Potato meatballs have always been my go-to comfort food, so I decided to elevate the traditional recipe by experimenting with different ingredients.
Today, I am pleased to share my favorite recipe for this fusion of meatballs from ancient Persia and potato croquettes from the 18th century - one that will surely become a hit in your household.
Easy Potato Meatballs Recipe
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Servings: 4
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 sliced potatoes
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, mashed potatoes, egg, bread crumbs, minced garlic, finely chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper. Gently mix and do not over-mix in order to keep the meatballs tender.
- Using a large ice cream scoop, form meatballs from the ground meat mixture.
- Melt butter and heat olive oil in a cast-iron, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potato meatballs from the large bowl and cook briefly in the skillet until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the skillet and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In the same skillet, add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the marinara sauce while stirring, then reduce to medium-low heat. Add flour and stir until flour darkens slightly. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for about 5 minutes.
- Pour the cream into the skillet, stirring occasionally to combine with the tomato sauce. Continue cooking until the cream/tomato sauce mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Line a baking dish with the sliced potatoes. Remove the meatballs from the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place the meatballs into the casserole dish on top of the potatoes. Carefully spoon cream sauce over them, ensuring even coverage.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the meatballs and potatoes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked, and the potatoes feel tender.
- Allow to cool slightly and garnish with fresh parsley or basil leaves before serving from the baking dish.
- To make the mashed potatoes, boil peeled and grated potatoes until they feel tender. Drain, place them in a medium-sized bowl, and mash them with butter, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Use any shape casserole dish that you have available. The baking dish should be sized so that the ingredients all fit snugly inside. An 11-inch round casserole dish works well for me.
- You can prepare the grated potato meatball mixture ahead of time, form the meatballs, and store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge overnight.
- You can also freeze the meatballs in their pre-cooked state for 2-3 months . Preheat the oven and simply thaw the frozen meatballs before using them in the recipe.
- Pan-frying the meatballs before transferring them to the oven for baking gives them a delicious, crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and succulent.
- Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and herbs in your meatball mixture. Try adding a pinch of cayenne for a subtle kick or a blend of Italian herbs for a Mediterranean twist. Oregano, paprika, and garlic powder are all worth trying.
- For a delightful surprise at the center of your baked meatballs, consider stuffing them with a small cube of mozzarella or a teaspoon of ricotta cheese before shaping. This adds a gooey, melty element that pairs wonderfully with the creamy sauce.
- If you're following a gluten-free diet, substitute the bread crumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers to maintain the desired texture and binding properties.
- To enhance the flavor profile, sauté finely chopped onions in a small saucepan over medium heat and incorporate them into the meat mixture. This adds depth and complexity to the taste of your cooked meatballs.
- Store any leftover meatballs and potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days . Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
- Once your baked meatballs are cooked, allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help the flavors settle and ensure the meatballs retain their shape when plated and cool completely. Serve them as a standalone dish, atop pasta, in a sandwich, or as an appetizer with a flavorful dipping sauce.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
- Calories: 350
- Total Carbs: 25g
- Protein: 20g
- Fat: 18g
- Fiber: 4g
- Net Carbs: 21g
"Meatballs are like a symphony of ingredients. A pinch of science, a dash of technique – and you've got a culinary concerto on your plate."
- Alain Ducasse, Monégasque Chef
What to Serve With Potato Meatballs?
Here are some dishes and sides that go well with potato meatballs:
- Garlic Roasted Green Beans: Beans add freshness and color to the hearty potato meatballs. The garlic-infused flavor of garlic powder or minced garlic complements the savory meatballs and provides a satisfying contrast.
- Creamy Mashed Cauliflower: Creamy mashed cauliflower is a low-carb alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Its subtle flavor goes well with the rich and flavorful meatballs, while its creamy texture is delightful in this hearty meal.
- Caprese Salad: A refreshing Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze and olive oil provides a light and vibrant contrast to the rich and creamy flavors of the best meatballs.
- Italian Salad: A fresh Italian salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, olives, red onion, and a light vinaigrette dressing balances the meal with its crisp textures and tangy flavors.
- Garlic Bread: Slices of garlic bread offer a delightful way to scoop up the creamy tomato sauce and add an extra layer of comforting flavor to the meal.
- Steamed Asparagus: Steamed asparagus with salt adds a touch of elegance to the dish. Its slightly earthy and tender texture pairs well with a savory meatball and creamy sauce.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Roasted Brussels sprouts provide a hearty and slightly nutty flavor that complements the richness of the meatballs while adding a satisfying crunch.
- Parmesan Herb Rice: A side of Parmesan herb rice meshes with the flavor of a meatball and adds a comforting and filling element to the meal.
Also Read: Greek Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Can You Simmer Meatballs Too Long?
Yes, you can simmer meatballs too long. Simmering meatballs for an extended period can lead to overcooking, resulting in a drier texture. Following the recipe's recommended cooking time is best to achieve tender meatballs that are cooked completely.
Why Do You Put Egg in Meatballs?
You put eggs in meatballs to act as a binder, helping the ingredients stick together when you make the meatballs. This results in well-formed meatballs that hold their shape during cooking and have a desirable texture.
A New Twist on Classic Potato Meatballs
Crafting the perfect potato meatballs is a delightful journey filled with flavors, techniques, and endless possibilities.
With each tweak and adjustment, you come closer to creating your own signature dish that's both comforting and gourmet.