Spicy Tapas Meatballs Spicy Tapas Meatballs

Author: Canadian Living

Tapas refers to a variety of bite-size Spanish appetizers traditionally served with sherry or cocktails. These veal-and-pork meatballs are flavoured with oil-cured olives and served in a delicately spicy tomato sauce. To save time, use 3 tbsp prepared black olive tapenade instead of pitting your own olives. Avoid canned pitted olives, because they don't have as much flavour as oil-cured olives or tapenade.

  • Portion size 78 servings
  • Credits : Holiday Best 2013


  • 1 cup oil-cured black olives pitted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 450 g lean ground veal
  • 450 g lean ground pork
Sauce :
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce


In food processor, finely chop olives. In bowl, whisk together olives, eggs, bread crumbs, green onions, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add veal and pork; mix thoroughly. Shape by level 1 tbsp into balls.

Bake on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in 375°F (190°C) oven until instant-read thermometer inserted into a few meatballs reads 160°F (71°C), about 12 minutes.

Sauce: In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, paprika, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato sauce; simmer for 20 minutes. Add meatballs, stirring to coat. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 3 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator; heat through over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes.)

Nutritional facts per piece: about

  • Sodium 134 mg
  • Protein 3 g
  • Calories 35.0
  • Total fat 2 g
  • Cholesterol 14 mg
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Total carbohydrate 2 g


  • Iron 2.0
  • Folate 1.0
  • Calcium 1.0
  • Vitamin A 2.0
  • Vitamin C 2.0
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Spicy Tapas Meatballs