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Homemade Italian Meatballs

The best Italian meatball recipe using a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal. These homemade meatballs are juicy, soft, and full of flavor.

This recipe is with main ingredient ,
Best meatball recipe

For the second installment of Bobby’s kitchen basics I wanted to share with you my Italian meatball recipe that is easy to make and the flavors are off the chart. The key to making the ultimate homemade meatballs is using a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal. This will make the texture of the meatballs soft and make them incredibly juicy and tasty. If you are really in the meatball mind frame, then you need to check out my Mexican turkey meatballs and my healthy chicken meatball meal prep.

This meatball recipe is incredibly easy. You can even form them and store them in the fridge to cook the next day. Some of the most important tips for making the best meatball recipe is not to over-mix the meatball mixture as this will make the texture tough. The same is true for meatloaf. Only mix until just combined. Also, you need to use breadcrumbs that are soaked in milk. Not only will this make the texture of the meatballs incredibly light, but the milk adds some much needed moisture to the party.

How To Make Homemade Meatballs

To make the tastiest homemade meatballs, combine the ground beef, pork, and veal in a large bowl with onion powder, garlic powder, 1 egg, and some dried oregano. Also, make sure to grate in 1/4 cup of pecorino romano cheese and a shake of red pepper flakes. Here’s the key: soak 1 cup of good quality bread chunks in a bowl of milk for 5 minutes and make sure to cut away the crust before that. Meatballs can tend to be dense, so they need some filler to help lighten up the texture. Instead of using nasty dry breadcrumbs from a can, just use some leftover bread. The texture is way better.

To make these homemade meatballs irresistibly juicy, make sure not to squeeze all of the milk from the breadcrumbs before you add it to the meat mixture – the added moisture is a good thing. Next, use your hands to combine the mixture, but make sure not to over-mix as the meatballs will be tough. Form the mixture into 13 or so meatballs, but make sure to use my mother-in-law’s tip: dip your hands in water and then roll and form the meatballs. This will prevent the meat from sticking to your hands and make them nice and smooth. Best tip ever!

Can I Make Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs?

You can easily make homemade meatballs without using breadcrumbs. The texture may be a little dense, but just make sure not to over-mix when combining the ingredients as that will make the meatballs too dense and heavy. You can also use 1/2 cup of almond flour that been soaked in cream to replace the breadcrumbs in the meatballs. That will make the recipe keto friendly. If you want a meatball recipe that has no breadcrumbs and is served with low carb zucchini noodle marinara, check out my meatballs for weight loss meal prep recipe.

To make homemade meatballs that have serious flavor, I like to sear the meatballs in a hot pan to make a nice crust on both sides before finishing the cooking process in marinara sauce. Heat a pan with some olive oil and working in two batches, cook the Italian meatballs until golden brow and crusty on both sides for about 2-minutes per side. Repeat with the second batch and then transfer to a pot with marinara sauce and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Serve the meatballs with some sauce and grate over some cheese, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. I love the extra virgin from the Olive Oil Club I belong to. They deliver some of the best extra virgin olive oil to your door and they gave me a promo code to share with you guys. You can get 1 bottle for $1. That’s an amazing deal!

How To Cook Meatballs In Sauce

The best way to cook homemade meatballs in sauce is to first sear both sides of the meatballs in a hot pan with olive oil and then transfer them to a pot of sauce to simmer for 20 minutes. This will help form a flavorful crust on the meatballs. You can also bake a tray of meatballs in a 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes and then transfer them to a pot of marinara sauce to finish cooking for another 15 minutes.

How Many Calories in a Meatball?

A two ounce meatball has 53 calories, 8.9 grams of fat, 1.76 grams f carbs, 10.9 grams of protein, and no fiber. If you want to lower the amount of calories in a meatball recipe, you can omit the breadcrumbs – that will also drop the carbs.

