One of the easiest tapas to make from scratch has got to be Albondigas or Spanish Meatballs. Our version calls for a beef and pork blend meatball with a spicy, smoky tomato sauce. Perfect served as an appetizer or part of the main course. Just serve it with some good crusty bread and let everyone dig in!
One of the most well known types of small/shared plate establishments are tapas bars and restaurants. In Spanish cuisine, a tapa is a appetizer or snack. From cured ham to fried calamari, tapas can be cold or hot. Sit back with some good company, have a drink or two, and eat some tapas! What more could you want?
By far our favorite types of restaurants are the ones where we can order a ton of different small plates to share. Why commit ourselves to just one entree when we can try a bite or two of 10 different items?!
Components of Spanish Meatballs
From the breadcrumbs to the tomato sauce, everything in this Spanish Meatball recipe is made from scratch. You could certainly adapt this recipe to fit your needs and your schedule by using canned tomatoes and pre-made breadcrumbs. However I highly encourage you to make this recipe as is at least once and see the difference!
This recipe does have a fair amount of steps but I promise nothing is complicated at all! The breadcrumbs are literally from the same loaf that you will be serving later. The spicy tomato sauce is easy to make. Forming and searing the meatballs is actually pretty relaxing.
Go ahead and make these for your next get together or dinner party. Let us know how you liked the recipe in the comment section down below. Enjoy!
Other Recipes to Try
Tapas Spanish Meatballs (Albondigas)
- 1 loaf good country style bread
Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 6 whole roma tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cup veg stock or water
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 8 oz ground beef
- 8 oz ground pork
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 2.5 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Slice about three 1/2-inch slices off your bread loaf. Tear these slices into small pieces. Spread pieces out onto a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until completely dry. Move the bread pieces around midway through to ensure even cooking.
- Remove bread from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Use a food processor to break down the pieces until you get a fine consistency.
Spicy Tomato Sauce
- Raise oven temperature to 400°F. Chop the roma tomatoes into large chunks and peel the garlic. Place the tomatoes and garlic into a roasting pan.
- Drizzle the tomatoes and garlic with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove roasting pan from oven and add the veggie stock to it. Scrape off all the nice caramelized bits. Transfer contents to a medium saucepan. Add in the bay leaf and oregano and bring to a boil.
- Lower temperature and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf from the saucepan. Use a stick blender to puree into tomato sauce.
- In a mixing bowl combine all the meatball ingredients except the olive oil. Thoroughly combine with your hands but do not overmix.
- Portion into 1oz meatballs.
- Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the meatballs and brown on all sides. (Do not overcrowd the pan, do this in two batches if necessary)
- Remove meatballs from pan and set aside. Going back to the sauce ingredients list, add in the diced yellow onion and saute until translucent. Add in the 2 tsp tomato paste and mix into the onions. Saute for about a minute. Lower heat to medium-low.
- Carefully add your tomato sauce into the skillet. Mix to combine. Add in the red pepper flakes, chile powder, and smoked paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the meatballs back into the sauce along with any juices that have come out. Bring sauce to a simmer and place a lid on the skillet. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.
- Serve with the rest of the country loaf and enjoy!