Give Your Meatballs Some Buttery Goodness With This Binding Ingredient

Cooked meatballs in cast iron skillet
Cooked meatballs in cast iron skillet - Rudisill/Getty Images

Every classic meatball recipe comes with a standard list of necessities. Beyond the usual ground meat and select seasonings, essential binding ingredients are required to hold everything together. While you almost certainly need an egg to help your meatballs hold their signature shape, breadcrumbs (or a similar ingredient) are often suggested as well, to keep your meaty snacks springy and delicious. Plain or unseasoned breadcrumbs get the job done, but Ritz crackers can add even more savory goodness to your next batch.

Ritz crackers have been one of America's favorite snacks since the 1930s. Affordable and easy to eat, they have a lightly salted flavor and a delectably crisp, flaky texture. These popular crackers have been used in countless dishes across kitchens for decades, and meatballs are no exception. They're a particularly great idea if you don't like worrying about adding extra salt or seasonings to your breadcrumbs; their buttery taste will automatically boost your meatballs' flavor. Moreover, Ritz crackers soak up the meat's excess moisture, which makes for supremely tender meatballs.

Read more: 15 Tips For Making The Best Meatloaf

Helpful Tips For Making Delicious Ritz Cracker Meatballs

Ritz crackers in wood bowl
Ritz crackers in wood bowl - Thatphichai Yodsri/Getty Images

Among the many ways you probably never thought to use Ritz crackers, there is the notion of adding them to your homemade meatballs. Aim to use ½ cup of crushed Ritz crackers for every pound of ground meat. For uniform meatballs, work to crush the crackers into a fine crumb, breaking down any larger pieces. Add the crackers to a resealable plastic bag to minimize the mess and use a rolling pin for easy breaking. Alternatively, throw the crackers in a blender or food processor.

Proper incorporation is key. You can either add pulverized crackers straight to your mixing bowl with all the other ingredients, or use them to make a panade for even juicer meatballs. A panade is a kind of paste made from equal parts bread and milk. This paste is then worked into your meat, seasonings, and egg to keep meatballs soft and juicy.

Whichever way you add crushed Ritz crackers, their buttery undertones will enhance the flavor of your meatballs and may minimize the need for extra ingredients. Since Ritz crackers are salted, consider adjusting your seasoning mix. Nobody likes overly salty meatballs.

What Should You Serve With Ritz Cracker-Infused Meatballs?

Appetizer meatballs with toothpicks
Appetizer meatballs with toothpicks - Badmanproduction/Getty Images

The best part about adding Ritz crackers to your next batch of meatballs is that their buttery flavor makes such an influential impact. The resulting meatballs can be dressed up or down however you want. If you're not up for making classic Italian meatballs with spaghetti, serve these flavorful snacks solo with a few simple side dishes like rice and broccoli. The salty, toasted taste of the Ritz crackers acts as a perfect complement to those mild, vegetal flavors. Buttered noodles and a simple beef gravy made with butter, flour, and broth are also solid options.

You can also transform Ritz-laden meatballs into a hearty appetizer. Whether you're mixing crushed crackers into Iowa ham balls or adding your favorite ingredients like hot peppers or shredded cheese to your standard meatball recipe, you're sure to end up with something tasty. Other techniques can also be delicious. Before baking, roll meatballs in crushed Ritz crackers for an extra crunchy twist. Alternatively, make snack-friendly meatball sandwiches with mini meatballs and crackers as a convenient bun alternative. With the help of rich and flaky Ritz crackers, all your favorite meatball recipes can be upgraded.

Read the original article on Daily Meal