‘Tis the season for party food! Let’s be real, New Year’s Eve is a long night. Midnight? That is more than a couple hours past my bedtime… We need a lot of food to keep that party going! I am so ready to ring in 2019 with friends, family, a glass of champagne in one hand, and a meatball in the other. These Easy Meatballs with Chimichurri Sauce are a snap to make and that bright, herby sauce paired with juicy, roasted meatballs might just be the best bite of food ever.
Start with the meatballs and you can make the sauce in the 12 minutes it takes to bake them. Whisk together garlic, paprika, salt, a bit of greek yogurt, some chopped walnuts, and an egg. If the walnuts seem weird, that’s ok. They add a slight crunch to the texture of your meatballs and it’s super satisfying. I read about that on Bon Appetit and it changed my meatball life. Add some panko breadcrumbs and a pound of ground beef – the high-fat kind because it keeps things juicy – and mix everything with your hands until it’s just combined. Don’t fuss with it too much. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil on your sheet pan and roll your meatballs. They bake for about 12 minutes and you want to stir them halfway through to get them crispy on top and bottom.
Look at the crispy goodness. Hmm… do you see the 3 plain-looking meatballs in the way back? My package of ground beef was like 1.23 lbs instead of 1 lb so I rolled up the extra .23 lbs plain for this sweetheart:
FYI, Caesar loves meatballs. Sidenote: walnuts and garlic are bad for dogs, this was just plain ‘ol ground beef he’s eating.
To make the chimichurri, everything goes in the food processor. So, yes, the hardest part of this recipe is cleaning the food processor. It’s just onion, garlic, a chili pepper, parsley, cilantro, dried oregano, paprika, salt, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Pulse, pulse, pulse and serve with your lovely meatballs!Print
Easy Meatballs with Chimichurri Sauce
Juicy meatballs with a bright, herby, vinegary sauce – these are easy to make and great for a party!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 16 meatballs 1x
For the meatballs:
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1 T paprika
- 2 t salt
- 1 T greek yogurt
- 1/4 C walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 C panko breadcrumbs
- 1lb ground beef – the kind with 20% fat is best for this recipe
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
For the chimichurri sauce
- 1/2 of a small red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 red Fresno chili or any chili pepper you want, chopped
- leaves and stems from 1 bunch of cilantro
- leaves and stems from 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 t paprika
- 2 t dried oregano
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
for the meatballs
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the grated garlic, paprika, salt, greek yogurt, walnuts, and egg in a large bowl.
- Add in the panko and ground beef and mix with your hands until everything is just combined – this should take about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix it.
- Drizzle a couple tablespoons of oil on your baking sheet, roll your meatballs into golf ball sized balls and pop them onto your baking sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes, flipping the meatballs over halfway through.
for the chimichurri sauce
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until uniformly combined – this was about 22 pulses for me. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
The paprika I used in both the meatballs and the sauce was Spanish Hot Paprika. The dried oregano I used in the sauce was Mexican Oregano. You can find both of these at the spice shop my mom and I own in Duck, NC.
Both the meatballs and the sauce freeze well so you can make these ahead of time. Press some plastic wrap onto the surface of the chimichurri before popping the lid on your container to help the herbs stay green.