Traditional Cuban Meatballs (Albondigas)

Looking for a new twist on classic meatballs? Try this Cuban-inspired albondigas recipe! Your taste buds will thank you.

cuban meatballs

If you’re tired of the same old meatball recipe, why not try something new? These Cuban-inspired meatballs (albondigas) are a delicious twist on the classic dish.

With a blend of spices and flavors, these meatballs are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party or family meal.

Traditional Cuban meatballs, also known as albóndigas, are a flavorful and hearty dish. These meatballs are made with ground beef (sometimes pork), and are typically seasoned with peppers, onions, and sometimes even raisins.

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How to Handle Raw Beef

  • Thaw raw ground beef on a plate on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator, to avoid dripping onto other foods.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat meats separate.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling raw ground beef. Wash cutting boards, bowls, and utensils used to prepare raw ground beef with hot soapy water and rinse well.
  • Use separate plates to carry raw ground beef patties to the cooking area and cooked patties to the serving area.
  • Use a Thermometer to ensure Ground Beef Reaches the Safely Cooked Internal Temperature of 160°F.
white cooking wine
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Alcohol Warning

Please take into consideration that some of the alcohol in this recipe may not completely burn off and the remains could be of significant concern to recovering alcoholics, parents, and others who have ethical or religious reasons for avoiding alcohol.

cuban meatballs

While the meatballs should only take a few minutes to cook, ideally you want the internal temperature of each meatball to reach 160°F. A digital food thermometer will tell you if they are done.

I’m also including a delicious sauce to go along with these fantastic Cuban meatballs but you can skip the sauce if you prefer.

Cuban meatballs are typically served over rice but can also be enjoyed with crusty bread or even on their own as an appetizer.

meatballs in a bowl with sliced bread

I love Cuban food so much that I have a whole category dedicated to Cuban Recipes. My Authentic Cuban Picadillo recipe is one of my all-time favorite Cuban recipes to make.

cuban meatballs in a bowl garnished with fresh parsley

You will need the following ingredients to make Traditional Cuban Meatballs (see recipe card for quantities):

For the meatballs you will need: Lean Ground Beef, Yellow Onion, Red Bell Pepper, Eggs, Whole Milk, Bread Crumbs, Yellow Mustard, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper, All Purpose Flour and Olive Oil.

For the sauce you will need: Olive Oil, Yellow Onion, Red Bell Pepper, Garlic Cloves, Tomato Sauce, Water, Dry White Wine, Ketchup, White Sugar, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper and Fresh Parsley.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix to combine everything, then shape the meat mixture into about 12 meatballs.
  3. Place the flour in a bowl, then roll the meatballs in the flour.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meatballs for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and the internal temperature is approximately 160°F.
    flour coated meatballs in skillet
  5. Transfer the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Drain the oil and wipe the pot clean as you will be using it to make the sauce.
  1. In the same pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until tender.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato sauce, water, wine. Add the ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, and the cooked meatballs.
    meatballs and red sauce simmering in skillet
  3. Partially cover the pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Optionally garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Printable Recipe Card

cuban meatballs

Traditional Cuban Meatballs (Albondigas)

Looking for a new twist on classic meatballs? Try this Cuban-inspired albondigas recipe! Your taste buds will thank you.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 12 meatballs
Calories 232 kcal

Equipment

  • Bowl for Mixing
  • Dutch Oven (or large skillet)

Ingredients
 

MEATBALLS
  • 1 ½ lbs Lean Ground Beef
  • ¼ Cup Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • ¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
  • 2 large Eggs
  • ¼ Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
SAUCE
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ Yellow Onion, chopped
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • ¾ Cup Water
  • ¼ Cup Dry White Wine
  • Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Tsp White Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
Garnish (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
For Serving (optional)

Instructions
 

MAKE THE MEATBALLS
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix to combine everything, then shape the meat mixture into about 12 meatballs.
  • Place the flour into a bowl, then roll the meatballs in the flour.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meatballs for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and the internal temperature is approximately 160°F.
  • Transfer the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Drain the oil and wipe the pot clean as you will be using it to make the sauce.
MAKE THE SAUCE
  • In the same pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until tender.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato sauce, water, wine. Add the ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, and the cooked meatballs.
  • Partially cover the pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with the parsley and serve warm.

Notes

→ Please take into consideration that some of the alcohol in this recipe may not completely burn off and the remains could be of significant concern to recovering alcoholics, parents, and others who have ethical or religious reasons for avoiding alcohol.

Nutrition

Calories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 16gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 666mgPotassium: 356mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 479IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

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One Comment

  1. Scott says:

    These Cuban meatballs are delicious. They are quick to make. The sauce makes them very juicy.

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