot paprika


Make the meatballs:

  • Combine the milk and bread, and soften 5-10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread.
  • Add the onion, parsley, egg, and garlic, and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Use your hands to mix the ground beef into the bread mixture, thoroughly combining.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Form the ground beef mixture into 1-inch balls, (roughly 30-40 meatballs) and fry in the oil until completely cooked and lightly browned.
  • Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

Make the sauce:

  • In a saucepan, heat the olive oil.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic until softened.
  • Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in the beef broth and wine, and simmer until thickened slightly.
  • Stir in the saffron and hot paprika. Pour the sauce over the meatballs to serve.
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Calories: 630kcal

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