Veal Piccata Meatballs

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5 from 2 votes
Veal Piccata Meatballs are a delicious spin on the conventional meatball. They are so tender and the flavor is incredible. This dish is special enough to impress your pickiest guest and easy enough to make any night of the week.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Veal Piccata Meatballs are a delicious mash up between two of my favorite recipes. The ground veal makes them incredibly tender and the flavor is off the charts! This dish is special enough to impress your pickiest guest and easy enough to make any night of the week.  Plus, I have a trick for getting intense flavor packed into a tiny meatball. 

This post is sponsored by Veal, Discover Delicious, funded by the Beef Checkoff. All opinions are 100% my own.  

These Veal Piccata Meatballs are zesty, buttery and succulent. The capers give that little bite of salty goodness that ties the whole thing together. Plus the whole dish can be cooked in record time.

Veal has so many benefits. Find out more here.

  • 30 Minute Meal: When you make the sauce while the meatballs are cooking, this meal comes together so fast.
  • Easy Ingredients: All easy and nutritious ingredients.
  • Family Friendly: Everyone loves to eat meatballs, they are so fun.
  • Makes Great Leftovers: These are even better the next day!

What You Need to Make This Veal Piccata Recipe

Veal Meatballs Ingredients

Piccata Sauce Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • White Wine
  • Flour
  • Lemon juice
  • Chicken stock
  • Capers
  • Parsley

Equipment

How to Make Veal Picatta Meatballs – Step by Step

  • Preheat Oven:  First, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Process: Second, place the saltines in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Vegetables: Third, add the onion, garlic and parsley to the food process and process until everything is finely minced; transfer to the bowl with the bread crumbs. This is my favorite way to get big flavor without big pieces of onion or garlic. The meatballs have incredible flavor with a soft, delicate texture.
  • Meat: Then add the veal, parmesan cheese, egg, lemon zest and House Seasoning to the breadcrumbs.
  • Mix: Gently mix until all of the ingredients are combined.  Be careful not to over-mix. Form veal mixture into meatballs.
  • Bake: Lastly, place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • Sauce: Begin with 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Shallots: When melted, add the shallots and cook until translucent and next add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 
  • Wine: Next, add wine and stir until it reduces by half and then stir in flour and whisk until combined. 
  • Whisk: Then whisk in chicken broth and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Meatballs: Floow with capers and baked meatballs. Simmer to allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
  • Butter: Finally add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted and combined.Top with fresh parsley.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a few working veal farms in Pennsylvania to learn more about the veal industry and how veal calves are raised. I’ve been on veal farms before (you can learn about it here) but this trip taught me so much more about the industry.

I’ve been asked a number of questions about veal, so I’m hoping these answers help you understand more about this incredible protein.

What is Veal?

Veal is the meat from a young cow. Typically veal calves are 5-6 months old and weigh about 500 pounds. When veal is processed, the animal is typically the same age as most pigs that are used for bacon, ham and pork.

Some other questions I’ve been asked:

  • Is veal lamb? No. Lamb is a young sheep, whereas veal is a young male bull.
  • What kind of meat is veal? Or, what is veal made from? Veal is a more delicate and tender version of beef.
  • Is veal beef? Essentially, yes. However, the color is much lighter because of the age of the cow.
  • What does veal taste like? Veal meat is very tender with a light, delicate beef flavor.

Where Does Veal Come From?

Veal calves are raised on farms primarily located in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. There are about 500 veal farm families across the US that raise veal.

Veal actually starts on dairy farms. In most cases, veal calves are Holstein male (or bull) calves born on dairy farms. Bull calves are sold from the dairy farm because they cannot produce milk. Some of these bull calves are bought and raised on veal farms.

I’ve been on veal farms where the calves are only a day or so old. During these first weeks, the calves are house in individual pens because they aren’t born with immunities. This is to keep them safe and healthy. After 8 weeks, they are grouped together.

Veal calves always have plenty of space to stand up, lay down, turn around and socialize with other calves. When you see cows or calves on a farm, you might notice that they are close together. This is because they are herding animals so they are more comfortable close together.

More Interesting Facts About Veal

Here are a few more facts you might find interesting about veal:

  • Veal farmers are committed to ensuring high quality veal through animal care, environmental stewardship and food safety protocols.
  • The veal industry has farm to market traceability. They do this with ear tags.
  • Farmers work closely with veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure the health and wellbeing of the animals. I had the opportunity to meet and chat with one of the nutritionists. I was amazed at everything that goes into to ensuring each calf is well taken care of.
  • The Veal Quality Assurance Program is a science-based management program that ensures calves receive the best care and that we, the consumers, receive safe, wholesome, high quality meat. All of the bullet points above are part of the Veal Quality Assurance program.

