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Spanish Meatballs with Pepper and Tomato Wine Sauce

December 27, 2014

Tender Spanish meatballs made with black olives and fresh herbs are nestled in a rich red pepper and tomato red wine sauce.

Spanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

These little meatballs are going to knock your socks off. They are so tender and succulent and baked to perfect and finish the basting process in a rich and delicious red pepper and tomato red wine sauce.

The lovely aroma from the sauce slowly cooking over the burner will make you so hungry to be sure to make lots of extra meatballs and save a little wine for the cook.

Spanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

Spanish meatballs are the perfect little hot tapas idea as they can be made ahead and just re-heated before your guests arrive. Spanish meatballs can also be eaten as a lunch or dinner with a nice tossed salad for a lower carb dinner. However, if you are not watching your carbs you will want some good crusty bread to lap up all of those delicious red pepper and tomato wine sauces.

Spanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

Spanish meatballs can be made with ground turkey or even a mixture of ground pork, veal, beef, bison or even venison. However, these items are difficult and expensive to obtain in Hong Kong so just opted for the easy lean ground beef option.

Spanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

However, the most happy accident that happened in my kitchen was the fact that I was completely out of bread crumbs or even any bread for that matter... I did however have a box of these delightful black olive crackers from Mark and Spencer's that I was saving for a special occasion. Well, I guess this occasion is as special as any other.  I was planning on making Spanish meatballs with black olives so using some black olive crackers was just the icing on the top for the perfect little recipe. Mark and Spencer's crackers are lovely just plain out of the box but when you beat them with your rolling-pin inside of a sealed plastic bag and then add the cracker crumbs to these Spanish meatballs it takes this tapas dish to a whole new level! You can most certainly use gluten-free bread crumbs as well.

Spanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

I come up with my ideas for recipes is just by looking around to see what I have in the house. How about you? I happened to see black seedless olives in my pantry but kalmata or Spanish green olives would be lovely as well.  Don't you just love how my meatballs look like they have eyeballs when they are studded with those black olives?

Spanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

I was drinking a lovely Babich Winemakers Reserve Marlborough pinot nior from New Zealand and it was lovely. I decided to throw in a little in the sauce and the cook and it was delightful. However, you can feel free to splash in a little of whatever your drinking at the time but a red full-bodied wine works best.

At first glance the recipe list may seem large but if you closely it is some of the same ingredients repeated such as the olive oil, paprika, basil and oregano are used both in the meatballs and in the sauce. I listed them twice as it is easier to read the directions.

ISpanish Olive Meatballs- Bam's Kitchen

I made a double batch of Spanish Meatball Tapas for the holidays. One we consumed for dinner and one is in the freezer. I know we will be hosting over the holidays and undoubtedly we will have unexpected guests.  Spanish Olive Meatball Tapas is something that can be reheated and served in just a few minutes flat.



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Spanish Meatballs with Pepper and Tomato Wine Sauce

By HWC Magazine  , , ,   

December 27, 2014

Tender Spanish meatballs made with black olives and fresh herbs are nestled in a rich red pepper and tomato red wine sauce.

  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 8 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


Spanish Meatballs

ground beef - 1.5 pounds (you can substitute with ground turkey, pork, veal, bison or whatever your little heart desires.)

crackers - 1.5 cups (I used Mark and Spencers Black olive crackers but you can exchange with gluten free breadcrumbs- put cracker in a sealed plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin until small crumbs)

olives - 1 cup roughly chopped (I used black seedless but you can use whatever kind you have on hand)

paprika - 1 teaspoon

basil - 1 teaspoon

oregano - 1 teaspoon

egg - 1 beaten

olive oil - 1/4 cup

parsley - 1 large bunch flat leaf chopped

salt and pepper - to taste

Red pepper and Tomato Wine Sauce

olive oil - 1 tablespoon

onion - 1 small chopped

red bell pepper - 1/2 chopped or about 1/4 cup

garlic - 3 cloves minced

red wine - 1 cup

basic tomato sauce - 1 jar - 24 ounces (I used Prego but use whatever you have on hand or make your own homemade)

paprika - 1 teaspoon

basil - 1 teaspoon

oregano - 1 teaspoon

salt and pepper - to taste


1Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F)

2Make the Spanish Meatballs: Mix the ground beef, cracker crumbs, olives, paprika, basil, oregano, egg, olive oil parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well and form mixture into small 1.5 inch meatballs. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

3In the meantime, make the sauce: In a large skillet, place olive oil, chopped onion, chopped red pepper, minced garlic and cook until translucent. Add red wine to the mixture and then add the red tomato sauce, paprika, basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.

