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Recipe for Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs

Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs, a fun appetizer.

The small market in my village surprises me on a regular basis, despite the fact that I shop there two or three times every week. On the day I found both a locally made habañero salsa and a spice mix used in the sauce for Rhode Island's famous New York System weiners, I knew I had to pair the two in a recipe. At first I'd planned to fold the salsa into the meatball mixture, but it buried the taste of the spices, so the salsa became the dipping sauce, and the weiner spices really shine in these meatballs. If you don't live in Rhode Island, you can make your own weiner spice mix. The key ingredient, celery salt, gives these meatballs a distinctly Ocean State flavor. The meatballs make a great appetizer, or you can toss them with pasta or serve on a pizza, as we did in our Rhode Island Recipes cookbook. Make a double batch and stash some in the freezer.

Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs (perfect party appetizer), from The Perfect Pantry.

Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs

From the pantry, you'll need: plain dry breadcrumbs, Greek yogurt, egg, hot sauce, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, olive oil.

Makes 28 1-1/2 inch meatballs.


For the wiener spice mix:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika or pimentón dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp red chile powder
2 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp of allspice
2 tsp kosher salt

For the meatballs:
1-1/4 lb chopped sirloin or extra-lean beef (I use 94% fat-free) or lean ground turkey
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 Tbsp wiener spice mix
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone mat) or aluminum foil, and set aside.

In a small jar, combine ingredients for the wiener spice mix. Shake to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs.

Heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Fry 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture, and taste for seasoning. Adjust to your taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper, if needed.

Form the meat into 1-1/2 inch meatballs, and set them on the baking sheet.

Bake at 425F for 18-20 minutes.

Serve with toothpicks and your favorite salsa for dipping.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Italian turkey meatballs with sun-dried tomato and basil
Chipotle turkey meatballs
Mexicali meatloaf
Cowboy turkey meatloaf
Turkey pesto meatball sliders

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Bacon-wrapped sweet and sour meatballs, from Cooking On the Side
Turkey meatballs with Romano cheese and herbs, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Bourbon and cider glazed turkey meatballs, from I Breathe... I'm Hungry...
Saucy Asian meatballs, from Gimme Some Oven
Mini meatballs in Pinot Noir sauce, from Eat Live Run

Want more meatball recipes? Get Meatballs, my e-book packed with amazing, crowd-pleasing, family-friendly low-fat turkey meatball recipes with bold around-the-world flavors, plus full-color photos and a few fun videos. With the FREE Kindle Reading App, great meatballs will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Your meatballs look perfectly spiced and delicious :D

Choc Chip Uru

I'm trying this recipe tonight; just so happens I'm making spaghetti.

I'm intrigued by these meatballs!

I grew up with NY system wieners and am excited to finally be able to make them at home in meatball style! Thanks!

Spice mix is made!

Any ideas where the term NY system wieners came from? Perhaps an homage to the NYC Subway?

CCU, thanks!

Angela, the meatballs are very Rhode Island, and I hope you like them.

Kalyn, very lean (especially if you make them with turkey), and just a bit different. You'll like these.

Wendy, so much healthier this way than in weiners!

Susan, enjoy. I've used the spice mix in a bunch of recipes, including various marinara sauces.

Cousin, not from the subway, but from New Yorkers who brought their recipe to Rhode Island many years ago.

Oh man! I never met a meatball or a wiener I didn't love! And these look great!

So, who knew that New Yorkers imported wieners to Rhode Island? That's outstanding - I really have to try one!

Carol, if that's the case, you'll like these!

TW, I never knew, either. But I'm glad you folks sent these weiner spices our way!

O.K., at the risk of sounding stupid, wiener spice is the spice that goes into sausages, like hot dogs? and you have taken these spices and put them in meatballs? Can you tell I'm a garden blogger and not a food blogger? Well anyway they look yummy.

Chigiy, not into the hot dogs, but into the "special" N.Y. System sauce that goes on top!

I must have Dachshunds on the brain, because my brain keeps inserting "dog" before the spice, and I keep expecting the meatballs to be hot dog shaped. Clearly I need more rest.
I'd also like to taste this spice combo--it sounds really good. Now you've got me re-thinking our dinner plans to meatballs.

Kirsten, I'm giggling! I think hot-dog shaped meatballs would look like tater tots!

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