The Clever Ingredient Addition To Get Juicier Meatballs

Whether sitting atop a hefty plate of spaghetti and tomato sauce, served Swedish-style, or starring in a Mexican soup, meatballs are a universally beloved mealtime staple that practically every culture seems to have its own version of. And it's no surprise — who can resist a hearty dose of meaty goodness in a perfectly bite-sized package?

When preparing them, there are plenty of ways to amp up the flavor of meatballs, from incorporating fresh chopped vegetables and spices to adding cheese for a little gooeyness. But no matter which kind of dish you're making them for, juiciness is always key. Trust us, there's nothing worse than chomping into a dried-out meatball, even if it is soaked in sauce.

So, to kill two birds with one stone, grab an ingredient that both improves the taste and ensures some juicy moisture in your meatballs. If you want a tip straight from grandma's kitchen, add applesauce to the mix.

Applesauce will keep meatballs moist and add flavor

While applesauce may be an unexpected addition to your meatball recipe, it's definitely a clever one. For one, the fruity purée brightens up the taste of your creation, giving it a sweet kick that cuts through the saltiness and balances the savory flavor. Most importantly, however, it provides extra moisture to the packed meat. This means that after cooking, you're guaranteed to have a rich meatball that's as juicy as it is delicious.

Wondering how to incorporate applesauce into your next meatball recipe? We suggest starting with ⅔ of a cup of unsweetened applesauce for every 1½ pounds of ground meat used. If you'll also be using eggs and breadcrumbs in your recipe, you may want to bump that measurement up to a full cup so the applesauce doesn't get lost among the other ingredients. Combine it with your preferred meat (it works with turkey, beef, or pork) and other ingredients before rolling them into individual balls. Whether you brown them up in a skillet, grill, or bake them, the meatballs will have a locked-in moisture that can't be beat.