Albondigas en Salsa de Almendras

The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.
Wow! What a great theme! I have always had a thing for meatballs… growing up in Italy, I did eat my fair share. I have a few meatball recipes on the blog already, like my Pork Meatball with Peanut Sauce, or my Stewed Turkey Meatballs, or my Beef Meatballs Agrodolce, so this time I wanted to try something different.
The first thing that came to my mind was to make something Italian… but then I thought… that’s what everyone would be expecting of me and there will be tons of Italian meatball recipes out there and I really wanted to do something “different” this time. So… what should I make?? Then I remembered. When I was in Andalusia, many many MANY years ago, I had an amazing dish made with lamb and almond sauce in a small restaurant right outside Malaga’s cathedral. I know that meatballs are very popular in Spain, so I did a little research and I found a few recipes for Meatballs in Almond Sauce and guess what? Apparently they are a traditional dish from… Malaga! The final dish actually reminded me of that lamb I had eaten, so I was very happy with the result. I made the meatballs with pork meat, but you can use beef or a mix of the two if you prefer. Also, I made them smaller than regular meatballs, as I wanted to serve them as tapas with toothpicks to pick them up. They are traditionally served with chips and lots of bread to soak up that delicious almond sauce.
Thanks Shelley and Ruth for such a great challenge! No more talking now, I leave you to it… Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendras. Buen Provecho!

Albondigas en Salsa de Almendras

5.0 from 2 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4
  • 500 gms – 1.1 lbs. pork mince (or beef or a mix of both)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 or 5 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil
Almond Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 100 gms – ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 slices/pieces of bread
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 50 ml – ¼ cup white wine
  • 300 ml – 1⅓ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Put all the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and mix very well using your hands.
  2. Make meatballs the size of a big cherry and keep them aside.
  3. Deep fry them in vegetable oil for a few minutes, until golden brown. Keep aside.
  4. Put the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan and heat it on a slow to medium flame. Add the sliced garlic and fry it for a minute, making sure it does not brown or it will taste bitter. Remove it and keep it aside.
  5. Fry the almonds in the same way, until just golden and keep them aside.
  6. Fry the bread in the same way, until just golden and keep it aside.
  7. Put the fried garlic, almond, bread and half the water in an electric mixer and blend it until smooth.
  8. Pour this mixture in a big enough saucepan to fit all the meatballs. Add the white wine, saffron threads, bay leaf, salt, pepper and the remaining water. Mix well and put it on the fire. When warm, add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you stir frequently as the sauce can stick to the bottom of the pan!
  9. Serve warm with some chips and bread.

Albondigas en Salsa de Almendras

Albondigas en Salsa de Almendras

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  1. says

    Oh, wow, Manu, those look and sound absolutely outstanding. I love that you were able to take inspiration from a great memory and turn it into an amazing meatball. Thank you so much for cooking with us this month!

  2. Eha says

    That almond sauce is really a recipe gift – thank you! Am certain it is great with the meatballs, but can think of quite a few other ways in which to use it too!!

  3. HollyBC says

    These look very interesting! I’m going to try them out. Always nice to have something different rather than ‘same old’ stuff. :-)
    I’m wondering though why you did not use the lamb (rather than pork or beef) you mentioned in your preface? Lamb meatballs appeal to me however I’m wondering how the almond sauce would go with lamb?? What do you think?

    • says

      Hi there! Sorry for the late reply! The lamb dish I have eaten in Spain was made with actual pieces of lamb (not ground meat), while all the recipes I found for meatballs in almond sauce called for either pork or beef… that’s why I did not use lamb. That said, I think lamb meatballs would go great with the almond sauce, so go for it! :-)

  4. says

    This is my favorite meatball. I cooked them this year for a game day appetizer and it was the #1 choice. The guys were really crazy about them and now want them for everything. Great recipe!!

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