Loaded with lots of flavour-packed ingredients, these moose meatballs are easy to prepare and are so delicious! They’re generously coated with a barbecue sauce and apricot jam mixture for one scrumptious sweet and savoury combination.
I was lucky enough to once again get my little hands on some ground moose meat (thanks to my parents). I put it to good use with these scrumptious moose meatballs.
Food in ball form, I mean, what’s not to love? Not only are homemade meatballs easy to eat, but they’re so fun and always a party favourite. Lay a big platter of meatballs on the table and watch them disappear!
What Does Ground Moose Taste Like?
Visually, ground moose is quite similar to ground beef. At first glance, you would likely think it was ground beef. However, ground moose is leaner and has more of a gamey taste.
Generally speaking, moose tends to be not as juicy or fatty as ground beef. Oftentimes, you’ll see things added to ground moose to give it a little boost in moisture or richness. For example, in my moose burger recipe, I added some bacon. And in this moose meatball recipe, I used milk-soaked bread crumbs and some shredded cheddar cheese.
Like ground beef, though, when you make recipes with ground moose, it’s typically quite savoury and definitely delicious. If you’re a fan of moose recipes, check out my slow cooker moose roast and moose stew (both recipes are so comforting, especially with a thick slick of homemade bread).
How To Make Moose Meatballs
Here is an overview of how to make moose meatballs (refer to the recipe card below for full details):
- Make the meatball sauce by combining barbecue sauce (use your favourite variety) and apricot jam in a small bowl and mix until combined.
- Place the bread crumbs and milk in another small bowl and give it a stir to soak the bread crumbs.
- Make the meatball mixture by combining the moose meat with milk-soaked bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, smoked paprika and dried oregano.
- Start forming the meatballs, placing them onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan as you are rolling them.
- Bake the meatballs partway, remove them from the oven, toss or brush them with sauce, then continue to bake them until they’re fully cooked through.
- Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish and garnish with a little parsley.
Similar to my ground chicken meatloaf recipe, I used a combination of barbecue sauce and apricot jam for these moose meatballs. I just love the sweet and savoury combination.
If you prefer to use just barbecue sauce, go for it! The apricot jam, though, adds a lovely touch of sweetness and shine to the sauce.
And, if you prefer to serve the sauce separately, that’s okay too. Just bake the meatballs until they’re fully cooked through and serve with a bowl of sauce on the side for dunking.
Substitute for Ground Moose
If you’re digging the flavours in this homemade meatball recipe but don’t have any ground moose on hand, you can substitute with some lean ground beef.
Serving the Meatballs
I honestly just like to devour these moose meatballs as they are (especially on Friday or Saturday night).
Also, another delicious way to enjoy these meatballs is on a wrap with coleslaw or veggies, cheese and a generous drizzle of barbecue sauce.
Leftovers and Storing
Properly store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 2 to 4 days. Reheat the meatballs before serving. Alternatively, freeze the meatballs (they’re quite convenient to have on hand for busy days).
Tips for Making This Recipe
- When combining the meatball ingredients, mix until the ingredients are just combined. You don’t want to overwork the meat and make it tough.
- Want to know if the meatball mixture is seasoned to your taste buds before forming the meatballs? Fry a little up in a cast-iron pan. Once cooked through, give it a taste and see how you like it. If you want a little more salt or a certain spice, for example, add a little more.
- Try to form the meatballs around the same size so they cook up at the same time.
- Ensure that the meatballs are fully cooked through, but don’t overcook them and dry them out. Once done, the ground moose meatballs should no longer be pink, be brown throughout and, most importantly, reach a minimum internal cooking temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. An instant-read meat thermometer is a handy tool to check to see if the meatballs are done.
- Instead of shredded cheddar cheese, try adding shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Don’t have smoked paprika on hand? For a spicy kick, try ground cayenne pepper.
More Yummy Meatball Recipes
- Buffalo Turkey Meatballs
- Homemade Meatballs With Tomato Sauce
- Chicken Meatballs With Pesto Cream Sauce
If you make these moose meatballs, be sure to leave a comment below.
- ⅓ cup barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- ¼ cup milk, I used 2%
- 2 pounds ground moose meat
- 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, about ½ cup (packed)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more to taste for optional garnish
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the barbecue sauce and apricot jam and set aside.
- Combine the bread crumbs and milk in another small bowl and mix to combine. Let that sit for just a few minutes just until the bread crumbs have soaked up the milk.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the moose meat, cheddar cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, smoked paprika and oregano and mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Start forming the meatballs. You want them a heaping 1.5 tablespoons worth each or about 1 ounce or so (they're about 1.5 inches across). As you are forming the meatballs, place them onto the prepared sheet pan. You'll yield approximately 28 to 32 meatballs.
- Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the meatballs from the oven and brush them with the barbecue sauce mixture (or toss them in a clean mixing bowl with the sauce and place them back onto the sheet pan). Return the meatballs back to the oven and continue to bake them for another 10 to 12 minutes or until they're no longer pink in the centre, brown throughout, and they're fully cooked through (the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the centre of the meatballs when checked with an instant-read meat thermometer).
- Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish and garnish with parsley (if desired). Enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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