Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva Recipe - Traditional Uruguayan Dish

Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva

Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva Recipe - Traditional Uruguayan Dish
Region / culture: Uruguay | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 4


Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva
Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva

Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva, or Meatballs with Raisins, is a delightful dish that combines the savory taste of meat with the sweet touch of raisins, creating a unique flavor profile that tantalizes the taste buds. This dish is a testament to the creativity and richness of culinary traditions, where simple ingredients are transformed into a comforting and satisfying meal. Perfect for family dinners or special occasions, this recipe is sure to impress with its blend of textures and flavors.


The history of Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva can be traced back to the diverse culinary traditions of Spain, where the combination of meat and dried fruits has long been a staple in the local cuisine. This dish reflects the Moorish influence on Spanish cooking, showcasing the love for sweet and savory combinations. Over time, the recipe has traveled and evolved, incorporating local ingredients and preferences, making it a beloved dish in various cultures around the world.


How to prepare

  1. Place the meat in a bowl and add unbeaten eggs, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, raisins, and chopped garlic.
  2. Knead the mixture and then form it into 8 meatballs.
  3. Roll the meatballs in flour and fry them in hot oil.
  4. Brown the meatballs well, remove them from heat, and set them aside.
  5. In the same oil, add the sliced white leek and cook it slightly.
  6. Then, add the peeled and small-cut carrots to the pan and cook them briefly.
  7. Turn the heat down and return the meatballs to the pan.
  8. Add the wine and let it evaporate uncovered to remove the alcohol.
  9. Add enough water to cover the meatballs and 1 tbsp of salt.
  10. Cook until the carrots are tender.


  • For a healthier version, bake the meatballs instead of frying.
  • Substitute the raisins with dried apricots or prunes for a different flavor profile.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon or cumin to the meat mixture for an extra layer of warmth and complexity.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva turn out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use high-quality minced meat for the best flavor and texture.

- Soak the raisins in warm water for a few minutes before adding them to the meat mixture to plump them up.

- Be gentle when forming the meatballs to keep them tender.

- Brown the meatballs evenly on all sides to develop a rich flavor.

- Let the wine evaporate completely to remove the alcohol while retaining the depth of flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva with a side of fluffy rice, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. A simple green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice makes a refreshing accompaniment.

Cooking Techniques

Browning the meatballs before simmering them in the sauce is crucial for developing depth of flavor. Slowly cooking the carrots and leeks in the same oil enriches the dish with a sweet and savory base that complements the meatballs perfectly.

Ingredient Substitutions

Ground turkey or chicken can be used instead of minced meat for a lighter option.

- Gluten-free breadcrumbs or rolled oats can replace regular breadcrumbs for those with gluten sensitivities.

- Vegetable broth can be used instead of white wine for a non-alcoholic version.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. The flavors will continue to meld and develop, making it even more delicious when reheated.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the meatballs in a deep dish or bowl, garnished with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added texture and visual appeal. A drizzle of olive oil can add a touch of richness.

Pairing Recommendations

A medium-bodied red wine, such as a Tempranillo or Merlot, pairs beautifully with the savory and sweet flavors of this dish. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling apple cider can complement the meal nicely.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water or broth if the sauce has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva contains approximately 350 calories, making it a moderately calorie-dense meal. Adjusting portion sizes can help align this dish with your dietary goals.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the breadcrumbs and vegetables. The total carbohydrate content per serving is approximately 15 grams, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The fat content in Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva primarily comes from the minced meat and the oil used for frying. Using lean minced meat and controlling the amount of oil can help manage the fat content. On average, each serving contains about 20 grams of fat.


Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva is a protein-rich dish, thanks to the generous amount of minced meat used. Each serving provides approximately 25 grams of protein, contributing to muscle growth and repair.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A from the carrots, vitamin C from the parsley, and iron and zinc from the meat. Additionally, the raisins add a small amount of potassium and dietary fiber.


Common allergens in this recipe include eggs and gluten (from breadcrumbs). Individuals with allergies should consider suitable substitutions or omit these ingredients.


Overall, Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of proteins, fats, and essential nutrients. By making mindful choices about the ingredients, it can fit into various dietary preferences and restrictions.


Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva is a delightful dish that combines the savory richness of meat with the sweetness of raisins, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. With its roots in Spanish cuisine, this recipe offers a taste of culinary history while providing a nutritious and satisfying meal. Whether you're looking to impress guests or simply enjoy a comforting dinner, this dish is sure to please.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was filled with a sense of wonder. Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva, or meatballs with raisins, was a dish that I had never tried before. I came across the recipe in an old cookbook that belonged to my friend Maria's grandmother. Maria and I were browsing through the book one lazy afternoon, looking for inspiration for our next cooking adventure.

As soon as I read the ingredients and instructions for Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva, I knew that I had to try making it. The combination of savory meatballs with sweet raisins sounded like a match made in heaven. I could almost taste the flavors in my mind as I imagined cooking the dish in my own kitchen.

I decided to surprise my family with Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva for dinner that evening. I gathered all the necessary ingredients - ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, garlic, raisins, and a variety of herbs and spices. As I mixed and shaped the meatballs, I thought about the origins of this recipe and how it had come to be a part of my culinary repertoire.

I remembered the first time I had tasted Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva. It was many years ago, during a trip to Spain with my husband. We had stumbled upon a quaint little restaurant in a small village, where the locals raved about the meatballs with raisins. Intrigued, we ordered a plate to share.

From the first bite, I was hooked. The tender meatballs were bursting with flavor, and the plump raisins added a delightful sweetness to every bite. I had never tasted anything quite like it before, and I knew that I had to learn how to make it myself.

I struck up a conversation with the chef, a kindly old man who had been making Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva for decades. He shared his recipe with me, along with some tips and tricks for getting the flavors just right. I scribbled down the instructions on a napkin, vowing to recreate the dish at home.

And now, all these years later, I found myself standing in my kitchen, ready to bring that memory to life. As the meatballs sizzled in the pan and the aroma of garlic and spices filled the air, I felt a sense of satisfaction wash over me. This recipe was not just a meal, but a connection to a place and time that held a special meaning for me.

As I served the Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva to my family that evening, I watched with delight as they took their first bites. Their eyes lit up with surprise and pleasure as they tasted the unique combination of flavors. My husband smiled at me across the table, a silent acknowledgment of the love and care that went into preparing this meal.

And so, Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva became a regular fixture on our dinner table. It was a dish that brought us together, a reminder of the places we had been and the memories we had shared. Every time I made it, I felt a sense of connection to that kind chef in Spain, who had unknowingly passed down his recipe to me.

Now, as I pass on the recipe for Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva to my grandchildren, I hope that they will feel the same sense of wonder and joy that I did when I first discovered it. Cooking is more than just preparing food - it is a way to connect with our past, our present, and our loved ones. And for me, Albóndigas con Pasas de Uva will always hold a special place in my heart.


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