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Moscows are a uniquely delicious Eastern European-inspired meatball made with ground beef, rye bread crumbs, beet horseradish, Swiss cheese and sour cream.  These are fantastic!

In honor of my mother’s birthday today, we’re sharing a recipe that is by far one of the most uniquely-delicious recipes we’ve found so far in her old recipe box!  It’s a recipe called Moscows.

This recipe was a bit of a mystery for us – a handwritten list of ingredients on an index card – but no instructions!  We were really fascinated by the eclectic list of ingredients including ground beef, rye bread, beet horseradish, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and sour cream – an obvious mix of Eastern European-inspired flavors! Being of Polish decent, I can totally see why this recipe appealed to my mother.

Moscows are a uniquely delicious Eastern European-inspired meatball made with ground beef, rye bread crumbs, beet horseradish, Swiss cheese and sour cream.  These are fantastic!

So my husband Jack and I wondered, “Are Moscows a type of meatloaf? Or are they meatballs?” We weren’t really sure – so Jack spent some time online researching the recipe, but all he could find were recipes for a cocktail named Moscow Mule.

Without any other information to go on, we decided to form the mixture into meatball-sized portions and baked them in a muffin pan.  And – as soon as these Moscows came out of the oven, we knew we had a winner!   The smell was fantastic and they were moist and delicious with an amazing flavor, unlike any other meatball I’ve ever eaten!

Moscows are a uniquely delicious Eastern European-inspired meatball made with ground beef, rye bread crumbs, beet horseradish, Swiss cheese and sour cream.  These are fantastic!

And Jack and I both agree – that beet horseradish (which can be found at most supermarkets in the refrigerated section) – really makes this dish!   These Moscows are great served warm with boiled potatoes (and more horseradish and sour cream on the side) or served between slices of rye bread as a sandwich!  You’ve got to try this recipe!



Moscows - A Family Feast

You can either lightly toast the rye bread slices or let them sit out overnight to get stale before turning into bread crumbs in your food processor. Remove crusts before processing.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 meatballs


  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • ½ cup finely minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed caraway seed
  • ½ cup rye bread crumbs (4 whole slices rye bread, see note above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups fine grated Swiss cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup beet horseradish (this is very mild and sold right next to regular horseradish in your average supermarket)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup well drained sauerkraut chopped
  • 2 tablespoons beef broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients until combined except ½ cup of the Swiss cheese.
  3. Divide the mixture into 12 balls and fill a 12 cup muffin pan with the meatballs. I used a large ice-cream scoop so they were flat on the bottom and round on top.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese over each and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and discard fat in each muffin cup.
  5. Serve with additional sour cream and beet horseradish with boiled potatoes, or between slices of rye bread and eaten as a sandwich.

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    Leave a Comment


  1. Being of Russian decent and having grandparents who moved to America later in life, these are ingredients I can relate too! This reminds me of how my grandma cooked and many of her recipes. Not only do I love the name, the ingredients and the whole concept, but how you baked them in a muffin pan is quite marvelous! Need to try these, would make grandma proud =)

  2. Now, THIS I need to try!

  3. My 100% Polish grandmom (who passed last year at 102) made beet horseradish her whole life…it was always sent home with us throughout my childhood. She made it with quite the kick! This is like a sandwich, a sandwich turned into a meatball…Holy YUM, my hubs would be bonkers for it!!

  4. These look amazing! Happy birthday to your mom!

  5. This is such a unique recipe. I love it.

  6. I love anything in a muffin tin because it’s perfectly portioned! So unique that you couldn’t even find anything on google about Moscows, that is amazing!

  7. Martha! Martha! Martha! These look totally incredible and if I had only seen this recipe earlier in the day, I would have run out to the store to purchase the ingredients so we could eat these Moscows tonight!!! Serioulsy! I just pinned them to my board “recipes I’m dying to try” and I am literally dying to try these. They have all my favorite flavors! Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ll let you know when I make them and give you 100% credit when I blog about them!

  8. I’m drooling. I’ve never seen a recipe like this before but those flavors sound amazing. i totally need to find some beet horseradish!!

    Happy birthday to your mom!

  9. What a fun way to find a recipe….a bit like an adventure. These do sound interesting… very unique blend of ingredients.

  10. Wow these sound delish! I Love to try new recipes. I also pinned and saved your other cabbage recipes. I Love Cabbage.. Can’t wait to try them out too! Thanks for sharing, I love to read your stories, makes me smile. Happy Birthday to your Mom, Wishing her many many More!!

  11. These little meatball inspired treats sound amazing! I love the idea of adding in beet horseradish. I have seen it in the store but never bought it. I need to change that!

  12. Yes, whenever I see the word Moscow, a Moscow Mule comes to mind, so I was looking forward to seeing what these were. And wow – how unique and how delicious they both look and sound. I’ve always wondered what to do with beet horseradish. I must try these!

    • I hope you like the recipe Heather! We were joking that we’d have to eat Moscows WHILE drinking Moscow Mules as a themed dinner some time! 🙂

  13. Now this is a recipe I need to try ASAP. I just love all the flavors in here, especially those rye croutons. Definitely a great find.

  14. That is so cool that you whipped this up with just an ingredient list. Now that is talent. I love pulling my mom’s recipe book out on her birthday. Makes me feel more connected to her. This recipe is just amazing. Great job improvising.

  15. Now I have to search hell and high water for this beet horseradish. I love this so hard. Love that you made them in a muffin tin for perfect portions. And most of all I love the cheese!! I have to make this!

  16. I just made these. I couldnt wait! OMG….so delicious! I doubled it and added lean ground turkey with the 80-20 beef and omitted the caraway but bought rye with caraway in it. Turned out great! Next time I think I will use ground pork and turkey rather than the beef. Reminds me of Kielbasa!

  17. All these ingredients are part of good old Reuben Sandwich!! I’m totally intrigued by your interpretation of your mom’s recipe. YUM!! You’re so creative!!

  18. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes :

    I have never heard of anything like this – but I love all of the flavors, so there is no doubt this would be a winning recipe with my family! Adding this to the things I need to try soon!

  19. As good as your page is, it’s WAY to “busy”. It takes for bloody ever(!!) to download. Twice, I stopped it midstream, thinking my computer or the link had died. You gotta prune something (a LOT, actually) to make it more user-friendly. Like the comments — couldn’t you whittle them down to, say, the most recent 8 or 10? Weeks (months??) of comments get very tedious, and eat up computer and network time like you wouldn’t believe. Or get rid of a LOT of the “side” clutter. Gotta do sumthun, Lady!

    Yes, great site, but WAY TOO BIG and cluttered.

    • Thanks for your feedback Maurice! We’ve done quite a lot on the backend to make our site load faster – I’m sorry you are still having problems! Have a nice weekend!

  20. I think the recipe was for Moscow meatballs, but what a creative alternative! I can’t wait to try this. Here’s a link to check out:

  21. this recipe was a huge hit with my husband, who is French! Just love the mix of flavors. I served them up with sautéed pierogies and beet salad. Thank you for sharing your recipe. It is a definite keeper!