June 30, 2017

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety)

Easy Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. There is no needed attention to each meatball individually or cooking in few batches to fit in a skillet.

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It’s a comforting home-style dish that is sure to satisfy! And did I mention these are freezer friendly?

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

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Pork Meatballs Recipe:

Our Ukrainian Pork Meatballs recipe is a classic, simple-ingredients dish made up of ground pork, soaked bread, onion, mayo, salt and pepper. These are slightly crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside.

Traditionally you will find them served up with mashed potatoes and paired with a side of fresh homemade salad. Few of our favorite salads to complete the meal are: all-veggie salad, cabbage carrot pepper salad, cucumber radish salad or tomato cucumber radish salad.

These are a staple at many gatherings and always in demand. We love them paired with mashed potatoes for guests or on the weekends. For easier weeknight dinner, they are also delicious served over a bed of pasta. The prep is so much easier and faster. 

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

What Ingredients go into Pork Meatballs?

  • Ground pork: choose with a bit of fat. The fats keep meatballs juicy and tender.
  • Yellow onion: add lots of flavor and meatballs will not turn out bland.
  • Dried bread: will lighten the texture and make meatballs tender. I like this homemade bread the best or rustic. Store-bought sliced or french bread will change meatballs texture.
  • Real Mayonnaise: will add the extra fat to make these moist and tastier.
  • Fine salt: for flavoring
  • Ground black pepper: for flavoring. You can add more than the recipe calls for if you want to taste the extra heat with each bite.
  • Plain bread crumbs: will give better texture and create that exterior crisp of each meatball.
  • Lukewarm water: for soaking dried bread before grating.

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

Can I Use Chicken or Beef for Meatballs?

You can use the same amount of ground chicken or ground beef the recipe calls for to make our favorite meatball recipe. You can also do half chicken and half pork.

Can you Freeze Pork Meatballs?

One of the main reasons why I do these in the oven is that I could freeze them. When meatballs are baked, they don’t fry as much as on the skillet making these so perfect for reheating later. Also, if you are mainly planning to freeze the meatballs, it will save you a lot of time and effort to bake instead of frying. 

Let the meatballs cool completely. Place them into freezer bags and freeze up to 3 months. 

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

Can you Reheat Pork Meatballs?

Single layer frozen baked meatballs into a lightly oiled skillet. Reheat them over low heat, covered with lid until fully heated. You do not need to thaw these before reheating.

Because these Ukrainian meatballs recipe is always in demand at our house, I always keep them in freezer. My mom taught me this method and I double or triple the recipe so I can always have my freezer loaded with homemade meatballs.

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

How to Make Baked Pork Meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line parchment paper with a baking sheet (no cooking spray or oil is required). In a medium bowl, cover dried bread slices with lukewarm water; let it stand and soak for few minutes. Squeeze out the water from bread and grate onto a large hole of grater.
  • In a large bowl, combine and mix ground pork meat and grated bread (for best results, use your hands).
  • Grate onion onto a small hole of grater. Dispose any excess onion juice. 
  • To the meat, add mayonnaise, grated onion, fine salt and ground black pepper. Mix until well combined. 
  • Scoop meat with a cookie scoop for equal sized meatballs. Roll them in bread crumbs and slightly flatten each one to about 1/2″ thick. Using cookie scoop will save time and it will help meatballs cook more evenly if they are the same size. 

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

  • Transfer onto baking sheet (side by side). Bake for 40-45 minutes or until fully cooked, by flipping meatballs over halfway through. Transfer baked pork meatballs into a dish and serve warm over a bed of mashed potatoes or pasta. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers once cooled. 

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

Can I Cook the Meatballs on the Stovetop Instead of the Oven?

Very often I cook the meatballs on the stovetop because my husband likes them better this way. I have to admit they taste slightly different when you have that extra crispy crust on each meatball. It works great, but it takes more time and effort. 

Use the same recipe and same instructions as for baked meatballs. Heat a large non-stick skillet over low-medium heat with few tablespoons of oil, to fully cover the bottom of the skillet. Once oil is hot, add prepared meatballs (10-13, depends on skillet size) and cook about 8-10 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Saute until meatballs are golden brown on the outside and cooked through. 

