Critically the BEST Italian Meatballs


Italian meatballs and pasta is a crowd-pleasing, kid-friendly dinner concept. This really is the greatest meatball recipe and it’s merely made with floor beef, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and your favourite marinara sauce!

Spaghetti and meatballs on plate.

The BEST Meatball Recipe

Making home made Italian meatballs is definitely form of therapeutic for me. It’s like making cookies, however the finish outcomes are hearty and meaty as a substitute of sentimental and chewy.

My mother has been making her well-known spaghetti and meatball recipe since I can bear in mind. It was a weekly staple at our home…particularly the night time earlier than soccer video games. So? I turned to Mama Hersh for the greatest Italian meatball recipe on the web and I can’t wait to share!

PS: whereas that is my mother’s recipe, I’m assuming she bought it from my 100% Italian Grandma Marie, so now we have her to thank for these infants, too!

What makes these the perfect meatballs?

  • Easy components
  • Prepared in lower than an hour
  • Good taste
  • So good on spaghetti!

What You Want

Meat: my mother historically makes use of 80/20 floor beef (20% fats). A little bit little bit of fats actually helps the flavour and texture of those meatballs. Nobody likes a dry meatball, so if you’re going to swap for lesser fats meat, simply beware.

I’ve made related meatballs that decision for each floor beef and floor pork (or Italian sausage), so be happy to do 50/50.

Binder: to ensure that meatballs to carry their ball texture, it’s essential to bind them with an egg. All you want is 1 massive egg for this recipe!

Texture: don’t neglect the Italian breadcrumbs! They actually add quite a lot of texture and, these are ITALIAN meatballs, in spite of everything.

In case you can’t discover Italian breadcrumbs, you may at all times use plain and/or gluten-free breadcrumbs with a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning in them.

Taste: my mother retains her Italian meatballs easy with salt, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. That’s proper, there’s parmesan cheese packed into these meatballs and it’s oh-so-good. 

In case you really feel so inclined, you may add any of the next to your meatballs:

  • crushed garlic
  • minced onion
  • recent herbs reminiscent of oregano, basil, parsley, and many others.

What are conventional Italian meatballs manufactured from?

Conventional Italian meatballs (that had been made in my grandmother’s Italian kitchen) are created from floor beef and generally a bit floor pork. In addition they embody breadcrumbs, egg, and parmesan cheese.

Italian meatballs in cast iron skillet.

Make the Italian Meatballs (step-by-step)


Place floor beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a big bowl. Use a picket utensil to combine every thing collectively. I want to make use of my arms as a result of it’s sooner.

professional tip

I like to recommend utilizing your arms to combine every thing collectively. It’s simply simpler to essentially get in there together with your arms as a substitute of attempting to combine it along with a picket spoon.

Roll into Balls

Place floor beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a big bowl. Use a picket utensil to combine every thing collectively. I want to make use of my arms as a result of it’s sooner.

Notice: the larger your meatballs, the longer they might want to simmer to totally prepare dinner.

Sear on Range

Warmth olive oil in a big cast-iron pan (nonstick works, too) over medium/excessive warmth. Sear meatballs on all sides for round 8 minutes. The objective right here is to brown all the edges so that you get an exquisite crunchy outer shell.

Let simmer

Add marinara sauce and crimson wine to the skillet and stir. Decrease the warmth to low and canopy. Let simmer for round 20 minutes in order that the sauce thickens a bit and the meatballs totally prepare dinner.


How do I do know when my Italian meatballs are totally cooked?

One of the best ways to know that your meatballs are totally cooked is to make use of a meat thermometer. Stick the thermometer into the middle of your meatball and cease about midway. The studying for a beef meatball ought to be at the least 160ºF.

beef: 160ºF
pork: 165ºF
hen: 165ºF
turkey: 165ºF

Why are my meatballs powerful?

Your meatballs are possible powerful since you didn’t have sufficient fats in your meat. Be sure to make use of 80% fats OR add just a few teaspoons of olive oil to your combination.

Including some milk to the combination also can assist with this! I do wish to observe, that my mother and grandma’s conventional Italian meatball recipe does NOT name for milk.
In case you’ve ever made a meatloaf that has milk in it, it’s the identical concept!

Is it higher to bake or fry meatballs?

Frying your meatballs is unquestionably higher than baking them. By frying your meatballs after which letting them simmer within the sauce, you give them a scrumptious outdoors texture with an excellent moist inside.

Nevertheless, you may bake your meatballs within the oven on a baking sheet, in the event you select. They only gained’t come out crispy on the skin and ideal on the within.

meat thermometer

Attempt it!

Thermoworks Thermapen

We swear by utilizing a meat thermometer when cooking any reduce of meat. The Thermapen is our go-to meat thermometer that works each time.

Purchase Now

Beef meatballs in marinara sauce.

Make Meatballs More healthy

Meat: attempt swapping the meat for a decrease in fats beef and even floor turkey. Do beware that the decrease in fats you go, the more durable your meatballs will find yourself.

