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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, and I don’t mind obliging him.
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.
Add your favorite sauce, and you’ve got a delicious lean protein ready to eat with anything you like!
What is bison?
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.
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.
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.
Ingredients for baked bison meatballs
Full list of ingredients including quantities is located in the recipe card.
Ground bison – These days ground bison can be found in many grocery stores. Look for it near the ground beef.
If your grocery store stocks other alternative meats like venison, wild boar, or elk, it may be among those.
Egg – Egg is used to help bind the ingredients together.
Tomato paste – The rich flavor of tomato paste adds a touch of depth and sweetness to the meatballs.
Parsley – I like adding fresh herbs to bison meatballs, and parsley is a great option that’s always available.
Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire adds umami to the meatballs.
Spices – I like to add onion powder, garlic powder, and crushed red chile flakes in addition to salt and pepper. Add other spices based on your favorite flavors or serving plans!
How to make this recipe
Even though meatballs seem like a time-consuming meal, making oven baked meatballs is incredibly easy to do any night of the week.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner, or lightly coat with nonstick spray.
You can also place a wire rack on the baking sheet to allow any fat to drip down. Make sure to add some nonstick spray to the wire rack.
Add all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can use a spoon or a rubber spatula, but your hands will actually work the best! I keep disposable kitchen gloves on hand for prepping recipes like this.
Use your hands, two spoons, or a cookie scoop to form the meatballs into golfball size balls. Place on the baking sheet, leaving some space between each meatball. If the meatballs are too crowded on the pan they will take longer to cook.
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, turning over halfway through the cooking time to get a nice crust on both sides.
If you’re using a wire rack, you don’t need to turn them.
Once your baked bison meatballs are finished, you can add them to spaghetti sauce to simmer, stuff into a meatball sub, serve with BBQ sauce, or let them cool completely before freezing.
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.
If you don’t have fresh parsley on hand, swap in dried Italian seasoning.
Add these bison meatballs to cheesy, saucy meatball sub casserole!
Can bison meatballs be frozen?
Yes, you can make bison meatballs ahead of time and freeze them!
I recommend using the flash freeze method. Place the cooked meatballs on a clean, lined baking sheet. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until solid.
Transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer bag or use a vacuum sealer. Label and use within 6 months.
How to reheat baked bison meatballs from frozen
There’s no need to thaw frozen bison meatballs before reheating, though you can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator to speed up the cooking time.
Add frozen meatballs directly to pasta sauce, cover, and simmer until heated through.
Can these meatballs be made larger?
My son loves big meatballs with his spaghetti, so I understand wanting to make them larger!
I recommend making them no more than 2 inches in size. It will take longer for them to cook all the way through, so be sure to use a thermometer to ensure the meatballs are fully cooked to 160°F.
More ways to use ground bison
Now that you’ve made bison meatballs, why not give some other bison recipes a try?
You’ll love cooking with deliciously lean bison!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Baked Bison Meatballs
- 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.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…