This albondigas recipe uses frozen meatballs (GASP!) When I’m cooking at home, frozen meatballs are a go-to, because they make life so much easier without giving up much. If you are trying out for a cooking competition or something, feel free to make your own. Or just use the frozen ones and don’t tell anyone.

I’m calling this dish Albondigas (Spanish for meatballs) after a very similar dish that I had in Spain. If you were to dissect the components, you could almost say that these are Middle Eastern meatballs. But I ate them in Spain, so the name stays.  Lot’s of restaurants in big Spanish cities serve authentic Spanish foods that are influenced by Moroccan cuisine, which is influenced by by Egyptian food, which gets some ideas from the Arabian Peninsula… you get the idea.  These albondigas are one of those magic dishes that came about from a ton of different cultures affecting each other.

The fresh herbs can be changed up or even omitted, but the cilantro and dill really do go nicely with the other flavors, so try to use them if you can.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 people



1 large onion [200 grams], finely diced

2 tablespoons cheap olive oil

1/2 cup wine

1 28-ounce can san marzano tomatoes, pureed (you’ll have to do this yourself, it’s easiest with an immersion blender)

1 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

48 frozen meatballs [920 grams]


1 1/4 cups plain yogurt [300 grams]

4 cloves fresh garlic [16 grams], finely minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vinegar


fresh cilantro, chopped

fresh dill, chopped


Saute the onion with the olive oil in a large pot or a wok. Cook until the onions are golden brown, then add the white wine and pureed san marzano tomatoes and stir well.

Add the allspice, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, and the frozen meatballs, stir very well to coat the meatballs, and cook, covered, on medium-low until the mixture starts to simmer. Then cook for 15 minutes more.

Next, make the yogurt sauce, Mix together the yogurt, garlic, salt, and vinegar in a small bowl until well incorporated.

To serve, spoon the yogurt sauce over the meatballs and sprinkle with the fresh cilantro and dill.

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Keep being better at cooking...