How to Make Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs
I had some lean ground meat in the freezer and was in the mood to make some meatballs, but I had no breadcrumbs on hand. I had never made meatballs without breadcrumbs and did not know of any good substitutions.
Whether you don't have breadcrumbs or don't eat them, there are many ways to make firm, delicious meatballs with other ingredients to bind and help them hold their shape.
- A bit of uncooked rice can be substituted for breadcrumbs.
- One egg, mixed into the meat, should be enough to bind the mixture together.
- Some all-purpose flour or some crushed-up crackers will work in lieu of breadcrumbs.
My recipe includes bits from each of these substitutions along with the spice mixure that I generally like to use. My meatballs are full of flavor, even a bit spicy.
- 1 1/2-2 pounds ground beef, rinsed and drained
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons white rice, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- If meat is frozen, allow to thaw completely. Rinse and drain.
- In a bowl, combine the beat with all spices. Add one egg and mix.
- Mix in uncooked rice and flour. Continue to combine until mixture is uniformly blended.
- Shape into balls.
- In a skillet that is coated with olive oil, saute meatballs and allow to cook until they turn from pink to brown.
In a bowl, combine the ground meat and all of the spices.
Add the egg and mix.
Mix in uncooked rice and flour. Continue to blend until uniformly combined.
Shape meat mixture into balls.
Cook in olive oil until the coloring turns from pink to brown.
Meatballs (Without Sauce)
|Calories from Fat||315|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 35 g||54%|
|Saturated fat 11 g||55%|
|Carbohydrates 57 g||19%|
|Sugar 3 g|
|Fiber 7 g||28%|
|Protein 57 g||114%|
|Cholesterol 1089 mg||363%|
|Sodium 2789 mg||116%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Preparing the Tomato Sauce
- fresh tomatoes, washed
- Wash tomatoes and cut the skin in crosses.
- Place into simmering water until the skins peel back.
- Peel the skins off while the tomatoes are still warm. Cut out the bit where the stem joins the tomato.
- Puree in a stick blender or food processor.
- Push puree through sieve to remove seeds.
- Add to skillet with meatballs. Simmer with salt and a little citric acid or lemon juice. Add a little water to thin if desired.
- Allow to simmer on low heat for ten minutes.
Wash the tomatoes and cut the skin in crosses.
Place tomatoes in simmering water and allow to cook until skin peels back.
Peel the skins off while the tomatoes are warm. Remove the stems.
After pureeing tomatoes in a food processor, pour through a sieve to remove seeds.
Add sauce to cooked meatballs and allow to simmer for at least ten minutes before serving.
Serve over the pasta of your choice.
Choose Your Pasta
Pair this recipe with your choice of pasta. I recommend spaghetti or fettuccine. I use a whole wheat fettuccine for a bit more fiber.
Spaghetti and meatballs is often presented with the meatballs and sauce over the pasta and not mixed in. For the best taste, I mix the sauce and meatballs together to infuse their flavor. The result is quite delicious.
Alternatives to Pasta
If you are avoiding pasta, consider these healthy alternatives:
- Meatballs and sauce with a side salad.
- Meatballs and sauce with cooked butternut squash.