Make sure to check out my other meatball recipes:

Best meatball recipe

Homemade Italian Meatballs

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian meatballs, meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 13 meatballs
Calories: 53 kcal
Author: Bobby Parrish

The best Italian meatball recipe with a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal. These homemade meatballs are easy to make, moist, soft, and full of flavor.



For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound each ground beef pork & veal(can also use 100% beef)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon each onion & garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup stale bread(or 3/4 cup almond flour for keto version) crusted removed & cubed
  • 1 cup milk or water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 medium size onion chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled & chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 28 ounce can whole or chopped san marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. You can use your favorite store bought marinara sauce(I like Rao’s), or make it. Pre-heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme, pepper flakes, along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a couple cracks of pepper. Cook for 10 minutes then add the garlic, cook for 3 minutes, or until the veggies are very soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes then add the wine and sir well. Cook for 3 minutes until almost all the wine has reduced then add the tomatoes(crushed by hand or blender) along with 1 cup of water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Bring to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes. After 20 minutes stir in the honey and check for seasoning. It is probably going to need more salt. If the sauce gets too thick, add more water.
  2. For the meatballs, add the bread to a bowl and cover with milk for at least 5 minutes. For the keto version, mix enough cream or water to make the almond flour wet and mushy. To a large bowl, add the ground meats, onion & garlic powder, egg, parsley, oregano, pepper flakes, grated cheese, salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Squeeze most, but not all, of the milk from the bread and add that to the meat mixture, breaking it into small pieces. Mix well using your hands, but make sure not to over mix as the meatballs will get tough. Dip your hands in water and form meatballs, should be enough for 13, but you can make them any size you desire.

  3. Place meatballs in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up, or you can store overnight. To sear the meatballs and make them crusty, pre-heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, and half the meatballs and cook until crusty, about 3 minutes, flip and repeat. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, so this needs to be done in two batches. Move the meatballs to the marinara sauce, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, carefully stirring a few times.
  4. Plate the meatballs and sauce, garnish with parsley, a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil, and enjoy! Meatballs can be stored with the sauce in the fridge for 5 days, or everything can be frozen for 3 months. It's best to thaw the meatballs and sauce overnight before reheating in a pot over medium heat. If using a microwave, cover the container with a wet paper towel and make sure to not to overheat, as the meatballs will get dry.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Italian Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 meatball)
Calories 53 Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.9g14%
Carbohydrates 1.67g1%
Protein 10.9g22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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12 thoughts on “Homemade Italian Meatballs”

  1. All of your recipes are amazing! I’m GF and keto, so I soaked pork rinds in flax milk in place of bread!!
    Thank you for your culinary wisdom!

    1. Great job, Nina!! These meatballs are so delicious, that even if you just leave the bread out they will still be great!

  2. Hello,
    I will be making these meatballs with veal and bison ground this weekend! HOPE it turns out good because these meatballs looking amazing!!!! Thanks for another great receipe!!

  3. Hi Bobby!
    I made the meatballs first, I had no intention of making the marinara sauce since I’ve always relied on buying already made. We had a few leftover meatballs (which were DELICIOUS!) today, but to my luck I had no more jars of sauce in the kitchen. I realized that I had all of the ingredients that were in this recipe, so I proceeded to make my first sauce from scratch. After an hour of prepping and cooking, I am now confident to say that you’ve converted me 🙂 I found joy and satisfaction following your marinara sauce recipe and the end-result was better than anything I’ve bought from the supermarket. Thank you for sharing this wonderful meatball and marinara recipe with us, I’ll be sure to make more!

    1. Megan, so glad to hear it!!! Of course, it better than from the store, you made it form scratch and with love!

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  4. Made these meatballs tonight, excellent and that sauce… wow! Also received your Keto Meal Prep book in the mail yesterday. HUGE fan of everything you all do. Thank you!

    1. I love that recipe!!! Glad you loved it too! Thanks for ordering the book!!! Please also leave a review of it on Amazon – it would really help us out! Thanks! Keep on cookin’!

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