Cuban-Style Meatballs

Cuban-Style Meatballs

Cuban-style meatballs are made with ground beef, cumin, garlic, green peppers, and onions. Sooo flavorful!

I’ve enjoyed delicious Italian food in New York. I’ve wined and dined in Rome and Florence, and I’ve even had delicious meatballs in amazing restaurants! Still, nothing compares to my mom’s meatballs. Here’s why.

They’re huge! That’s what she said. No but seriously, they are the size of a tennis ball. Meatballs are usually the size of a golf ball. These Cuban-style meatballs are also SO flavorful, you really won’t miss the massive amounts of sauce that you usually see in spaghetti and meatball dishes.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of tons of tomato sauce. Neither is my mom. She actually prefers to keep it light by using diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. When these meatballs are served over rice, the rice soaks up all the juices from the meatballs, and it’s just absolutely divine.

Every time my mom comes over my house to visit, she comes bearing goods. Tupperware containers full of leftovers! It’s like Christmas in July. Like every mother, or every Cuban mother, she enjoys feeding people. That’s like her main worry in life – if we ate that day. In her mind, if she didn’t make you food, she automatically assumes you didn’t eat that day. Lol. Love her to pieces.

This past Sunday, she brought over these Cuban-style meatballs. This time around she made them with regular ground beef. In the past, she’s made these meatballs using ground turkey and even lean ground beef. No matter what meat you use, these meatballs are SO flavorful.

You can completely alter this recipe by adding tomato sauce instead diced tomatoes and/or ground turkey or lean ground beef instead of regular ground beef. Don’t worry, it won’t alter the flavor because this recipe… is all about the spices! Not to mention, cooking these meatballs in the sauce allows them to retain their moisture which, of course, means MORE FLAVOR.

Completely optional: I made angel hair spaghetti instead of the usual white rice that is served with Cuban-style meatballs. I love versatile recipes like these where you can mix it up and make it your own. Hope you enjoy it too!

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Cuban-Style Meatballs | Hola Croqueta
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Cuban-Style Meatballs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
Not your typical Italian meatballs. These Cuban-style meatballs are made with ground beef, cumin, garlic, green peppers, and onions. Sooo flavorful!
Servings: 10 meatballs
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (you can use ground turkey or lean ground beef)
  • 1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper finely chopped
  • all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can diced tomato (6 oz) (you can use tomato sauce instead, if you'd like)
Instructions
Meatballs
  1. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cracker crumbs, and milk together.
  2. Add the ground beef then the dry yellow mustard, salt, pepper, onion, and green pepper. Mix everything well.
  3. Form mixture into large balls (tennis ball size). Roll the balls in flour to lightly coat.
  4. Sauté in a large pan with olive oil until cooked through. Remove meatballs from pan.
Sauce
  1. Using the same pan, sauté onions and green peppers in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic two minutes before removing from the heat. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Add ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, salt and the can of diced tomato. Mix well.
  3. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

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