Try This Delicious Haitian-Inspired Meatball Recipe

Are you ready for a flavor explosion in your mouth? Look no further than these Haitian Style Meatballs. As a chef who loves throwing parties, I can assure you that these meatballs will be the highlight of any gathering.

This recipe perfectly combines savory and sweet flavors, with an added kick of spice that will keep you craving more. Not only are these meatballs delicious, they are also easy to make, providing a great opportunity to show off your culinary skills to friends and family.

Don’t let the unfamiliar name deter you – Haitian meatballs are quickly becoming a favorite in households all over the world. Not only is it the national dish of Haiti, but it is also gaining popularity thanks to its unique blend of ingredients and flavors.

So why not try something new and exciting today? Get ready to indulge in the authentic taste of Haiti with this Haitian Style Meatballs recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Haitian Style Meatballs
Haitian Style Meatballs

Are you a fan of flavorful and juicy meatballs? Then, get ready to fall in love with this Haitian Style Meatballs recipe! Trust me when I say that these meatballs are like nothing you’ve tasted before. With their bold and exciting blend of spices, they will take your taste buds on a journey to the Caribbean.

The unique combination of ground beef, smoked ham, and bacon makes these meatballs incredibly savory, while the addition of onions, bell peppers, and garlic adds sweetness and depth to every bite. The recipe also calls for tomato paste and lemon juice, which create a delightful tangy flavor that perfectly balances out the richness of the meat.

But the secret ingredient that really sets these meatballs apart is the bread soaked in milk. This magical mixture works wonders in keeping them moist and tender. The bread also adds a subtle yet delicious flavor that is impossible to resist.

If you’re looking to impress your guests or simply treat yourself to some amazing food, these Haitian style Meatballs are just what you need. So, why settle for ordinary meatballs when you can take your taste buds on a Caribbean adventure with the first bite? Trust me, once you try them, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

 These Haitian style meatballs will take your taste buds to the Caribbean!
These Haitian style meatballs will take your taste buds to the Caribbean!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for Haitian Style Meatballs Recipe:

Meatballs Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 slices white bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Beef Spices

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

These ingredients can be found at any grocery store typically. When choosing beef, go for lean ground beef as it will make the meatballs flavorful and moist. The crushed white bread and milk help to add moisture to the meatballs. You can use smoked ham or bacon in place of the bread if you prefer a denser meatball. For added flavor and kick, you may also add scotch bonnet pepper or red pepper flakes.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly seasoned and juicy meatballs, ready to be devoured!
Perfectly seasoned and juicy meatballs, ready to be devoured!

To start making these Haitian Style Meatballs, I recommend you prepare all the ingredients in advance. In a large bowl, combine 2 lbs of lean ground beef with 1 lb of ground pork. As a personal touch, I also add smoked ham and bacon to enhance the flavor of the meatballs.

Adding Moisture

Now, in order to make sure that the meatballs are moist and tender, we need to add some ingredients that will provide moisture on the inside. I usually add 1 1/2 cups of milk to the meat mixture. The milk acts as a binding agent to hold everything together while also adding moisture.

Preparing the Bread Mixture

The next step is preparing the bread mixture for our Haitian meatballs. In a separate bowl, mix together 6 slices of white bread pulled into small pieces with 1 cup of milk. This will form a paste that should be added to the meat mixture and mixed well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Mixing the Ingredients

Once all the ingredients are ready, combine them in one large bowl alongside 1 diced onion, 1 diced bell pepper, and 3 minced garlic cloves for additional flavors. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of pepper, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder to taste. Use your hands to incorporate all ingredients evenly throughout the mixture until they are well combined.

Forming Meatballs

Now it’s time to form our delicious Haitian style meatballs! Take a scoopful of mixture and roll it into a ball shape around the size of an egg or similar so that they cook evenly.

Cooking Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375F degrees while you continue shaping your meatballs into an even shape. Place each ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about an inch apart from each other ensuring they don’t stick together whilst cooking.

Place your baking sheets in your preheated oven at 375F degrees and bake them for approximately 30 minutes or until they’re cooked through, golden brown and crispy on top.

You can serve these meatballs with rice and sauce for a full meal or offer them as appetizers at your next party – everyone will love their unique flavor!

