Iberian Meatballs (Albondigas)
with a Chunky Tomato Sauce
a snack / dip / spread recipe
Rena is a self-taught cook and baker who enjoys experimenting with ingredients, flavors and culinary techniques from around the world. Her Asian/American heritage, youth spent in the Middle East and European husband have greatly influenced her palate and creativity with food. She shares her small-batch recipes and photos/videos of her creations and the process on (@agirlandaspoon
) and blog (agirlandaspoon.com
This smoky and aromatic meatball dish is the perfect appetizer or side dish, and features our Iberian Infusion spice blend. Inspired by the Spanish Albondigas tapa, the mini meatballs are served with a flavorful chunky tomato sauce. I especially love scooping up the leftover tomato sauce with some crusty bread!
TIME (ACTIVE) | 30 M
TOTAL | 30 M
- First, let’s make the meatballs: If using chopped onion, add the onion to a large skillet with a little olive oil and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and place in a large mixing bowl to cool slightly. (Use the same skillet to cook the meatballs later.)
- Add the ground meat, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, egg, Iberian Infusion, onion powder (if using) salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until well-combined.
- Using wet hands, make small, bite-sized meatballs and place on a plate. You should have between 20-25 small meatballs. Chill the shaped meatballs in the fridge for at least 10 minutes while you start the sauce.
- Next, let’s make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, cook the chopped onion in a little olive oil on medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Iberian Infusion and cook for another minute, until fragrant (don’t burn!).
- Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar (if using), and then add the canned tomatoes, bay leaf*, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 10-15 minutes while you continue on the meatballs. Add more salt/pepper to taste.
- Heat enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet used before. Cook the meatballs, in batches if needed, on all sides until well browned, about 10 minutes total.
- To serve: Add the sauce to the meatball skillet and turn the meatballs to coat. Serve in skillet or spoon onto dish(es). Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!
- Note: Indian Bay Leaf is pictured and can be used as its warm notes complement Iberian Infusion well, but Bay Laurel (the smaller, more common bay leaf) is typically used in European/Mediterranean cooking and lends a more herbal flavor to the dish. Try it with either!
Expiry: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
If you want a smoother sauce, you can blend some or all of the sauce after cooking. You can also use a spoon to mash some of the larger tomato pieces for a less, but still chunky, sauce.
Using onion powder instead of the chopped onion in the meatballs yields a smoother mouthfeel, and shortens the prep time since you don’t need to cook or cool it. You can also substitute onion powder and garlic powder in the tomato sauce, too - just add them in when you add the tomatoes.
Onion powder offers concentrated onion flavor, enhancing dishes without moisture. Ideal for rubs, blends, and various cooking needs.
TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
2.5 oz - JAR$5
2.5 oz - REFILL$4
10 oz - REFILL$13
Flavors of Spain & Portugal
spice blend collab
Let’s travel to the Iberian peninsula of Spain and Portugal with this super versatile rich and smoky Iberian Infusion blend! This paprika-forward blend is well-rounded with smoky, sweet and flavorful chile notes, paired with alliaceous spices for a more complete blend. I’ve added some brightness with sumac and oregano, and warmth from cinnamon and cacao.
The perfect blend for appetizers, mains and snacks:
Cook into stews or use as a rub for meats or on seafood!Infuse into sauces or dips or dust snacks like popcorn or salted chips!Coat vegetables before roasting or use as a base for rice dishes (like Paella)!
Stovetop cooking: adding the blend to oil helps dissolve the pigment and flavor compounds, while intensifying the flavors. Add it closer to the beginning to allow the color and flavor to permeate the final dish better. CAUTION: Do not burn/scorch - it can become very bitter. Add sugar to the dish for more sweetness and to balance out smokiness.Salt your dishes well: this blend contains no salt, allowing you to add that umami using other ingredients (salt, broth, mushrooms, etc.,). It’s also versatile enough to add to already-salted snacks, like chips, popcorn or olives.