Baked bison meatballs are quick and easy to make any night of the week. Use them for pasta, sandwiches, and more.
My son could be considered obsessed with meatballs.
Every time we have pasta, he wants meatballs added, even if it’s macaroni and cheese (which is not as bad as it sounds on first read).
He’s also at an age where any tiny thing can dissolve him into tears, so I try to at least keep meatballs on hand for any possible requests.
Fortunately, meatballs are really easy to make. As long as I have some ground meat thawed I can throw them together in under 30 minutes.
These baked bison meatballs are even easier, because you don’t have to stand at the stove tending to them as they brown.
Have you tried bison? Bison is the true name for what most people here called buffalo, but it turns out the American bison is only distantly related to what is considered the true buffalo: the water buffalo.
You may have heard of the water buffalo because its milk is used for many different dairy products, such as mozzarella di bufala.
As you likely know from history class, the American bison was hunted nearly into extinction during the 19th century thanks to some pretty horrible nationalistic ideas and the greed for their skins.
Fortunately, they did not go extinct, and herds have been maintained in national parklands and private ranches.
how to cook bison
It may seem strange to recommend bison meat considering the history, but one of the ways to help increase their numbers in a sustainable way is to use the meat provided by responsible ranchers.
We have a farm near us that raises bison, and so we often include an order in our weekly box from Farmhouse Delivery.
(We also get goat the same way. Both are more expensive than the “standard” meats, but the animals are raised on pasture and are much more sustainable overall than cattle.)
As we learned when we made my bison one-pot dinner, bison is leaner than beef, which is something to keep in mind when cooking.
Because of this leanness, it’s perfect for recipes such as bison meatballs.
Bison meat is also more flavorful in my opinion, so you don’t need a lot of additions for these bison meatballs. You certainly don’t need filler like oats or breadcrumbs!
If you leave out the Worcestershire sauce, they’re appropriate for Whole30, too.
You can make a batch of baked bison meatballs ahead of time to add to your meals during the week, or double the recipe and freeze some for the future. Then, reheat by simmering in sauce, or baking from frozen in the oven.
I like these with a little bit of heat so I add crushed red chile flakes, but you can go without if you like.
how to make meatballs in the oven
Even though meatballs seem like a time-consuming meal, making oven baked meatballs is incredibly easy to do any night of the week.
Making meatballs in the oven is as easy as forming the meatballs (make sure to keep them uniform in size) and placing them on a greased baking sheet.
Pro-tip: If you want to make clean-up even easier, cover your baking sheet with foil before coating it with nonstick spray.
For 1-inch meatballs, I find that baking for about 15 minutes at 400°F is perfect. I like to turn them over halfway through baking to get a golden crust on both sides.
Once your baked meatballs are finished, you can add them to your desired sauce to simmer, or let them cool before packaging and freezing.
Baked Bison Meatballs
Baked bison meatballs are quick and easy. Make them for dinner tonight, or freeze for later!
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1 egg , beaten
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce , optional
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes , optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix until well-incorporated.
Using a spoon or small cookie scoop, form meatballs. Roll into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the meat is used.
Bake for 15 minutes, turning meatballs over halfway through.
Makes about 22 1-inch meatballs.