4Add baked meatballs to the sauce to finish off cooking and baste for about 5 minutes.

5Enjoy as a delicious hot tapas or as a lunch or dinner with a tossed salad and maybe a slice of crusty bread to soak up that delicious sauce.

  • Mmm, your recipe came together nicely! My husband loves olives, so this would be nice change from the meatballs I usually make. Delicious low carb meal too!

  • These meatballs sound so good–I think I could eat a whole plateful of these! 🙂

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I love meatballs at a party. It gives something hearty to eat while everyone is drinking. Your meatballs will be a good thing for New Year’s Eve.

    Happy New Year!!

  • What a great idea to use crackers instead of bread crumbs. I love meatballs done like this 🙂

  • This just looks so so good. Love the olives in the meatballs!

  • I can visualize myself eating this on New year’s eve. Honestly, they look so good!

  • Love all your successful kitchen improv! I love the sound of meatballs with olives – what a delicious idea! Hope you are enjoying the holidays and Happy New Year!!

  • These Spanish meatballs just look SO delicious, especially drenched in all that tomato and wine sauce. Yum!

  • hotlyspiced

    Your meatballs look amazing. And meatballs are always a meal everyone in the family will enjoy. I do love how these have olives xx

  • Robyn

    Meatballs are one of my very favorite and these look so delicious, Bobbi! I love that you used those crackers and along with the olives, the taste must be out of this world. Red wine in the sauce? More deliciousness! Love your choice of spices – each bite must be like a taste explosion in our mouth. Perfect for New Years! Sharing all over.
    Happy New Year to you and yours, Bobbi!

  • They are bursting with flavors Bobbi! I wish to you a very Happy New Year!

  • Sounds interesting and delicious, adding olives to the meatballs! The olives look like little gems to me. It’s hard to get ground turkey in Singapore too, so I usually just go for a beef-pork combination! Have a happy new year and all the best for the coming year!

  • Marlene

    Good recipe for me…..easy to substitute with gluten free crackers. ‘Life’
    has a couple of tasty brands in Hong Kong. Thanks and Happy New Year !

  • shashi @

    I adore that you added olives to these meatballs!

  • Oh you are absolutely the most clever & inventive cook I know. I look around at what’s in my pantry, my fridge, my freezer and say…”how about we go out to eat”. I just never seem to put 2 & 2 together to come up with a meal but then I look at your creations and really want to try. These do look fabulous & I love the idea of freezing them. Ok – New Year’s Resolution…get creative AND make extra to freeze.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Diane you are making me blush…thank you. I think my making due with what I have in the kitchen was forced upon me when we moved to Asia. Food is very expensive here in contrast to the States so I am always looking for new ways to use what we have to reduce waste. In addition, it comes out of pure laziness as I really do not want to ride the bus and then walk for 20 minutes and then track back with a heavy granny bag every single day while living here in HK…you know what I mean public transport it is what it is… Making extra and freezing a batch is always a great idea for us as there is just some times when life is busy and it is good to know you have some delicious waiting for you and you don’t have to ride the public bus and walk up hill both ways to get supplies… Wishing you a super 2015!!

      • You know you’re spoiled when you have 6 supermarkets within 4 miles of your house (yet, I still send my husband). I’m picturing you with your granny bags tilting uphill – sort of like the Asian version of a nonna.

  • Yummy!!! Can’t wait to try this one.

  • Ohh those meatballs sound delicious, never thought of adding olives in meatballs, what a great idea.
    Anyways Happy New Year to you and your family

  • Jim

    First time in my life that I made meatballs and I only have three words to say about this recipe. Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Dear Jim, I am so delighted that you tried and liked the meatballs. It is a super easy recipe and perfect for so many gatherings. Wishing you a super weekend. Take Care, BAM

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