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Spanish meatballs in a pan with parsley

Spanish Meatballs

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


These Spanish meatballs are bite-sized and tender, simmered in a beautifully flavoursome sauce of tomato, red wine and paprika.

The default recipe serves 5-6 as a snack (around 5 meatballs per person, 25-30 in total)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 500g / 1.1lb minced beef (ground beef) (see note 1)
  • 30g / 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (see note 2)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 400g / 14oz tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 85ml / 1/3 cup red wine (see note 3)


  1. Heat half the oil in a frying pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Transfer the onion into a bowl and leave to cool. You can use the pan again to save on washing up. 
  2. When the onion has cooled add the beef, breadcrumbs, egg yolk, paprika and parsley to the bowl. Season well and mix the ingredients together until well combined. 
  3. Use your hands to form the mixture into balls, about the size of a walnut. For 500g/1.1lb of meat, you will get around 25 meatballs. 
  4. Place the flour in a bowl and lightly roll the meatballs in it.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium-high heat and then add the meatballs. Cook, turning often until they are browned all over then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Do this in batches if you have more meatballs than will fit in the pan.
  6. Add the garlic into the pan and cook for around 1 minute. Add the red wine and chopped tomatoes and season well. Bring to a simmer and then return the meatballs to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. 


  1. You can alternatively use minced pork, or a mixture of both.
  2. You can substitute for sweet or hot paprika (of course the flavour and heat in the dish will vary depending on the type used).
  3. You can substitute red wine for a non-alcoholic wine or beef stock, although the flavour of the meatballs will be different. The alcohol does burn off during the cooking process so the final dish won’t contain alcohol, however.
  4. Meatballs can be kept in the fridge, sealed, for up to 3 days. Reheat on the hob/stove. 
  5. You can also freeze the meatballs for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.
  6. Nutritional information is based on 6 portions
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Appetiser
  • Method: Hob / Stove
  • Cuisine: Spanish


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 290
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 19g

Keywords: spanish, meatballs, tapas, beef, red wine, snack, appetiser, starter