Chef John's Italian Meatballs

4.8
(2,236)

Homemade meatballs are a very easy to make, and since we skip the very messy step of pan-frying these before they hit the sauce, it becomes downright simple. Here I use a standard half-beef/half-pork mixture. You can substitute water or beef broth for the milk, if preferred.

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Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
30
Yield:
30 meatballs

Ingredients

  • cup plain bread crumbs

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

  2. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.

  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; stir in onion. Cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until onion is very tender, about 15 minutes more.

  4. Gently stir beef and pork together in a large bowl (do not overmix). Stir onions, bread crumb mixture, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian herb seasoning, and Parmesan cheese into meat mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.

  5. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  6. Using wet hands, form meat mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange onto prepared baking sheet.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

    high view of Italian meatballs served with sauce over top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and garnished with Italian parlsey
    Happyschmoopies

Cook's Notes:

Some recipes use equal portions of beef, veal, and pork, which is also nice, yet more expensive. These days you can find all sorts of lean-to-fat ratios for ground beef. Most stores sell 90% lean, 10% fat, but I prefer the 80% lean, 20% fat ratio for this recipe.

Once cooked, you can add the meatballs to your favorite prepared tomato sauce for 1 to 2 hours.

Editor's Note:

Serve with homemade tomato sauce and polenta.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

82 Calories
6g Fat
2g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 30
Calories 82
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 93mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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