Juicy, tender and light, how to make meatballs

How to make meatballs without cheese

These meatballs without cheese are juicy, tender and light. What more can you want in a meatball? Right, they are also well seasoned and won’t fall apart. I call them Savoury Candies. It is very easy to make meatballs and you can tweak it to your heart’s content.

In Nigeria, cheese is not widely consumed and some people outrightly don’t like it. So this recipe for meatballs without cheese is perfect to suit the taste of anyone who doesn’t like cheese or is lactose intolerant.

Meatballs can be eaten in a variety of ways, in a sauce, on a hot dog bun, on pizza, in egg muffins etc. Meatballs also add flavour to Tomato sauce or any other sauce or soup it is added to.

The best kind of meatball is loose, not tight and moist, not dry. As such, all the ingredients and handling are geared towards this goal. To make meatballs firmer, add more bread crumbs and to make them softer, add more liquid like milk, tomato sauce, meat stock, water etc.

Any kind or any combination of meat can be minced and used for meatballs. I used a combination of beef and pork. Beef adds flavour, while pork which is fatty, adds moisture. If you don’t eat pork use only beef. The beef shouldn’t be lean beef if you can help it. Minced turkey or chicken can also be used.

Juicy, tender and light, how to make meatballs
Savoury Candies #meatballsoflife

Seasonings for meatballs without cheese can include:

Mint, cumin, tomato puree (paste), cheese, paprika, ginger, curry etc.

Meatballs are so exciting to make, one batch can be different from the next depending on what you add to it. You can be as adventurous as you want to be, but just don’t overdo it. It also freezes up well.

 

How to make meatballs without cheese

1 cup fresh white bread* 
1 small onion 
300g minced beef 
200g minced pork 
1 egg, beaten 
2 cloves garlic 
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1 seasoning cube 
Dry chili pepper 
salt

*3 regular-sized slices of bread = 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

 

Trim off the crust of the bread and break up into tiny crumbs using a food processor or by hand.

Grate onions into a bowl, retaining the juices.

grated onions in how to make meatballs

Add bread crumbs to the grated onions and mix well. Leave to stand and soak.

grated onion mixed with bread

Meanwhile, beat egg, crush the garlic and mince parsley.

Place the minced meat into a bowl.

Add the bread crumbs that by now have soaked up the onion juices and softened.

Add egg, garlic, parsley, black pepper, seasoning cube, chilli pepper and salt.

seasoning of meatballs, how to make meatballs

Squeeze, squish and mix till well combined.

Meat balls being made, how to make meatballs

Set a lined baking sheet or plate on the side.

Mould into the desired size of the ball and place on the plate.

raw meatballs on baking tray

Put the meatballs in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to bind well.

Use as needed.

Fry/grill meatballs without cheese before adding them to the sauce

Place a frying pan with enough vegetable oil to come up halfway up the meatballs, over medium heat. When hot, put the meatballs to fry. Do not overcrowd the pan.

Shake the frying pan gently to coat the whole ball with hot oil. Also, shake to turn them balls.

meatballs frying in pan, how to make meatballs

When browned all over, gently remove to a plate lined with some kitchen napkin. Leave to rest and cool down.

Add to sauce. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Meatball sizes

  • Small meatballs for soups, stews, and pizza.
  • Medium size for Spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce, and hot dog buns.
  • Large size for eating on their own.
  • Small and flattened for pizza.

Storage of uncooked meatballs

Uncooked meatballs can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Line meatballs on a tray with or without parchment paper and put them in the freezer. When frozen, take out and transfer meatballs to a freezer bag or plastic container, squeeze out air and close. Put back into the freezer.

To thaw, put in the fridge overnight before cooking.

Storage of cooked meatballs

Cool cooked meatballs completely. Throw into a freezer bag or plastic container, squeeze out air and close. Put into the freezer. It will be good for 3 months.

To thaw, put in the fridge overnight before using or from frozen, add directly into simmering sauce or warm in an oven for 10-15 minutes.

