If you’re looking for a recipe for meatballs without eggs, you’ve come to the right place. Drumroll … the egg substitute for these meatballs is milk and breadcrumbs. No secret ingredient here! Don’t worry, the delicious mini frikadellen (that’s how I know them) won’t fall apart or be dry. I promise!
- Ground beef – I use grass-fed ground beef with a fat content of 18%. You can substitute the beef mince with 50% pork and 50% beef or use ground beef with a higher fat content as well. Leaner ground beef dries out easily and the meatballs can get very firm as supposed to juicy.
- Breadcrumbs – You can make breadcrumbs with a slice of stale bread but I typically use store-bought ones. I recommend wholemeal breadcrumbs for this recipe but you can also use white breadcrumbs. Don’t use panko.
- Milk – Full fat milk works well but you can use lower fat milk too. More fat, more flavor.
- Tomato paste – Tomato adds extra flavor and color to the meatballs. I don’t recommend omitting it.
- Salt & pepper – Be generous. Beef mince is fairly plain on its own. I recommend adding at least 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper but season to your taste.
- Smoked paprika & rosemary – Rosemary and smoked paprika give the meatballs extra flavor and depth but you can omit these spices. Alternative Mediterranean spices and flavors that work well are garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, or sweet paprika.
Simply combine all ingredients well and form around 20 equally sized meatballs by hand. Size matters to ensure they are evenly cooked.
You can prepare these meatballs without eggs in three easy ways:
- Cooked in a pan
- Baked in the oven on a baking tray
- Baked in the oven in sauce
The recipe below includes instructions for all methods.
I suggest serving these juicy meatballs with a fragrant tomato sauce, alongside fresh pasta or mashed or stewed potatoes. My roasted beetroot walnut and feta salad works well too. They’re also delicious in a meatball wrap or Turkish bread sandwich with lettuce, red cabbage sauerkraut, and aioli as an easy lunch or dinner. Add them to the lunchbox for some tasty protein.
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Meatballs without eggs
- 500 g ground beef
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp oil if you’re frying them
- 500 g pasta sauce if you’re baking them in sauce
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef with onion, breadcrumbs, milk, tomato paste, and spices.500 g ground beef, 1 small onion, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- Form about 20 equally sized meatballs by hand.
To fry them in a pan
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the meatballs. Turn them after 3 minutes to ensure they are evenly browned. Fry them for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel covered plate for the excess oil to absorb.2 tbsp oil
To bake them in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the meatballs on it. Bake them for 15 minutes, turn them individually, and bake them for another 15 minutes.
To bake them in your favorite tomato sauce
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Add the meatballs to an oven proof dish and pour your favorite tomato sauce over them. Make sure all meatballs are at least half-way submerged in the sauce. Cover the dish with a lid or tinfoil and bake them for 30 minutes.500 g pasta sauce
Once cooked, the meatballs last up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can freeze the meatballs in an airtight, freezer-proof container once they cooled down for up to 3 months. Simply reheat them gently in the oven or microwave.