Few recipes offer the comforting appeal of classic veal meatballs. These light and tender morsels are packed with traditional flavors and skillfully pan-fried to perfection. Paired with the enticing scent of simmering tomato sauce, these homemade meatballs evoke a comforting sense of nostalgia.
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If you’re looking for a hearty and satisfying meal, look no further than veal meatballs. These savory and flavorful meatballs are easy to make and perfect for any occasion – whether you’re cooking dinner for the family or hosting a party with friends. This is one of our favorite easy veal recipes that’s sure to impress even the pickiest eaters.
Where we love ground beef, pork meatballs, and even ground lamb meatballs, but there’s something reminiscent of old-world cooking when it comes to ground veal meatballs. Ground veal has a delicate flavor compared to the rich beefy flavor you get from ground beef, but it makes light, tender meatballs that picks up the garlic and spices used for seasoning.
This recipe uses basic pantry staples. Start with ground veal, make sure its thawed completely and then gather the ingredients listed in the recipe card, like the Girl Carnivore Over Easy spice blend or Italian seasonings, garlic and shallots. Frsh paremsan cheese, kosher salt, and heavy cream.
We use pork panko in place of traditional bread crumbs to keep this low carb but feel free to use whichever you prefer. Though, we do think the pork panko also adds the texture and flavor of these meatballs.
How to make veal meatballs
Start by making the meatballs. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently mix everything together. Then working lightly, roll the meat mixture into even-portioned meatballs and place them onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. We got 12 one to one and a half inch balls out of one pound of meat.
Chill the meatballs in the fridge for one hour.
When ready to cook, preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with one tablespoon of cooking oil, like avocado or canola oil.
Arrange the meatballs in the skillet and cook, about 4 to 6 minutes per side, rotating the meatballs as needed for a golden crust on all sides and to be cooked through. Rotate the meatballs around to make sure they are being cooked evenly.
The meatballs are ready when a digital meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the meatball, about 18-20 minutes total.
Carefully remove the meatballs from the frying pan with a sloted spoon or long tongs to serve.
Serve the cooked meatballs as desired with a hint of minced fresh parsley, pinch of freshly ground black pepper and a little more parmesan cheese as garnish.
Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips
You can use fresh herbs in place of the dried seasonings. Use freshly minced parsley, basil, and oregano for bright flavors.
Use freshly shredded parmesan cheese for this recipe. Shake cheese is delicious as a garnish on top, but we love the salty umami depth the shredded cheese adds to this meatball recipe.
What to serve with traditional meatballs
These traditional Veal meatballs pair well with pretty much any of your favorite pasta, like spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, or even zoodles. They are also a classic dinner over polenta or mama’s mashed potatoes. Alternatively, you could also pair these delicious meatballs with rice, couscous, or quinoa.
Serve them with side dishes like steamed or roasted veggies and a light green salad. No one will pass up a loaf of crusty bread or garlic bread (with homemade garlic confit) either.
To keep this keto, we serve these over sauteed cabbage tossed in marinara sauce for a low-carb dinner.
Pair these Italian meatballs with a light Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Syrah. You could also pick a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon but remember that ground veal is a mild protein with a less robust flavor than beef.
leftovers and Reheating
Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat only as many as needed. Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat with a bit of marinara sauce or in the microwave on short 20-second bursts until heated through.
These meatballs are great for meal planning several lunches or dinner recipes for the week.
The key to tender and juicy meatballs is to not overmix the meat when adding the ingredients and shaping the meatballs. This can cause them to be dense and tough. Gently handle the ingredients when forming the meatballs. The panko and heavy cream help to bind the ground meat and keep them moist while cooking. It’s also important not to overcook the meatballs as ground veal can dry out quickly.
These fried meatballs take about 18-20 minutes over medium heat. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the meatballs and your cooking method. Just be sure to cook the meatballs to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, as recommended by the USDA. Use a digital meat thermometer for the best results.
Yes, you can bake veal meatballs instead of frying them. Baking is a little less hands-on and easier to clean up. To bake ground veal meatballs, preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the meatballs on a lined baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes until cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
Yes, these veal meatballs are great to make ahead of time and freeze for later. Follow the recipe steps to make the meatballs but allow the meatballs to par freeze in the freezer for about 1 hour. Then transfer them to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, simply thaw them and cook as directed.
When it comes to comfort food, it’s hard to top classic meatballs, just like the ones grandma used to make. This traditional veal meatball recipe is light and airy but loaded with flavor and the perfect dinner idea for so many meals. Have you mastered this recipe yet? If so, be sure to drop a comment below and rate the recipe to help out the next guy.
Homemade Veal Meatballs
- 1 lbs Ground veal
- 2 Egg
- 1 tbsp Girl Carnivore Over Easy spice blend or your favorite Italian spice blend
- 1 tbsp dried onion flakes
- 4 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Pork Panko
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 tsp parsley minced
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese freshly grated
Prep the meatballs
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Using your hands, gently mix everything together.
- Roll the meat mixture gently into even-portioned meatballs and place them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. We got 12 one to 1 1/2 “ balls out of one pound of meat.
- Chill the meatballs in the fridge for one hour.
Fry the meatballs
- When ready to cook, preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with one tablespoon of cooking oil, like avocado or canola oil.
- Arrange the meatballs in the skillet and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes per side, rotating the meatballs as needed for a golden crust on all sides and to be cooked through. Rotate the meatballs around to make sure they are being cooked evenly.
- The meatballs are ready when a digital meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the meatball, about 18-20 minutes total.
- Carefully remove the meatballs from the frying pan with a slotted spoon or long tongs to serve.
Serve & Garnish
- Serve the cooked meatballs as desired with a hint of minced fresh parsley, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and a little more parmesan cheese as garnish.
Make the meatballs as directed and chill them. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer the whole baking sheet to the oven.
Bake at 375 20 minutes until internal temperature is 160 degrees F. Serve hot. To keep it low-carb: We served these veal meatballs over sauteed cabbage tossed with Rao’s marinara sauce.