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Bison Meatballs Recipe: a Healthy Alternative

Updated on August 31, 2007
bison meatballs in marinara, over spaghetti
bison meatballs in marinara, over spaghetti

My husband picked up some organic ground bison meat on sale at the farmer's market last week, and he had been itching to use it ever since. When a plain meal of spaghetti was slated for the evening, he pulled out the bison meat to defrost so that he could enhance his serving with something special. This bison meatball recipe is the result! He says of it:

"Bison meat is delicious. It is lean without being dry; rich and robustly flavorful but with a tender texture like ground lamb. These meatballs can be coaxed apart easily with a fork, and two of them surmounting a pile of pasta makes for a satisfying meal."

Bison is a very healthy meat, much lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol than many meats (chicken, turkey, beef, and pork among them), but still high in protein and with a higher concentration of iron and essential fatty acids. Enjoy!

Bison Meatballs

Makes four to six large meatballs, or two servings


  • two slices of dry white bread

  • milk (enough to soak the bread in)
  • two medium-sized cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan or Romano cheese
  • one bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground bison meat
  • two eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • one teaspoon dried oregano
  • serve over spaghetti with marinera sauce and grated parmesan or Romano cheese.

Preparation Instructions:

1. Preheat you oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).

2. Soak the dry white bread in the milk. Meanwhile, peel the skins from the garlic cloves then crush them. Finely mince the onion. Grate the parmesan or Romano cheese. Chop the parsley. Once the bread is soft, drain out the milk, and then rip the bread up into smaller pieces.

3. Combine all of the ingredients except the meat in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly together. Add the meat and gently knead the mixture into it. Take care not to over-work the meat or it will become dense and fibrous. Form large meatballs of about three inches in diameter (you should get between 4 and 6). Set the meatballs in a greased, oven-safe pan (cast iron is great for this).

4. When the oven is ready, cook the meatballs for about 30 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.

5. Once the meat is well browned on all sides, take the meatballs out of the oven and put them into your marianara long enough for the flavors to mix a bit, then serve with spaghetti garnish with grated parmesan or Romano cheese. Enjoy!


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