Notes

  • The size of the onions must be very tiny so that it blends well with the meat if not the meatballs will have a tendency to fall apart. I prefer to grate mine.
  • You can use onion powder in place of fresh onions.
  • Bread can also be soaked in 1/4 cup of milk or water, and excess squeezed out before use.
  • Do not overmix your meatballs. Mix lightly to incorporate ingredients without crushing the meat into sausage meat, the meatballs will be dense.
  • Do not roll the meatballs tightly. Use a light rolling motion when rolling them.
  • Fresh bread crumbs add more moisture than dry.
  • For best results, use your hands to mix your meatballs.
  • Lightly rub water or oil on your hands when rolling meatballs to avoid it sticking to your hands.
  • You can also use an ice cream scoop.
  • Taste your meatball mixture before using it. Take a scant teaspoon of the mixture and fry until fully cooked, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Taste again until it is perfect, then use.
  • You can fry your meatballs before using them, but baking or broiling is spatter-free, so consider that. Bake at 200 deg. C for 15-20 minutes. Grill (broil) for 10-15 minutes.
  • When frying, brown your meatballs all over before putting in the sauce to finish cooking. If it browns in patches, it will tend to break apart.
  • Leave to cool slightly before adding to sauce to prevent it from breaking apart.

If you enjoyed How to make meatballs without cheese you would also enjoy my Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti, Mongolian beef Stirfry, Stuffed Cabbage rolls and Whole roasted Chicken butterflied.

 

Juicy, tender and light, how to make meatballs

How to make meatballs without cheese

gaga
meatballs are juicy, tender and light
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Condiment, Dinner
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh white bread*
  • 1 small onion
  • 300 g minced beef
  • 200 g minced pork
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 seasoning cube
  • Dry chili pepper
  • salt
  • *3 regular-sized slices of bread = 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Trim off the crust of the bread and break up into tiny crumbs using a food processor or by hand.
  • Grate onions into a bowl, retaining the juices.
  • Add bread crumbs to the grated onions and mix well. Leave to stand and soak.
  • Meanwhile, beat egg, crush the garlic and mince parsley.
  • Place the minced meat into a bowl.
  • Add the bread crumbs that by now have soaked up the onion juices and softened.
  • Add egg, garlic, parsley, black pepper, seasoning cube, chilli pepper and salt.
  • Squeeze, squish and mix till well combined.
  • Set a lined baking sheet or plate on the side.
  • Mould into the desired size of balls and place on the plate.
  • Put the meatballs in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to bind well.
  • Use as needed.
  • Fry or grill until gently browned before adding to your sauce

Notes

Note
  • The size of the onions must be very tiny so that it blends well with the meat if not the meatballs will have a tendency to fall apart. I prefer to grate mine.
  • You can use onion powder in place of fresh onions.
  • Bread can also be soaked in 1/4 cup of milk or water, and excess squeezed out before use.
  • Do not overmix your meatballs. Mix lightly to incorporate ingredients without crushing the meat into sausage meat, the meatballs will be dense.
  • Do not roll the meatballs tightly. Use a light rolling motion when rolling them.
  • Fresh bread crumbs add more moisture than dry.
  • For best results, use your hands to mix your meatballs.
  • Lightly rub water or oil on your hands when rolling meatballs to avoid it sticking to your hands.
  • You can also use an ice cream scoop.
  • Taste your meatball mixture before using it. Take a scant teaspoon of the mixture and fry until fully cooked, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Taste again until it is perfect, then use.
  • You can fry your meatballs before using them, but baking or broiling is spatter-free, so consider that. Bake at 200 deg. C for 15-20 minutes. Grill (broil) for 10-15 minutes.
  • When frying, brown your meatballs all over before putting in the sauce to finish cooking. If it browns in patches, it will tend to break apart.
  • Leave to cool slightly before adding to sauce to prevent it from breaking apart.
Keyword condiments, meat, Party food, small chops

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Egg muffins Recipe - The Pretend Chef

  2. Adelowo Motorbike Noisiest

    I know it is going to be yummy. I will try it. Well-done for a good job. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: Spaghetti and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce - The Pretend Chef

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