Breadcrumbs: there are all types of breadcrumbs available on the market nowadays – gluten-free, paleo, keto, and many others. Decide your poison! PS: I’ve additionally made these by swapping out the breadcrumbs completely for rolled oats. Begin with 1/3 cup and go from there.

Noodles: the noodle is completely as much as you! I’m an angel-hair pasta form of lady, however you may completely make issues quite a bit more healthy on this area. Listed here are some ideas:

  • Gluten-free pasta >> you could find g/f pasta at just about each grocery retailer nowadays. They do have a barely totally different texture however are nonetheless nice as a substitution.
  • Zoodles >> ditch the pasta altogether and spiralize a zucchini for a low-carb possibility!
  • Spaghetti squash >> swap your pasta out for spaghetti squash. The flavour is barely candy, but it surely’s an effective way to eat your veggies.
Are you able to make these gluten-free? 

You may simply make these meatballs gluten-free by utilizing a gluten-free breadcrumb. Apart from that, the remainder of the components are naturally gluten-free.

Bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

Eat Your Italian Meatballs

Don’t really feel like consuming your meatballs on a mattress of pasta? You’re in luck as a result of there are such a lot of other ways you may eat these meatballs.

  • Appetizer: eat this Italian meatball recipe on their very own. Serve them at a celebration with a toothpick and also you’ve bought a fast and straightforward app.
  • Sub/Sandwich: everybody loves a meatball sub! Pop just a few meatballs and marinara in your favourite Italian bread, cowl it with mozzarella cheese, and bam, you’ve bought a model new meal to feed the fam.
  • Bowl: serve your meatballs subsequent to quinoa, your favourite inexperienced, and roasted veggies.

Combine Up Your Sauce

Another excuse why these are the greatest meatballs is that they’re so versatile. Make your meatballs as directed, however as a substitute of simmering in marinara sauce. Attempt certainly one of these as a substitute!

  • BBQ: bbq sauce is significantly such a simple factor to taste your meatball recipe with. Use your favourite model or make home made bbq sauce.
  • Tikka Masala: tikka masala is created from a mix of coconut milk, tomato sauce, and garam masala. It’s tremendous easy to make and filled with taste! Try our Tikka Masala Meatballs right here.
  • Teriyaki: our home made teriyaki sauce is made with 5 components. Serve your meatballs on rice subsequent to your favourite stir fryed veggie.
  • Coconut Curry: in the event you’ve by no means made our curry meatballs, they’re significantly SO GOOD. Try our coconut curry sauce on this put up.

marinara sauce in bowl

Home made

Marinara Sauce

Any marinara sauce will work for this recipe however we extremely advocate making this home made marinara sauce.

Make It

Retailer Meatballs

Let your meatballs and marinara sauce cool fully. Then, switch into an hermetic container and retailer within the fridge for as much as 3-5 days.

Are you able to freeze meatballs?

You may simply freeze meatballs they usually make for a superb make-ahead dinner concept. For this recipe, we recommend holding off on the sauce half till thawing and reheating. Sear your meatballs after which proceed to prepare dinner all through.

  1. Let the meatballs cool fully.
  2. Then switch them right into a gallon-size freezer-safe bag.
  3. Take away as a lot air as attainable after which seal.
  4. Freeze for as much as 3 months. 
Bowl of meatballs with spaghetti.
bowl of spaghetti and meatballs

Home made Italian Meatballs

Italian meatballs (AKA the perfect Italian meatball recipe on the web) is a crowd-pleasing childhood favourite of mine. They’re merely made with floor beef, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and your favourite marinara!

Prep:15 minutes

Prepare dinner:30 minutes

Whole:45 minutes


  • 1 lb. floor beef 80% lean/20% fats
  • 1 massive egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs choice to sub gluten-free or complete wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese + extra for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 25 oz. marinara sauce use our home made marinara sauce!
  • 1/4 cup dry crimson wine
  • 8 oz. spaghetti noodles or any form of noodle!


  • Place floor beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a big bowl.

  • Then, use a big picket spoon or your arms to completely combine, combining all components. I like to recommend utilizing your arms because it’s sooner and simpler.

  • As soon as mixed, warmth olive oil in a big skillet or forged iron over medium warmth.

  • Use a standard-size cookie scoop to scoop meat into your arms. Then, type right into a ball and place on the skillet. Repeat till there is no such thing as a meat left. You need to get round 16 medium-size meatballs.

  • Brown meatballs on all sides for round 8 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to flip every meatball, being cautious to not burn the outsides.

  • As soon as all sides are brown, pour in marinara sauce and crimson wine. Toss in order that the meatballs are coated in sauce.

  • Decrease warmth to low and canopy. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, tossing each 5 minutes.

  • Whereas the meatballs are simmering, put together your spaghetti of selection by following the instructions in your package deal.

  • As soon as your noodles are cooked, pressure and serve with meatballs and sauce. Prime with a beneficiant quantity of parmesan cheese and recent floor pepper.

Diet details

Energy: 501kcal Protein: 29g Fats: 19g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 9g

Images: images taken on this put up are by Erin from The Wood Skillet.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.