How to Make Meatballs

In this recipe, it’s easy to make a meal with the ingredients found in your pantry or refrigerator. Your family will be ready for freshly made meatballs in no time!

Meatballs are a popular dish that can be made from mince, beef or pork. The recipe for meatballs is simple and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients.

Meatballs 4 Intro cover shot.

“Utah! “Bring me TWO!”

That famous line from the cult classic film Point Break emphasizes the reality that one meatball is never enough. A fantastic meatball is without a doubt one of my favorite culinary creations, savory, meaty, and overflowing with flavor in every mouthful. Finding a decent meatball these days is unfortunately easier said than done.

The reality is that when it comes to producing the ideal meatball, everyone has an opinion or two. Meatball recipes vary widely from family to family, much like a fine slab of slow-smoked ribs or a steaming hot bowl of seafood gumbo. As a result, perfecting the meatball is often a source of contention.

Tradition, skill, and simplicity are all used in my meatball recipe. My simple recipe and instructions will guarantee that your meatballs are always top-notch, whether eaten alone, over freshly made pasta, or sandwiched between two pieces of bread. Let’s get started on making this classic even better!

Ingredients & Technique

Raw meatballs lined up on plate to be cooked.

1. To blend or not to blend, that is the question. Blend is the simple solution. I like to use a mixture of 80/20 ground beef and equal amounts ground pig. Many other classic recipes call for an equal amount of veal as well. Regardless of your decision, combining various cuts and proteins results in a deeper, more nuanced taste.

2. The purpose of bread and eggs is to bond rather than to provide moisture. Many recipes ask for excessive amounts of either, resulting in a mushy, flavorless texture. Meatballs that are overcooked and dry may be avoided with proper technique. Everything will be held together by bread and eggs.

3. Don’t be stingy with the cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano lends a nutty, savory taste to the dish. To achieve a uniform distribution, use finely ground (not grated) cheese. If you don’t have any fresh Parmesan on hand, regular Parmesan will suffice. Avoid the “cheese” that arrives in the green plastic containers if at all feasible.

4. Herbs are essential. Traditional parsley is finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, but I like to mix it up from time to time. In my venison meatballs, for example, I use basil instead of parsley because the sweeter basil balances out the gaminess of the meat.

5. Mix and form your meatballs with your hands. I press and knead the meat and seasonings together a few times with all ten fingers, without overworking the flesh, which might result in tough meatballs. Nobody likes difficult meatballs, after all. The goal is to make meatballs that just yield when pressed with a fork but don’t crumble.

6. Dimensions are important. When serving meatballs alone or in sandwiches, they should be somewhat bigger. Meatballs the size of golf balls work well in spaghetti recipes. Shock-and-awe meatballs the size of footballs are never required or suitable. Guy Fieri, I’m talking to you. To keep your meatballs from sticking to your hands, lightly coat your hands with olive oil before shaping them.

7. Flesh that is brown is excellent meat. My meatballs are made using a brown and braise technique, which I feel produces the most delicious and moist meatballs. Others like to brown under the broiler before finishing the cooking process in the oven. While that procedure is equally delicious, I feel that braising the meatballs in the sauce gives the sauce a lot more flavor. In my perspective, it’s a win-win situation. Don’t skip the searing procedure, regardless of your decision. Meatballs that don’t have a browned, crispy crust are flavorless and mushy.


Recipe for the Perfect Meatballs with Sauce

(serves 4-6) (prep 20 minutes, cook 1 hour)

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • 12 pound of 80/20 ground beef
  • 12 pound ground pork
  • 12 cup breadcrumbs, dry
  • 1 egg
  • 14 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. sweet onion, coarsely ground
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tblsp. Worcestershire
  • 12 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)

Ingredients in the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 finely minced Vidalia onion
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 leaf of bay
  • kosher salt, 2 tsp
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • Tomato paste, 2 tbsp
  • 1 cup red wine, dry
  • 2 Italian plum tomatoes, 28 oz. cans, ideally San Marzano type

1. To make the meatballs, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except the oil. Knead the beef mixture several times with your hands until all of the ingredients are equally incorporated, being careful not to overwork the meat. Hands should be clean and gently oiled. Shape the meatballs into golf-ball-sized parts and place them on a flat surface until there is no more meat mixture.

Cooked browned meatballs in ceramic dish.

2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Working in batches if required, place meatballs in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. To make a brown crust, cook the meatballs on both sides for approximately 2 minutes each side. Remove the meatballs to a dish to rest, then continue the browning process until there are no more meatballs.

3. Drain the extra fat from the Dutch oven and return it to the burner over medium-high heat after the meatballs have all been browned. Add the remaining oil, then the onions and carrots, and cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until just soft. Season with salt and pepper after adding the garlic and bay leaf. Push ingredients to the pot’s outside borders using a wooden spoon, forming a well in the middle. Place the tomato paste in the middle of the pan and “toast” it by turning it occasionally until it is slightly browned (this cooks out the tin-y flavor in the canned tomato paste). Add the red wine to deglaze the saucepan and reduce the liquid by half, approximately 5 minutes. Finish by hand-crushing the tomatoes and tossing them into the saucepan with their juices. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

Cooked meatballs in red sauce ceramic le cruised dish.

4. Carefully return the browned meatballs to the sauce to finish cooking. Allow the liquid to return to a medium simmer, cover, and cook the meatballs for another 15-20 minutes on low heat. Serve.

Do you have any other tips or unusual recipes to share? In the comments section below, share your meatball-making secrets!



For those who are looking for a meal that is easy to prepare and can be made in large amounts, the “how to make meatballs in oven” is the perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to use to make meatballs stick together?

A: You can use breadcrumbs, cornstarch or flour to make the meatballs stick together.

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

A: It is better to fry meatballs.

Why do my meatballs fall apart?

A: A meatball sandwich is traditionally made with ground beef. Ground turkey would also work well in this recipe and so would ground chicken, or any other type of poultry you can think of! You could even try adding a couple spoonfuls of cooked rice to the mixture for added texture if youre feeling fancy.

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