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Mom’s Meatball Recipe with Parsley and Onion Salad

Mom’s Meatball Recipe with Parsley and Onion Salad

I love vegetables, but that does not mean I don’t eat meat. I feel best when I eat a vegetable forward diet with small amounts of meat included. The decision to eat meat is a very personal one, and requires contemplation, compassion, and these days, some research. This blog is focused mainly on vegetable recipes, but we do eat meat in my house, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. For more of my thoughts regarding eating meat, read my story here.

This recipe formed in my head from years of recipe reading and the need for a simple, quick, and nutritious dinner that is kid-approved. My 8-year old daughter does a happy dance when I tell her these are for dinner. In an attempt to get her more involved in the kitchen, one night I asked, “can you make them?”, and she said “sure”, so we wrote down the recipe with me reciting the recipe from memory, and her writing it down, so she had a recipe to follow. Hence our family’s “Mom’s Meatballs” were named. I help her out with the onion and garlic grating, but otherwise she can make these herself.

Mom's Meatballs with Parsley and Onion Salad

Mom’s Meatballs with Parsley and Onion Salad

These make a great appetizer or main dish. 

The parsley and onion salad with sumac is a light and refreshing side for any meat dish. The sumac adds tang and color, but it you don’t have it, it can be left out.

Serving suggestions: Sweet Potato Fries with Sweet Coriander-Onion Dip, Massaged Kale Salad

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine California
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 -20 meatballs


  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb or a mixture
  • ½ large onion grated
  • 1-2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour or bread crumbs rice flour may also be used for gluten free
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper 2-3 grinds

Parsley and Onion Salad

  • 1 cup Italian Parsley leaves
  • cup yellow or white onion very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch sumac


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients with hands in bowl.
  3. Form into meatballs, about golf ball size, makes 15-20. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.

Parsley and Onion Salad

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss lightly. Serve on a platter next to meatballs, and garnish with sprinkled sumac.

Recipe Notes

Note: I like to grate the onion and garlic rather than chop them, as it makes for a smoother meatball, without chunks of onion and garlic. Grating the onion also releases it juices, which makes a nice moist meatball. I use a box grater for grating the onion, and a microplane for the garlic.

2 thoughts on “Mom’s Meatball Recipe with Parsley and Onion Salad”

  • This salad seems like one portion, but the meatballs are many. Would you make a larger salad for the family? What else would you serve the meatballs with? Thank you!

    • Hi Olga,
      Thank you for the read and comment. Yes, I would make a larger portion of the parsley and onion for the family. I would say the meatball recipe feeds 3-4, depending on how big appetites are. The Massaged Kale Salad is a great pairing, which is linked at the top of the recipe. Also the Turkish Style braised leeks or Marinated Carrot Salad, all of which are found on the blog. Also the Sweet Potato Fries would go great to!

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