Meatball is a ball shaped foodstuff made up of minced meat combined with other ingredients. Meatballs are typically rolled and shaped by hands. Any kind of meat including poultry, lamb, beef or fish can be perfectly minced and rolled into meatballs. Across the globe, meatballs are famous with many vernacular names, such as ‘Bakso’ (Indonesia), ‘bola-bola’ (Philippines) and ‘albondigas’ (Portugal and Brazil). Some of them are chili meatballs, Swedish meatballs and spaghetti with meatballs.


Origin of Meatball Recipes

The history of meatball recipes is very rare to find as there is no clear evidence regarding the origin of meatballs. This is only an assumption that being an expensive foodstuff, every part of meat was used in cooking, hence leftover meat pieces were minced or pounded and rolled into meatballs. Legends stated that Persia may be the origin of meatball recipes as ‘kofta’ is a Persian word used for ‘minced meat balls’.


Ingredients and Popular Methods Used to Make Meatballs

Meatball recipes have many variations throughout the world, but basic ingredients include egg as a binding agent, onion, garlic and spices for flavoring along with breadcrumbs for crispiness. However, various additional ingredients such as green chilies and ginger are added to enhance the taste. Meatball dishes can be prepared by either frying the meatballs or baking them in oven. Steamed meatball recipes are also quite popular in various cuisines. A variety of sauces are also prepared to be cooked with meatballs.


Popular Meatball Recipes and Their Variations

Cajun meatballs, cranberry meatballs, Swedish meatballs and meatball soup are some of the highly acclaimed meatball dishes served either as appetizers or main dishes. As its name suggest, meatballs are typically made with any variety of meat, but for vegetarians variation can be done by making balls of chopped vegetables, tofu or cottage cheese. Spices and flavorings could be the same as in meatball recipes.


Health and Nutritional Facts Related to Meatball Dishes

Meatball recipes provide the same nutrition as offered by meats. The nutritional value depends upon the kind of meat used and the method of cooking applied. Lamb, beef and pork are famed as high calorie meat; hence meatball dishes made with these meats are loaded with fats. On the contrary, chicken and fish balls are regarded lean. To avoid calories, meatballs can be steamed, baked or boiled instead of frying. However, meatball recipes are rich in proteins.