This juicy and tender Bison Meatball Recipe gets two thumbs up from my 6-year-old! They are absolutely delicious, moist, and pack so much flavor! Made with a blend of Italian spices and Parmesan cheese, these meatballs go perfectly with red sauce, but they’re also neutral enough to be used in any dish style!
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Every family needs a solid classic meatballs recipe. There is perhaps no dish that evokes the warm memories of nostalgia that Italian meatballs do. Growing up, spaghetti and meatballs was my favorite meal. Now with a family of my own, spaghetti is still a favorite, especially for my 6-year-old! He is all about the meatballs. Noodles…meh. Take them or leave them. Bolognese sauce? Eh. That will do in a pinch. But MEATBALLS. That’s what he is all about.
While there’s no shortage of recipes for meatballs made with ground beef or pork, many of us want something a bit leaner with fewer calories for a healthier alternative. Ground bison is the perfect meat for a tasty, tender meatball! But there are a few important tips and tricks for cooking these properly as following a recipe written for ground beef will likely result in them being hard and dry. Follow the steps below to make the most delicious bison meatball recipe!
For this easy bison meatball recipe, you will need the following:
- Ground Bison– Ground bison can be found at most grocery stores these days, or ordered online at places like Crowd Cow or Butcher Box.
- Bread Crumbs– I am using store-bought organic bread crumbs in this recipe, but feel free to make your own bread crumbs. If you need this to be gluten-free, you can use gluten-free bread crumbs or gluten-free oats pulsed in a blender until they are a breadcrumb-like consistency.
- Eggs- The eggs and the breadcrumbs together serve as the binder for these meatballs so they don’t fall apart!
- Parmesan Cheese– The cheese imparts a salty, savory flavor to the meatballs. Choose a finely grated variety.
- Italian Herbs & Spices– The perfect blend of pantry staple dried herbs and spices to make a homemade Italian seasoning brings out the best flavors in these meatballs. Fresh herbs can certainly be used instead of dried herbs if you wish! But I love the dried herbs for convenience.
1. Preheat Oven
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. These meatballs need to be baked at medium heat–any hotter and you risk drying them out.
2. Add Seasonings & Binders
Add your parmesan, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, and thyme to a large bowl. Then add your eggs, breadcrumbs, and 1/2 cup water to the bowl.
Using a large spoon, mix all of these ingredients together in your large mixing bowl.
4. Add Ground Bison
Add your ground meat to the bowl of seasonings & binders. Mix it together thoroughly. You may need to use your hands for best results.
5. Scoop Meatballs
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Using a standard-size cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop your meatballs into about 34 evenly-sized balls. Aim for about 2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball. Making sure to make these meatballs the correct size is important for the best results, or the cooking time will need to be altered.
Put the meatballs into the oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes.
Tips & Variations
We have made this recipe so many times and tried many different cooking temperatures and times. 350 degrees for 20 minutes is the perfect baking time. If your oven runs cooler or warmer, you may need to alter the time slightly, but in our experience, once you start getting close to 25 minutes or longer, they will dry out.
You could also make these meatballs in the air fryer if you choose, just keep an eye on them! They will need a little less time in the air fryer. Again, you really don’t want to overcook them. Here are some general air frying tips if you need them.
If you can only find bison in 1-lb packages at your grocery store and don’t want to get two packs, feel free to mix a half pound of another lean ground meat in with your pound of bison, such as turkey, chicken, or a very lean 93/7 ground beef.
Try serving these meatballs with your favorite marinara sauce or other pasta sauce. Fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and roasted garlic cloves are also great additions. Dish up a plate of whole wheat noodles to complete the meal!
We also really love chickpea noodles. They’re a great choice to get more protein and fiber in your pasta, or if you want a gluten-free option. The Banza brand is hands down the best chickpea pasta we have tried!
While our favorite way to eat meatballs is with tomato sauce, the best part of this bison meatball recipe is that they are neutral enough to go with any favorite sauce you have! Try them with buffalo sauce or BBQ sauce–they’re delicious!
If you’d like another Italian-style pasta dish, try my High Protein Pasta Bake.
This recipe makes 34 meatballs. The nutritional info for one meatball is:
- Calories: 68
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 4 grams (1.5 grams saturated)
- Carbs: 3 grams
Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They will reheat very well in the microwave (cover the top of your dish with a paper towel if your meatballs are covered in any sauces). You can also reheat them in a pot on the stove with sauce.
They also freeze amazingly well. We often make a large batch and then freeze them in an even layer on a baking sheet, then combine them all into a large freezer bag once frozen. Just toss as many frozen meatballs as you want into a pot of your sauce of choice and give it at least 10-15 minutes at medium heat to warm through. It makes throwing together a quick and delicious meal on a weeknight very easy!
Bison meat can be cooked in a number of different ways. The key is just watching the temperature and giving the meat enough time to tenderize. But we successfully cook delicious bison meat on the stovetop, in the oven, in our slow cooker, and on our grill and smoker!
Bison meat is most tender when cooked at the proper temperature (low heat to medium heat). The amount of time for bison meat will vary depending on the type of meat. Slow cooking works great for large cuts of meat like roasts. These meatballs made with lean ground bison do not need to be cooked slowly–20 minutes is the perfect amount of time.
Ground bison meat can be cooked similarly to other types of ground meat, but avoid turning up your heat higher than medium or you risk burning it or drying it out. Cook your ground bison meatballs to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
A pound of ground bison can be used to make this delicious bison meatballs recipe (with an added half pound of other ground meat–see the “Tips & Variations” section). You can also make delicious, melt-in-your-mouth bison burgers.
Do You Love This Recipe?
Did you try this easy meatball recipe and love it as much as we do? Please leave a 5-star rating and review! It means the world!
Bison Meatballs with Italian Seasonings
- Cookie Scoop optional–for making evenly sized meatballs
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tbsp Parsley Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 1/2 pounds Ground Bison
- Into a large mixing bowl, add the eggs followed by the bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, and water. Use a spoon to mix it all together thoroughly.
- Add you ground bison to the bowl. Using a large spoon or your hands, work to evenly mix the breadcrumb mixture with the meat.
- Using a cookie scoop or a large spoon, scoop about 2 tbsp of the mixture and roll it into a smooth ball. Repeat to make about 34 meatballs. Arrange the meatballs evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the inside is no longer pink. Be careful not to overbake