Albondigas (Spanish-Style Meatballs)

These meatballs have an addictive garlicky tomato sauce, giving them a Spanish twist.


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4 to 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ medium green or red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef
  • egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) crumbled dried oregano


  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  • Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil to a medium skillet and cook the onion and pepper over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until the onion and pepper are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, parsley and salt. Add the cooked onion and pepper and mix everything together well. By hand, form into 1½ in (4 cm) meatballs and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning the meatballs over after 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • While the meatballs are baking, you can begin cooking the sauce. In a large (10 to 12 in/25 to 30 cm) skillet, cook the garlic in the remaining oil over medium-low heat just until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano, increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  • Add the browned meatballs, stir well and continue to cook, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the meatballs are tender. Taste and add salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar, if necessary.

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