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Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara

Homemade meatballs truly are the perfect comfort food. My Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara are a nice and healthier alternative to ground beef. 

This bison meatball recipe contains simple ingredients and the best part is that it has amazing flavor just like classic meatballs.

Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara
Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara

Why you will love this bison meatball recipe:

It’s well seasoned and not spicy. It’s great for the whole family, especially the toddlers!

Delicious bison meatballs can be enjoyed with your favorite marinara sauce or with bbq sauce. 

This makes an amazing meal prep as meatballs sitting in sauce overnight are quite delicious the next day. 

Other delicious recipes to tryEasy Bison Meatloaf Recipe and Hawaiian Roll Meatball Sliders.

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ingredients for bison meatball recipe

Ingredients

  • Ground bison. American bison is high in protein, a leaner meat than ground beef and it has fewer calories.
  • Fontina cheese. This is my personal preference for cheese. Any soft shreddable cheese works such as parmesan cheese mix or mozzarella.
  • Egg. The egg acts as a binder along with the breadcrumbs. You can use 3 egg whites if you want to lower the fat content or less calories. 
  • Sweet onions. White onion or yellow onion can be used a substitute.
  • Breadcrumbs. They act as a binder with the egg. Use regular or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Seasonings such as dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, paprika and ground thyme. If you don’t have all the dry seasonings, you can substitute with a simple seasoning such as Italian seasoning.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh parsley.

How to Make Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara

Have homemade meatballs on your dinner table in no time following these simple steps:

1. Start with adding the ground bison to a large mixing bowl. 

2. Then add the cheese, egg, onions and breadcrumbs. With you hands, combine well. Then evenly distribute the seasonings and mix again. 

3. Roll into 16 1-inch meatballs and place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

4. In a dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. 

5. Add half of the meatballs and sear for about 4-5 minutes, making sure to rotate them so all sides get seared. When done, remove and transfer to a plate. Lower heat if you need to.

6.Add the rest of the uncooked meatballs to the pan and repeat searing for another 4-5 minutes.

7. Add the marinara and place the other meatballs back into the pan. 

8. Let the bison meatballs simmer on low for 15-20 minutes gently stirring them. Bison meatballs are done when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

9. When done, remove from the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley. 

Helpful tips Italian bison meatballs

This recipe works with other ground meat if you want to change it up.

Bison meatballs can be baked and then you can add your favorite pasta sauces later. Though I make meatballs both ways, I find braising it produces a more tender meat.

If you don’t have a dutch oven, use a deep large non stick frying pan. 

You can make these the night before and cook off the next day.

Make a double batch and freeze some for later use. 

Don’t overmix the meatball mixture.

Other serving suggestions or alternatives

This bison italian meatball recipe is perfect for the keto diet. Use keto friendly bread crumbs and sauce. 

​These meatballs make the perfect recipe for a side dish or high protein snack.

Another fun way to enjoy these italian meatballs is to make bbq meatballs with a little bit barbecue sauce over the top. 

​Fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese or fresh basil is amazing addition to meatballs.

Enjoy this easy meatballs recipe with your favorite pasta. Gluten free pasta or chickpea pasta works too. For lower carb, use zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

Add a little spice with red pepper flakes.

Storing Instructions and reheating

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Homemade meatballs can be frozen. The best way to freeze meatballs is to place a single layer of uncooked meatballs on a sheet pan and then freeze. Once they are frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container or a freezer bag. Use the meatballs within 1 month.

close up shot of braised italian ground bison meatballs with marinara

Recipe inspiration for this bison meatball recipe

I have been cooking with bison for years, Bison tastes wonderful in recipes that normally call for beef. The next time you want to switch up proteins, I totally suggest giving ground bison or bison steaks a try! 

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Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara

Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara

Kristina Cadelina
​Homemade meatballs truly are the perfect comfort food. My Braised Italian Ground Bison Meatballs with Marinara are nice and healthier alternative to ground beef. This bison meatball recipe contains simple ingredients and the best part is that it has amazing flavor just like classic meatballs.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16
Calories 114 kcal

Equipment

  • dutch oven
  • tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1/3 cup fontina cheese shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sweet onions finely diced
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 24 ounces marinara plain or roasted garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Instructions
 

  • Start with adding the ground bison to a large bowl.
  • Then add the cheese, egg, onions and breadcrumbs. With you hands, combine well. Then evenly distribute the seasonings and mix again.
  • Roll into 16 meatballs, about 2 inches and set them on a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.
  • Add half of the meatballs and sear for about 4-5 minutes, making sure to rotate them so all sides get seared. When done, remove and transfer to a plate.
  • Add the rest of the meatballs to the pan and repeat searing for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the marinara and place the other meatballs back into the pan.
  • Let the bison meatballs simmer on low for 15-20 minutes gently stirring them. Bison meatballs are done when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • When done, remove from the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes

Notes:
This recipe works with other ground meat if you want to change it up.
Bison meatballs can be baked and then you can add your favorite pasta sauces later. Though I make meatballs both ways, I find braising it produces a more tender meat.
If you don’t have a dutch oven, use a deep large non stick frying pan. 
You can make these the night before and cook the next day.
Make a double batch and freeze some for later use.
Storing:
Store any leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Homemade meatballs can be frozen. The best way to freeze is to place a single layer of uncooked meatballs on a sheet pan and then freeze. Once they are frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container or a freezer bag. Use the meatballs within 1 month.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 296mgPotassium: 237mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 302IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Bison Meatballs, Italian Meatballs
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