These Veal Piccata Baked Meatballs are full of classic Italian flavors and hearty deliciousness! This meatball recipe is baked until they’re plump and tender, then folded into a buttery lemon pan sauce that hugs them like a cozy winter sweater.
Serve them over your favorite pasta, keep them low-carb/keto with some zucchini noodles, or enjoy them straight from the pan as a tasty appetizer.
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Heyyyy! I’m serving up another yummy meatball recipe! This one
And… bonus: this recipe is low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free! Cause that’s how I “roll,” ya’ll!! (Get it… moving on.)
By now you know all about my long-standing affection for meatballs.
If not I won’t subject you to all my meatball food puns and shenanigans but just know that my most recent French Onion Chicken Meatballs are ballin’!! (Sorry I couldn’t help myself.)
With all my blatant meatball adoration it shouldn’t surprise you to know that I’m sharing another meatball recipe with you today. What can I say? At least I’m consistent. 😀
I’m crushing hard on this new flavor combo my friend. Wait for it…
Veal Piccata Baked Meatballs! Genius – right!??
What is Veal Piccata?
I’m sure you’ve enjoyed Veal Piccata or maybe Chicken Piccata at your favorite Italian restaurant, or maybe you’ve made it at home. This dish has its roots in Italian cuisine, but it’s unclear if it was from mother Italy or from Italian immigrants who made their way to the US.
Traditionally, Italians used thin veal cutlets (not chicken) that were lightly dredged in flour and sautéed in a light sauce.
So for this meatball recipe, we’re keeping it authentic and sticking with ground veal.
The sauce has some bright flavors like lemon, white wine and chicken stock that are reduced.... plus some shallots, garlic and capers that get sautéed in the sauce. Then a bit of butter is stirred in at the end to add some nice warmth, balance, and creaminess – mmm, sooo good.
I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love these Italian meatballs as much as I do.
And since we’re talking meatballs, I should fill you in on how these magical meat bombs come together.
How to make meatballs?
First, things first… since we’re using ground veal and it seems to be sold 85-88% lean, we’re going to cook them on a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet. This will allow some of the fat to cook off and drain into the baking sheet below.
You can also cook them directly on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you don’t have a wire cooling rack. You’ll just need to separate the fat that surrounds them after they’re baked.
I should also note that I use almond meal instead of breadcrumbs in almost all my meatball recipes. That way they’re always low-carb and gluten-free. Which is just better for all us, whether it’s a dietary requirement for you or not.
I’ve noticed it can be hard to find almond meal in the grocery store these days. So I purchase my almond meal online from Amazon. I keep a container in the fridge and then another one in the freezer so I don’t unexpectedly run out.
Oh and because I get this question a lot: almond flour and almond meal are not the same thing, and should not be used interchangeably in my meatball recipes. Almond flour is more powdery like regular flour, and almond meal is more coarse and more like the texture of breadcrumbs.
Let’s talk more about how to get these baked meatballs on the table and into your belly…
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire cooling rack over the baking sheet.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients: ground veal, Parmesan cheese, almond meal, fresh chopped parsley, diced onion, egg, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Mix just until everything is combined.
- Using a 1½ - inch scoop, form each meatball. Roll them into balls (you’ll have an easier time handling them if you get your hands a little wet). Next, place them on the wire rack, spaced evenly and bake them for 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, make the veal piccata sauce: Add olive oil to a medium skillet and saute the shallots for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add the minced garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Stir occasionally so the garlic cooks but doesn't burn.
- Add chicken stock, white wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Cook for 7 minutes to reduce the pan sauce.
- Add the baked meatballs to the skillet and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter, capers and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
These veal piccata meatballs are loaded with savory flavor and submerged in a the most delicious buttery lemon sauce – I’m drooling, how ‘bout you?
They make a great appetizer as is, or you can serve them over some angel hair pasta for a hearty family meal.
Or if you’re like me and looking to keep it keto/low-carb, enjoy them with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
You can’t go wrong my friend - they’ll be delicious any way you serve them!
Some notes about this easy meatball recipe:
- Shallots/Onions: I used shallots for this recipe. But you could use onion as well… white, yellow, or red.
- Stock: I used chicken stock to keep the sauce light and bright. You can use beef stock for a richer, deeper flavor.
- Ground Meat: This recipe should work with ground beef, chicken or turkey as well, just try to buy 93% lean meat. If you do swap out, only use ⅓ cup of almond meal instead of ½ cup since these meats are less fatty."
- Bread Crumbs: You can use bread crumbs if you don't have almond meal, however this does raise the carb count and they most likely won’t be gluten-free. Although I should mention grocery stores now sell gluten-free breadcrumbs as well, you just have to seek them out or ask if you don't see them.
For The Meatballs:
- 1 large egg
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ cup almond meal
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 pound ground veal (mine was 89% lean)
For The Piccata Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ⅓ cup shallots, finely diced (you can use onions as well)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup white wine (I used an oaky chardonnay. Or use more chicken stock if preferred)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh Parsley, minced
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire cooling rack over the baking sheet.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients: ground veal, Parmesan cheese, almond meal, fresh chopped parsley, chopped onion, egg, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until everything is combined.
- Form the meatballs using a 1-½ inch cookie scoop. Then get your hands wet and roll each meatball in the palm of your hands. Place them on the wire rack over the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
FOR THE PICCATA SAUCE:
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and shallots to a large skillet and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn.
- Add the stock, white wine, and lemon juice and bring to a simmer for 7 minutes to reduce the pan sauce.
- Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter, capers and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
Serving Size3 meatballs
Amount Per Serving Calories 269Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 79mgSodium 602mgCarbohydrates 8gNet Carbohydrates 6gFiber 2gSugar 2gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 20g
PS: look no further if you want the chicken version, it's right here: Chicken Piccata with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce!