Albóndigas (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)


These tasty little meatballs are a traditional Spanish dish, often served as a main course or as a tapa. They can be made with different types of meat, but beef or pork are the most common. The meatballs are simmered in a delicious tomato sauce, and they can be served with some bread on the side to mop up the sauce.


– 500g beef or pork mince
– 1 bread roll, soaked in water
– 1 egg
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– Salt and pepper

For the tomato sauce:

– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– Salt and pepper


1. In a large bowl, mix together the beef or pork mince, soaked bread roll, egg, onion, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.

2. Shape the mixture into small balls.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry until softened.

4. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook for a few minutes until browned all over.

5. Add the tinned tomatoes and sugar to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Serve the meatballs with some bread on the side to mop up the sauce.

Potential changes & improvements

– You could add some chopped green peppers or olives to the tomato sauce.
– If you want a bit more of a kick, you could add some chilli powder to the meatball mixture.
– For a vegetarian version, you could use Quorn mince instead of beef or pork.

What other food it works well with

– Rice
– Potatoes
– Salad

Common Mistakes

– Not mixing the ingredients together properly – this will result in dry, crumbly meatballs.
– Overcooking the meatballs – they should be cooked until browned all over, but not cooked through completely as they will finish cooking in the sauce.
– Not seasoning the sauce to taste – the sauce should be slightly sweet, sour and salty.

Nutritional Information

– This recipe is high in protein.
– This recipe is gluten-free if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs.


– This recipe contains egg.

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