These juicy little bison meatballs are so freaking tasty and easy to make. The secret is adding some ricotta cheese and a little ground pork to the mixture. These chunks of love are the perfect addition to any meal, whether you’re serving them over spaghetti, in a hoagie, or just straight off the toothpick.Jump to Recipe
“Bison makes the BEST meatball, and I’m unbisoned…”-ted turner
WTF are Bison Meatballs?
Bison meatballs, or meatballs made from buffalo meat, are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional beef meatballs. These tasty little love nuggets are high in protein and low in fat, and they pair well with all kinds of pasta, in soups, on bread in a sandwich, or on there own.
Bison vs Beef
There are many reasons to choose bison over beef. Not all reasons are perfect, but here are some interesting things to consider the next time you’re buying ground meat for meatballs.
Bison Nutritional Value
When it comes to nutritional value, bison is the clear winner. Bison is a leaner meat, with fewer calories and less fat than beef. It’s also a great source of protein, iron, and essential vitamins, making it a healthier option all around.
Bison has a rich, earthy flavor that is truly unique. It’s similar to beef but it certainly doesn’t have that fatty beef flavor that some many people crave. Some people say it has a hint of game to it, but I wouldn’t describe it that way. It’s nothing like the game of venison, which can be off putting.
Buffalo are well-adapted to grazing on natural grasslands and require less supplemental feed than other livestock species, like cows. Additionally, some studies say that buffalo may produce less methane per unit of meat produced compared to cows. For more about this, check out this article by modernfarmer.com.
GROUND BISON MEATBALLS RECIPE
Bison Meatballs Ingredients
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make this bison meatballs recipe.
- Ground Bison: The star of the show.
- Ground Pork: Adds a little extra flavor and fat, since the bison is a bit lean. This is optional, but I suggest it.
- Ricotta Cheese: The secret ingredient, this will help make the bison meatballs super juicy and creamy.
- Parmesan Cheese: Maybe we should call this recipe bison and cheese meatballs?
- Bell Pepper: This is optional, but I like the texture crunch and color pop that it adds to the meatball.
- Bread/Crackers: Use whatever kind of breadcrumb you like, and go ahead and judge me, but ritz is the best baby.
- Spices: Salt, Black Pepper, & Red Pepper Flakes for a little kick.
How to Make Bison Meatballs
Follow these step by step instructions to make these bison meatballs.
Step 1: Combine Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground bison, ground pork, diced pepper, spices, egg, ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese. Use your hands to mix thoroughly.
Step 2: Make Bison Meatballs
Continue using your hands to form 15 equally sized meatballs. Around an inch and a half in diamater. Transfer them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Step 3: Bake Bison Meatballs
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Step 4: Cook Pasta & Sauce (optional)
While you wait for your meatballs to cook, slowly heat up your sauce in a separate pot and cook your pasta, per package instructions.
When everything is cooked, drain the pasta and combine it with the sauce. Stir to incorporate.
Step 5: Garnish & Serve
Pile the saucy pasta in a serving bowl and place 2-3 meatballs on top. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
Pasta & Bison Meatballs
Bison meatballs and pasta, now that’s a dynamic duo if there ever was one! A plate full of perfectly cooked, juicy bison meatballs all nestled amidst a bed of al dente bucatini pasta noodles, all swimming together in a warm tomato sauce.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is, cause that is how we like to each our bison meatballs. But you can use whatever pasta you like, spaghetti, fettuccini, penne, rigatoni, Farfalle, whatever! The Bison meatballs are the star of this dish, just cook whatever pasta you are using to the packages instructions.
Or you could always just go commando! Stick a toothpick in your balls and eat em plain.
Storing Bison Meatballs
Store your bison meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The meatballs will be fine stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If, by some miracle you don’t inhale them by then and need to store them for a longer period, it’s best to freeze them.
To freeze bison meatballs, place them in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Frozen bison meatballs will be good for up to 3-6 months.
When it’s time to reheat your bison meatballs, there are a few methods you can use. For best results, I recommend reheating them the same way you cooked them, in the oven. Simply, place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
To reheat in a microwave, it’s best to take them out of the freezer the night before so they can thaw. When you’re ready to reheat the bison meatballs, put them in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Making sure to stir the meatballs halfway through the heating process.
More Ground Bison Recipes
Ground bison meat is a flavorful versatile meat. It’s a healthier option than ground beef and can be substituted for it every time. Here are some recipe ideas you could use ground bison meat in.
- Bison Smash Burgers: Substitute the ground turkey for the ground bison in our SmashBurger recipe! We add a little duck fat so the patties crisp up and cook to perfection. These burgers are flavor bombs!
- Bison Chili: Try substituting the ground pork for ground bison in our Roasted 5 pepper Green Chili! Go half pork and half bison or all substitute all of it.
- Bison Tacos: Substitute the pulled pork for ground bison in our Cheesy, Crispy Taco Recipe. Or keep the pork, either way these tacos are to die for!
- Bison Meatloaf: Combine ground bison with breadcrumbs, eggs, onion, garlic, ketchup, and spices to make a delicious and healthy meatloaf. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.
- Bison Shepherd’s Pie: Cook ground bison with diced vegetables, then top with mashed potatoes and bake until the potatoes are golden and the filling is heated through.
- Bison Stuffed Bell Peppers: Fill some bell peppers with the cooked ground bison meat along with some rice and spices. Wrap em in tin foil and bake in the oven until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot.
Bison Meatball FAQ’s
What is bison meat?
Bison meat is a type of red meat that comes from American bison, also known as buffalo.
What are the benefits of eating bison meat?
Ground Bison meat is a healthier option compared to ground beef. It has fewer calories and less fat.
Can I freeze bison meatballs?
For sure! You can freeze bison meatballs. Just put them in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
How is bison meat different from beef?
Bison is a leaner meat compared to beef. It has a more earthy and rich flavor. It’s also lower in fat and calories, making it a healthier alternative to beef.