our everyday life

Good Marinade for Meatballs

by Jon Mohrman

Don't limit meatballs to your weekly bowl of spaghetti. With more flavorful approaches, meatballs can be served as an entree on their own. For example, combine ground beef and chorizo for a spicier preparation, or use ground lamb or turkey for a milder taste with more flavoring options. Marinate the meatballs to give them lots of flavor. They'll hold their own on the plate.

Marinade Ingredients

A meat marinade needs a few components to impart great flavor. Use an acidic liquid as the base and primary flavoring agent. Mix it with an equal amount of cooking oil for a proper consistency and to help distribute the flavors. Then add salt and complementary spices, herbs and aromatics to taste for depth of flavor.

Choose Your Flavors

Select marinade flavors that complement the type of meat in your meatballs. Examples of acidic ingredients that go well with beef include tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and teriyaki sauce. These work with lamb or venison meatballs, too, as do curry sauces, soy sauce or tamari. Ground poultry meatballs support red or white wine and fruit juices. Choose herbs, spices and aromatics that complement the acid.

The Process

Marinate meatballs in a non-reactive dish, one made of glass, ceramic, plastic or stainless steel. Place the meatballs in the dish and cover them completely with the marinade. Refrigerate them for one to 12 hours; the longer you marinate, the more flavor they absorb. Rotate the meatballs periodically to ensure that all sides are flavored.

About the Author

Jon Mohrman has been a writer and editor for more than seven years. He specializes in food, travel and health topics. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for English literature and San Francisco State University for creative writing.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images