Why Veal Meat is a Great Protein

Over the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with veal as a protein. We’ve tried various cuts, including cutlets, ground veal and chops. My family enjoys it because it’s incredibly tender and has a very delicate flavor. This means that it’s very compatible with a variety of spices, seasonings, flavorings and sauces.

One of the biggest benefits of veal is it’s a high-quality protein source that provides essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B-12, niacin, zinc, and selenium. It’s also one of the most nutrient-dense protein foods around.  A 3-ounce serving of cooked, trimmed lean veal has 27 grams of protein and just about 170 calories.

Veal is easy to cook. You don’t need any special skills or equipment. It’s a great protein to use in your favorite recipes. Not only do I love using it for meatballs, but I also use it meatloaf, burgers and any recipe that I would make with boneless, skinless chicken breast. 

While I was on my trip, I was chatting with a chef about veal recipes. I’m excited to try making my dad’s favorite Bracciole with veal and Porchetta, but with veal! And, if I can get my hands on some veal short ribs, I’m dying to try my Beer Braised Short Rib recipe with veal!

You can all kinds of delicious veal recipes on Veal.org..

Common Questions About Veal Piccata Meatballs

HOW DO I STORE VEAL PICATTA MEATBALLS?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

Absolutely, this is a great recipe for a party, therefore you can adjust the amounts to serve the amount of guests you are having.

VEAL MEATBALL RECIPE BE FROZEN?

Indeed, this is a great make ahead meal. You can freeze them alone or in the piccata sauce for up to four months in a freezer bag or air tight container.

MAKE AHEAD OF TIME?

Sure, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and store them in the fridge and make the sauce when you are ready to serve.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEAL PICATTA MEATBALLS

The possibilities are endless, for example:
>No Knead Easy Dinner Rolls
>Easy Caesar Salad
>Grilled Panzanella Salad
>No Bake Lemon Ice Box Pie

Expert Tips for Making this Veal Picatta Recipe

  • Piccata Recipe Can be Doubled: Great recipe for a crowd or a make ahead meal.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and split it into two baking dishes before baking.
  • Crackers: A different cracker can be utilized, even a gluten free one if required for your dietary needs.
  • Serving suggestions: Pasta is great, choose a gluten free or whole wheat pasta if required. However, risotto or couscous are fabulous with this too.
  • Variation tip: Add a nice Italian seasoning blend to your meatballs.
  • Sandwich: Make an incredible sandwich on a toasted roll, with these meatballs drizzled with the sauce and topped with some provolone or mozzarella.
  • Cooking Tip: Always use a meat thermometer so that you do not overcook these tender meatballs.
  • Wine: Which kind to use? A good chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio is great, Julia Child always used vermouth. A dry white is best, whatever you like to drink.

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Veal Piccata Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Veal Piccata Meatballs are a delicious spin on the conventional meatball. They are so tender and the flavor is incredible. This dish is special enough to impress your pickiest guest and easy enough to make any night of the week.
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 5 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 1 saltine crackers sleeve
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon House Seasoning Blend
  • FOR THE PICCATA SAUCE:
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup capers drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter cubed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • MEATBALLS:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place the saltines in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the onion, garlic and parsley to the food process and process until everything is finely minced; transfer to the bowl with the bread crumbs.
  • Add the veal, parmesan cheese, egg, lemon zest and House Seasoning to the breadcrumbs.
  • Gently mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Form veal mixture into meatballs.
  • Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • SAUCE:
  • Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When the butter has melted, add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add wine and stir until it reduces by half, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in flour and whisk until combined.
  • Whisk in chicken broth and lemon juice.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add capers and baked meatballs.
  • Simmer for 5-7 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted and combined.
  • Top with fresh parsley.

Expert Tips

  • Piccata Recipe Can be Doubled: Great recipe for a crowd or a make ahead meal.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and split it into two baking dishes before baking.
  • Crackers: A different cracker can be utilized, even a gluten free one if required for your dietary needs.
  • Serving suggestions: Pasta is great, choose a gluten free or whole wheat pasta if required. However, risotto or couscous are fabulous with this too.
  • Variation tip: Add a nice Italian seasoning blend to your meatballs.
  • Sandwich: Make an incredible sandwich on a toasted roll, with these meatballs drizzled with the sauce and topped with some provolone or mozzarella.
  • Cooking Tip: Always use a meat thermometer so that you do not overcook these tender meatballs.
 

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 1092mg | Potassium: 493mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1012IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/

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