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Italian Meatballs


If you’re on a quest for the ultimate Italian-American meatball experience, you’ve landed in the right culinary territory. This recipe, inspired by the cherished tradition passed down from my mother, promises a batch of tender, juicy meatballs that will delight up to 6 fortunate individuals. Whether baked in the oven or expertly cooked on the stovetop, these meatballs are destined to become the stars of your dining table. Paired with a quick homemade marinara or your preferred sauce, these meatballs encapsulate the quintessence of Italian-American comfort food.

Crafting the Perfect Meat Mixture

The foundation of exceptional meatballs lies in the meticulous selection of meat cuts. In our family, we swear by the combination of beef and pork, each selected for its generous marbling, ensuring a succulent and flavorful outcome. Ground beef chuck, with its 15-20 percent higher fat content compared to lean beef, forms the backbone of our meat mixture. Complemented by ground pork, sourced from the meaty pork shoulder, and occasionally a touch of ground veal, these meatballs are a symphony of flavors.

Essential Ingredients:

Meat: A harmonious blend of ground beef and pork, with the option to include ground veal for those seeking an extra layer of tradition.

Fresh Bread Crumbs: The key to a light, tender texture, these breadcrumbs are best made from hearty country or Italian-style bread, ensuring a moist and fluffy consistency.

Milk: This “panade,” a mixture of milk and breadcrumbs, imparts a light and moist interior to the meatballs.

Egg Yolks: Essential for binding the meat and other ingredients.

Grated Cheese: Opt for sharp, salty pecorino Romano cheese, or freshly grated Parmesan for a burst of flavor.

Garlic: Freshly grated or finely chopped, garlic adds a punch of aromatic intensity.

Fresh Herbs: A blend of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley or basil, or a combination of both, elevates the herbaceous notes. Dried herbs can be a worthy substitute.

Olive Oil: A drizzle of good quality olive oil enhances the overall richness of the meatballs.

Making the Perfect Meatball:

Step-by-Step Guide

Meat Mixture Preparation: Combine ground pork and beef in a large bowl until well blended.

Bread Mixture: Soak bread pieces in milk for 5 minutes, then add egg yolks, cheese, garlic, and salt to create a coarse paste (panade).

Combining Ingredients: Blend bread mixture and chopped herbs with the ground meat, ensuring an even mix.

Forming Meatballs: Shape into 1/4-cup portions, being careful not to overwork the meat for a tender texture.

Cooking Options:

Stovetop: Brown meatballs in olive oil, then cover and simmer until cooked through.

Oven: Arrange on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway.

Freezing and Serving info:

For those who prefer to plan ahead, these meatballs can be frozen for up to two months. After cooling, store them in a freezer-proof container, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and gently reheat in your preferred tomato sauce on the stovetop.

Serving Suggestions:

These delectable meatballs can be enjoyed as a dinner entrée with your favorite pasta and sauce, as a meatball sandwich, or as an appetizer with a sliced baguette. The possibilities are as diverse as the flavors within each meatball.

Italian Meatballs

Recipe by admin
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Course: MeatCuisine: Italian


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Recipe: Classic Italian Meatballs


  • ½ cup (54 g) fresh breadcrumbs from 1-2 slices white bread (crust removed)

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk

  • 2 egg yolks

  • ½ cup (50 g) cheese

  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated

  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) kosher salt OR 2 teaspoons kosher salt, OR 1 ½ teaspoons table salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 pound (450 g) ground beef chuck

  • 1 pound (450 g) ground pork or veal

  • ¼ cup grated onion optional

  • ⅓ cup (30 g) chopped parsley or basil

  • Olive oil


  • Soak breadcrumbs in milk for 5 minutes; add egg yolks, cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper, forming a coarse paste.
  • Mix beef, pork, and onion in a large bowl, then add the bread mixture and parsley. Blend well using your hands or a mixer.
  • Cooking Options:
    Stovetop: Brown in olive oil, then simmer until cooked through.
    Oven: Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes per side.
    Sauce Finish: Transfer browned meatballs to simmering marinara sauce; cook for an additional 10-12 minutes.


  • Fresh breadcrumbs, dried breadcrumbs, Panko, or gluten-free breadcrumbs can be used based on preference.
  • Meatballs can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • An electric standing mixer can be used for blending meat and seasonings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 183kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Potassium: 186mg
  • Calcium: 59mg
  • Iron: 1mg

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