Hollandse Gehaktballen (Dutch Meat Balls)




Introduction: Hollandse Gehaktballen (Dutch Meat Balls)

About: Flash programmer by day, rock star by night. Dutch expat. Enduring cynic. Good egg.

The Dutch love their meat and potatoes. Perhaps the most popular meat dish is the ubiquitous gehaktbal, or meat ball. It's huge and juicy and really easy to make. Here's how.

Step 1:


1 lb ground meat (half pork, half beef, or "half om half" as it's known in Holland)
1 cup bread crumbs ("paneermeel")
2 eggs
2 tsps salt
2 tsps pepper
2 tsps ground nutmeg

Step 2:

Did I mention NUTMEG? The most important spice in Dutch cooking. The ground variety is just fine. You know that you've added enough when you can smell it in the mixture.

Step 3:

Put everything together in a mixing bowl.

Step 4:

Roll up your sleeves and mix everything into one giant mound of ground meat.

Step 5:

Form into portion sized balls, slightly smaller than a tennis ball. Yes, those are big balls.

Step 6:

Use nice European style (i.e. cultured) butter. American "hotel bar" style would work in a pinch, but it's just not as good (for anything.)

Step 7:

Over medium to high heat, brown the butter in a Dutch oven (or similar style hefty pan).

Step 8:

Add your balls. Brown them quickly on one side...

Step 9:

And with a spoon, turn them over to brown the other side.

Step 10:

Add 1 cup of water, turn heat to low and put a lid on the pan. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Step 11:

Halfway through, add some more water if necessary to make sure everything stays nice and steamy.

Step 12:

Serve and enjoy!

Goes well with everything. The Dutch like it with cauliflower and potatoes --we just had some nice sauteed mixed field greens and garlic on the side.

If you like, you can add some more water and a little flour to create a gravy from the leftover drippings.

Take the leftover balls to work for a nice lunch. Great on white bread with a nice coarse mustard.

2 People Made This Project!


  • Digital Fabrication Student Design Challenge (May 23.)

    Digital Fabrication Student Design Challenge (May 23.)
  • Go Big Challenge

    Go Big Challenge
  • Science Fair Challenge

    Science Fair Challenge



2 years ago

Made it again for Sinterklaas 2019.

For reference next year when I come back to check the recipe again, 1kg beef mince, 1kg pork mince, 4 cups breadcrumbs, 6 tsp nutmeg, 6 tsp salt, 6tsp pepper makes about 28 meatballs.


Reply 1 year ago

Thanks year-ago-me, I DID come back to check the quantities!

PS you forgot the eggs - for 2kg total meat you multiple everything by about 4, so 7 or 8 eggs.


7 years ago

I made these today with my Dutch mother-in-law. Turned out great. Used whole wheat breadcrumbs. Added 2 tsp garlic powder. 1 tsp oregano. 1 tsp cumin. And a third of an onion finely chopped. I feel like the nutmeg really made it what it was tho.

Awesome! I tried to make meatballs the other day with a bit of success! I will have to keep this in mind for next time.