Bison Is The Perfect Protein Swap For Deliciously Lean Meatballs

Picture a delicious platter of Italian meatballs, and a beef-based mix likely comes to mind. Although beef is a delicious choice for a batch of meatballs, it's only one of many options and, depending on your priorities, it may not be the best. From spiced lamb to chicken and more, a variety of ground bases can create tender morsels of meat, but you shouldn't sleep on ground bison.

The large creature once inhabited much of the western U.S., however hunting during railroad expansion nearly caused total extinction. As a result, the protein source phased out of North American diets until the past decade, when a recovering population began being consumed once again. And, there's no better way to enjoy the meat than in meatballs. Bison's slightly sweet flavor and lean texture are perfect for the dish and easily complemented by a delicious sauce. Ready to make the swap? Let's dive into the details.

Bison is a delicious beef alternative with nutritional benefits

Substituting bison for beef is a seamless changeover thanks to a similarly savory and meaty texture. You can swap bison into any beef meatball recipe. The only alterations needed when using bison instead of beef are in the cooking intensity and duration. As a result of the bison's lower fat content, it's easier to overcook and wind up with a dry result. Simultaneously, it's also paramount to heat the meat enough to kill dangerous bacteria. Just like with beef, make sure the internal temperatures of the meat reaches at least 160 F.

Making the beef-to-bison swap is rewarded not only with great flavor but also with nutritional benefits. Bison meat has fewer calories yet more protein than ground beef. Plus, its higher concentrations of B12, iron, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids make it a valuable nutritional source. As opposed to beef, its lower levels of saturated fat make bison meat less likely to cause cardiovascular disease, according to WebMD. So, turn to bison to craft meatballs with a unique flavor and health benefits, too.