Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendra – Meatballs in Almond Sauce

A friend asked that I make him something different for his tapas birthday party and decided on these meatballs.  They originate from Catalonia, Spain and they deserve an Ole!

There are three components to these meatball, the meat, a picada and the sauce.



1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground pork

1/2 lb. ground veal

3 slices of bread, crust removed,  soaked in water to cover and then squeezed dry.

1/2 cup of yellow onion, minced

4 tablespoons finely minced flat leaf parsley (Italian)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg or cinnamon (I used 1/2 of each)

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for deep-frying or sautéing

all-purpose (plain) flour for dusting

Combine above ingredients and knead with your hands until well mixed.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, as mixture is easier to work with when meat is cold.

Form mixture into  1 inch balls and dust them with flour.  Heat your oil, fry or saute your meatballs until golden.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.


4 cloves garlic, minced

6 tablespoons ground blanched almonds

4 tablespoons chopped, flat leaf parsley (Italian)

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

a few saffron threads, crushed

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a mini food processor or mortar, combine above ingredients and process or grind to a paste.  I did it the old-fashion way with my Pilon. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.


4 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup minced yellow onion

3/4  cup dry white wine

2/3 cups of meat or chicken stock

In a large frying pan or cazuela add olive oil  heat and add your onions and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes.  Add wine, stock and meat balls and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add the picada and cook for a few more minutes to blend the flavors.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Transfer to plate and serve hot.


This entry was posted in Appetizers, Meats, Party Menus, Spain, Tapas. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendra – Meatballs in Almond Sauce

  1. Edward Raphael Fernandez says:

    UMMMMM ..those sound great!!

  2. Can I join his party?? Yummy y Olé, maja !!!!

  3. Victoria says:

    Yum! I’ve made a version of this dish for a tapas party in the past! I used turkey to keep it light, but I thought the sauce was just lovely 🙂 A great alternative to a tomato sauce.

  4. kgibson2414 says:

    LOVING your photography! Great dishes too!!

  5. Albondingas yes, salsa de almendra yes, but never together! So interesting combination and certainly gorgeous to try 🙂

    Have a great weekend,


  6. There is only one word that pops to mind about this dish…amazing. I am so glad you are using your pilon you received at Foodbuzz, I know how much you loved it!

  7. Joan Nova says:

    I saw Chef Jose Andres do a picada for Anthony Bourdain. The technique makes lots of sense…it adds another layer of flavor while thickening the sauce. Thanks for posting this one. I see some albondigas en my future! 🙂

  8. Patty says:

    Oh my these look good, love the three kinds of ground meat, your sauce and the picada. I’m ready for a tapas party;-)

  9. Lea Ann says:

    I think this sounds fantastic. I’m preparing a whole tapas menu for a party next week. Might have to throw this into the mix.

  10. Me encantan las tapas. This is faboulous!! I will try and make them soon!!!

  11. Reeni says:

    These look wonderful! I just learned of something new with the picada – I love the flavor it adds.

  12. Joanne says:

    OMG this looks AMAZING!!!!! Just bookmarked this…can’t wait to make it!

  13. Katie says:

    Almond sauce?! Where have you been all my life? These meatballs look insanely delicious. A must try!

  14. noobcook says:

    The sauce looks incredible with the meatballs, and I love the touch of nutmeg too. I’m so hungry 😛

  15. The meatballs themselves sound very tasty and just wonderful with the almond sauce. I love the addition of saffron in the sauce too. Excellent.

  16. I love meatballs and I’m intrigued by some of the flavors here such as the paprika, saffron and almonds. I can nearly taste how good they are.

  17. A scrumptious dish and combination! Those are fabulous flavors. Yummy.



  18. Laz says:

    Tremendas albondigas. Te la comiste.


  19. Mike says:

    This looks muy delicioso. I’ve had camarones con almendras but I think it was a white sauce with the picada. I see a trip to the market in my near future!!

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