Substitutions and Variations

 The aroma of these meatballs cooking will make your mouth water!
The aroma of these meatballs cooking will make your mouth water!

Writing about substitutions and variations will give you more room to experiment with your recipe. Here are some suggestions if you want to switch things up or avoid certain ingredients:

– Meat varieties: Instead of using lean ground beef, you can use a combination of beef, pork, and/or veal. You could also try using ground turkey or chicken for a healthier option.

– Spices: If you want to add more heat, you can add jalapeño or habanero peppers to the mix. You can also try adding cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the sauce.

– Bread crumbs: If you prefer gluten-free options, use gluten-free bread crumbs or crushed rice cakes instead.

– Milk: You can substitute milk with almond milk, coconut milk, or heavy cream for richer flavor.

– Parmesan cheese: Substitute parmesan cheese with pecorino romano or any other hard cheese for similar flavors.

– Vegetables: Try adding other vegetables such as diced carrots, chopped celery and fresh herbs like oregano, parsley or cilantro.

– Sauce: For a creamier variation in the sauce mix in sour cream at the end. You could also use a lighter tomato sauce such as marinara in place of tomato paste which will give it more depth but less sweetness.

Making variations is easy, just make sure not to compromise the integrity of the recipe by keeping in mind its origins and cultural significance. Exploring different options may lead to discovering new flavors while still honoring the Haitian heritage of Boulèt Vyann (Haitian Style Meatballs).

Serving and Pairing

 You can practically taste the traditional spices used in these meatballs just by looking at them.
You can practically taste the traditional spices used in these meatballs just by looking at them.

Haitian style meatballs are a versatile dish that can be served in various ways depending on the occasion. These spicy and flavorful meatballs go well with a variety of sides and sauces, making them perfect for both weekday dinners and special occasions.

To really showcase the flavor of the Haitian meatballs, serve them alongside some fluffy white rice. The combination of the soft rice and the savory meatballs is simply irresistible. Another classic pairing for boulèt haitian is pikliz, which is a Haitian hot sauce made from chopped cabbage, carrots, and scotch bonnet peppers.

If you’re looking to switch things up and try something different, you can also pair these meatballs with a salad or roasted vegetables. The fresh flavors of the salad will provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and spicy flavors of the meatballs.

For those who prefer a heartier meal, serve the meatballs with some crusty bread or mashed potatoes. The bread will soak up all that delicious sauce while offering a nice texture contrast, while the potatoes will provide a creamy backdrop to the bold flavors of the meatballs.

No matter what you choose to serve your Haitian-style meatballs with, be sure to have an extra batch ready as they are sure to disappear quickly! With their tongue-tingling spices and juicy texture, these boulèt vyann (meatballs) are certain to become one of your go-to Haitian food recipes.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These meatballs are sure to be the star of your next party or gathering.
These meatballs are sure to be the star of your next party or gathering.

Haitian Style Meatballs are a fantastic choice for meal prep. They can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer, providing a quick and easy protein source for upcoming meals.

To make ahead, simply prepare the meatballs according to the recipe instructions, allow them to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, you can either use a microwave or oven. If using a microwave, place the meatballs on a microwave-safe plate and heat them for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. If using an oven, preheat your oven to 350°F, place the meatballs in a baking dish or on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

You can also use these meatballs as part of meal planning. One option is to cook a big batch of rice and freeze it into individual portions along with the meatballs, creating pre-made meals that can easily be reheated throughout the week. Or you can whip up a quick sauce to mix and match with your meals throughout the week.

Additionally, storing leftover sauce and meatballs separately can help extend their shelf life. You can store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, heat them in the microwave or on stove top while stirring occasionally until warmed throughout.

Overall, making these Haitian Style Meatballs ahead of time saves time and energy while still allowing you to enjoy flavorful homemade protein any day of the week without much hassle.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make sure to have extra napkins on hand because these meatballs are messy and delicious!
Make sure to have extra napkins on hand because these meatballs are messy and delicious!

Creating perfectly delicious Haitian-style meatballs is easy if you know what to do. All you need is to arm yourself with a few tips to ensure that the meatballs turn out just the way they ought to be. Here, I share with you some tips that will help you create the perfect batch of boulèt haitian.

