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Nathan's Cuban Meatballs


Makes 5-6 servings, with rice or pasta

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Nathan's Cuban Meatballs 1 Picture


  • 1 1/4 lb. ground sirloin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c. cracker meal or dry Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 lg. onion, minced (set aside half)
  • 1/2 lg. bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, minced (set aside half)
  • 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, minced (I like to use 1/2 green and 1/2 orange)
  • 1/2 head of garlic, minced and mashed to a paste or crushed in a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 c. Italian tomato sauce from a jar (e.g., Prego, Newman's Own)
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 t. salt (more or less to taste)


Servings 5
Adapted from


Step 1

1. In a large bowl, place the ground sirloin, the beaten eggs, the cracker meal, half of the minced onion, half of the minced parsley, 1 t. salt, 1 t. of the black pepper, and 1 t. of the cumin.
2. Add 1/2 c. water.
3. Mix the ingredients together gently, try not to over-mix. Form the mixture into medium-small meatballs.
4.Set meatballs aside on a plate.
5. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil (it should generously cover the bottom of the pan, add more if needed) over medium heat.
6. Add the remaining onion and the bell pepper. Sautee until translucent and fragrant, about 6 min.
7. Add the crushed/mashed garlic and sautee for 2 more minues, being careful not to let the garlic burn.
8.Add the remaining 1 t. of cumin and 1 t. of black pepper and sautee for 2 more min.
8. Add the tomato sauce and 1-1/2 c. water to dilute it. It will cook down and thicken so keep that in mind.
9. Stirring, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to taste.
10. Add the meatballs in a single layer. Cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook the meatballs for 10 minutes.
11. Turn the meatballs, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.
12. Remove a meatball to a small plate and cut in half to test for doneness. There should be no pink in the middle. If still pink, allow the meatballs to cook, covered, for 2-3 more minutes, or until there is no pink.
13. Garnish with the remaining parsley.
14. Serve over white rice (the traditional Cuban way) or spaghetti.


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