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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.