First, when making the meat mixture, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. If the ground beef is too cold, it can get clumpy and lead to unevenly cooked meatballs. Let it reach room temperature before getting started.

Secondly, make sure all your ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. You want to ensure that every single ingredient has been evenly distributed throughout the meat mixture, so that each bite of meatball will be packed with flavor.

Thirdly, do not overmix the meat mixture or overwork the meatball dough. Overworking the mixture can make it tough and rubbery rather than tender and juicy.

Fourthly, use a cookie scoop for portioning out the meat mixture into even-sized balls. This will ensure that all your boulèt haitian will cook at the same rate, leaving you with evenly cooked and juicy meatballs.

Fifthly, consider using a mix of ground meats such as beef and pork or beef and lamb to add complexity to your dish’s flavor profile.

Sixthly, bake your Haitian-style meatballs in the oven instead of frying them. Baking ensures that they cook evenly without burning or sticking together.

Lastly, garnish your boulèt haitian with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro to add freshness and flavor to each bite.

By following these tips, you’re guaranteed to get perfectly delicious Haitian-style meatballs every time.


Before we conclude, let’s go over some frequently asked questions to ensure that you have all the information you need to make these Haitian style meatballs. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, these FAQ’s will equip you with helpful tips and insights for making the perfect meatballs. So, let’s dive in!

What is Haitian meatballs made of?

Boulèt, also known as Haitian meatballs, consist of a mixture of ground beef, flavorful herbs like thyme and parsley, as well as vegetables like onion, bell pepper, garlic, and spicy chili seasoning.

What is the national dish of Haiti?

Tasso is a dish made with beef, goat or occasionally turkey, while griot or griyo, considered Haiti’s signature dish, is made using pork.

What are Moroccan meatballs made of?

Get ready for an explosion of flavor with these Moroccan Meatballs that are simply mouth-watering! Prepared with a mix of ground lamb or beef, onions, fresh herbs, and authentic Moroccan spices, this recipe stays true to tradition by excluding eggs, bread, and dairy.

Why do people put milk in meatballs?

When making meatballs, it’s a common misconception that eggs add moisture. Actually, eggs are used to bind the ingredients like meat, breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs together. To add that much-needed moisture, a splash of milk will do the trick. Don’t overdo it, though; add just enough to bring everything together. Trust me, your guests will appreciate that tender and juicy texture.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Haitian Style Meatballs recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves exploring new dishes and flavors. With its rich blend of flavors and spices, these meatballs will not only satisfy your taste buds but also leave you wanting more. Plus, with the recipe’s flexibility on substitutions and variations, you can easily make it your own and play around with different ingredients to personalize it.

Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a party, these meatballs are sure to impress and add a touch of exoticism to any meal. And with the added benefit of being able to make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freezer, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when preparing for your gathering.

So what are you waiting for? Add the ingredients from our shopping list to your next grocery trip and start experimenting with this Haitian meatballs recipe today. Trust us, once you take that first bite, you’ll understand why this dish is considered one of Haiti’s national specialties and why people can’t help but fall in love with it. Happy cooking!

Haitian Style Meatballs

Haitian Style Meatballs Recipe

From Caribbean choice, these little gems are so easy to make & the taste is not too overpowering so it's a great recipe for kids too, my toddler gobbled these up! I found when I made them that the flour made it hard for the cheese to stick so I did half with flour & the rest without. I baked these in the oven to cut down on fat and I think if baking then the flour step is not needed
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cuisine Haitian
Servings 24 meatballs
Calories 77.8 kcal


  • 4 slices white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lb fresh lean ground beef
  • 2 slices smoked ham or 2 slices bacon, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • fat, heated to 365 F (for frying)


  • Soak bread in milk 5 minutes, then mash and mix with ground beef, minced ham, salt, pepper, garlic, and tomato paste.
  • Roll into walnut-sized balls, coat with flour and then with cheese.
  • Fry in heated fat until golden brown.
  • Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with tomato sauce as a dip.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1043gCalories: 77.8kcalCarbohydrates: 4.9gProtein: 6.4gFat: 3.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 18.1mgSodium: 148.6mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.3g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Lunch, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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