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

More Ukrainian Favorites You’ll Love:

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety) are perfectly tender and hearty and you will love that these are oven baked. | olgainthekitchen.com

Ukrainian Pork Meatballs (kotlety)

5 from 6 votes
Servings: 75 meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Our Ukrainian Pork Meatballs recipe is a classic, simple-ingredients dish made up of ground
pork
, soaked bread, onion, mayo, salt and pepper. We love them paired with mashed potatoes for guests or on the weekends. For easier weeknight dinner, they are also delicious served over a bed of pasta. The prep is so much easier and faster.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs ground pork meat
  • 1 medium yellow onion (5 oz)
  • 8 oz (or 1/2 lb) dried sliced bread (preferably rustic or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup real mayo
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste (I usually do 2 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs for coating (I use Progresso plain)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line parchment paper with a baking sheet (no cooking spray or oil is required).

  2. In a medium bowl, cover 8 oz dried bread slices with lukewarm water; let it stand and soak for few minutes. Squeeze out the water from bread and grate onto a large hole of grater.

  3. In a large bowl, combine and mix 2 1/2 lbs ground pork meat and grated bread (for best results, use your hands).

  4. Grate 1 medium yellow onion onto a small hole of grater. Dispose any excess onion juice.

  5. To the meat, add grated onion, 1/2 cup real mayo, 2 tsp fine salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. (start with 2 tsp salt and add more if needed - depends on mayo brand). Mix well until everything is fully combined. (You are welcome to add more pepper if spicy meatballs are preferred).

  6. Scoop meat with a small cookie scoop for equal sized meatballs. (Using cookie scoop will save time and it will help meatballs cook more evenly if they are the same size). Roll them in bread crumbs and slightly flatten each one to about 1/2″ thick. Transfer onto baking sheet (side by side). You will most likely need an additional smaller baking sheet to fit 10-15 remaining meatballs. Bake both baking sheets at the same time.

  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until fully cooked, by flipping meatballs over halfway through. (I usually do 25 mins one side and 20 another).

  8. Transfer baked pork meatballs into a dish and serve warm over a bed of mashed potatoes or pasta. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers once cooled. 

Recipe Notes

  • Use the same amount of ground chicken or ground beef the recipe calls for to make chicken or beef meatballs. You can also do half pork and half chicken.
  • To freeze meatballs: once meatballs are fully baked, let them cool. Place into freezer bags and freeze up to 3 months.

  • To reheat frozen meatballs: single layer meatballs into a lightly oiled skillet over low heat (cover with lid for best results).  
  • To cook meatballs on stovetop: use the same recipe and same instructions as for baked meatballs. Heat a large non-stick skillet over low-medium heat with few tablespoons of oil, to fully cover the bottom of the skillet. Once oil is hot, add prepared meatballs (10-13, depends on skillet size) and cook about 8-10 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Saute until meatballs are golden brown on the outside and cooked through. 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @olgainthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #olgainthekitchen . I'd love to see your creations!

Author: Olga in the Kitchen

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Comments

  • Than

    Made these today, so yummy! Your blog became my source of cooking inspiration! Thank you!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for the great feedback 🙂

  • Lily Baker

    These meatballs are so great! Everything worked out just right and I stacked my freezer with so many of them. Thank you for such awesome recipe!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You are welcome Lily, I”m glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  • Marie L.

    This is one of the best meatball recipes ever!!! Every time I make these, there are hardly leftovers to even freeze. I shared your recipe with my friends the other day and I keep hearing how good they turned out.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for such a great review and thanks for spreading the word 🙂

  • Lily-Marie

    These are so tender and juicy. So delicious, definitely one of my best kotleti recipe.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      That’s amazing! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review 🙂

  • Galya

    Thank you for the recipe. It’s so delicious. I just luv your page!!!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you so much Galya! I’m so happy you loved the recipe and my site 🙂

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Lily, I always use bread (either dried or fresh but soak it either way), nothing can really replace it without changing the flavor and texture of these meatballs. Almost always I use my homemade bread machine bread (posted on blog as well). It works the best. You can use store-bought bread, but french would be best. I don’t like the sourdough type for these. Hope this helps.

  • Anuta

    Made a double of these delicious meatballs and restocked my freezer. I’m so glad I found your recipe. I had no idea there was such an easy way for having meatballs in my freezer all the time. I also love how easy they are and such common and short ingredient list. Thank you Olga!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you Anuta! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe. It’s definitely a freezer-friendly favorite 🙂

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