These One-Pan Bison Meatballs come together in just under an hour, with only 15 minutes of hands-on time. They’re tender and juicy, and perfectly complimented by charred broccolini, an herby tomato sauce and melted Fontina cheese.
If you’ve never treated yourself to bison before, you’re in for a huge treat with these One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce! They’re tender and juicy and full of flavor. In fact, you may never want to go back to regular old ground beef again.
BISON VS. BEEF
You can think of bison as beef’s fancier and more flavorful cousin, although, bison is actually lower in calories and higher in protein than both ground beef and turkey. It does tend to be more expensive, so I say save the bison for a once-in-a-while treat as opposed to an everyday thing.
You can usually find ground bison wherever ground beef is sold. In fact, I found a high-quality double-pack of ground bison at Costco. I popped one of the packages in the freezer (because we all know how helpful it is to have freezer options on hand!) and used the other one to make these delicious One-Pan Bison Meatballs.
HOW TO COOK IT
When it comes to cooking, ground bison can be prepared in the exact same way ground beef is prepared. Aside from meatballs, you could also use ground bison to make burgers (bison burgers are a favorite of mine), taco meat or even a meat sauce for over pasta.
But today we’re here to talk about meatballs, so let’s get to it!
LET’S MAKE SOME MEATBALLS!
Making the meatball mixture itself is the longest hands-on part of the process, and you’re going to have to get a little bit dirty. After all, I find the best way to mix up some meatballs is to get your hands in the mixing bowl to blend it all together.
You’re going to throw all of the typical meatball ingredients into the mix – egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, shallots, oregano – you don’t need anything special because, when it comes to bison, it already has so much flavor.
I guess this recipe is technically a two-dish one (if you count the mixing bowl), but once it comes to cooking, you’ll only need a large cast iron skillet [*affiliate link] to make these meatballs come to life.
You’re going to place your meatballs in a piping hot cast iron skillet on the stove first – you want to give them a good sear so they have that nice crispy outside before baking – then pour all of the tomato sauce ingredients over top (with the exception of the pancetta, which goes in first so you can use some of the oil for cooking the meatballs). Top all this with broccolini and delicious grated Fontina, throw it in the oven for just under 30 minutes (boil up some pasta or quinoa while you’re waiting) and – voila! – your One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce are ready to be devoured by the fam.
Have you ever tried cooking with ground bison before? Let me know in the comments below!
One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce
time. They’re tender and juicy, and perfectly complimented by charred broccolini, an herby tomato sauce and melted Fontina cheese.
- Mixing bowl
- 1 cup measure
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Large cast iron skillet
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1 egg
- 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 8 ounces broccolini
- 3 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place all meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl and, using hands, blend together until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Begin heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in cast iron skillet on stove over medium heat. Add pancetta and begin cooking, stirring occasionally while you form your meatballs. Also add the garlic at this time.
- Form meatballs into 2- to 3-inch rounds and place in cast iron skillet along with pancetta (which should be mostly cooked by now.) Allow meatballs to sear (about 2 minutes) and then flip them over to get the other side browned as well.
- Turn heat down and add entire can of tomatoes (including juice.) Sprinkle basil over top and tuck broccolini in amongst everything.
- Finally, sprinkle the entire mixture with Fontina cheese and place in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve over cooked quinoa or pasta and enjoy!
- DISH DENSITY: Medium
- While ground bison tends to have a few more nutritional benefits, you can also substitute ground beef for the ground bison. You can find ground bison at most grocery stores (and even Costco).
- The meatballs are best cooked in a cast iron skillet to ensure they are nice and golden on the outside and not mushy.
- This recipe is baby-led weaning friendly, just be prepared for a bit of a mess!
- This meal is incredibly freezer-friendly. Store cooled meatballs in a glass container and be sure to label it with name and date so you know what it is and when you should enjoy it by!