This is a sweet Italian sausage meatball tucked inside of a beef meatball. Very yummy and a great conversation starter. This is a labor intensive effort, but it is one of the most flavorful and moist meatballs I've ever eaten. It is also a very fun way to serve a very standard but beloved dish. Serve with your favorite pasta.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 30 mins
1 hr 50 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Small Meatballs:
Large Meatballs:


Instructions Checklist
  • Form pork sausage into small 1/2-inch meatballs using a small scoop. Fill a skillet with enough water to make a 1-inch depth; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer. Cook meatballs in the simmering water until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove meatballs with a slotted spoon and cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain water.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, ketchup, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, egg, granulated garlic, and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Scoop ground beef mixture into about 1-inch portions using an ice cream scooper; form each portion around 1 small pork meatball to cover completely. Arrange double meatballs on a baking sheet.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs are browned and partially cooked, about 25 minutes.

  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic in the hot oil until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon black pepper, basil, and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer sauce for 20 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce and simmer, stirring gently, until meatballs are fully cooked, about 20 more minutes.

Cook's Note:

My 5 pork sausage links made 28 meatballs, but my beef only made 20, so I have 8 nice little meatballs I'm going to cut up and use on pizza next week. I would imagine 2 1/2 pounds of beef would probably make 28 meatballs, or use only 4 links of sausage instead of 5 for 2 1/4 pounds of beef. Whatever works!

You can use Butterball(R) lean sweet Italian turkey sausage links for a leaner meatball.

Nutrition Facts

483 calories; protein 31.1g; carbohydrates 18.6g; fat 31.6g; cholesterol 120.5mg; sodium 878mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (2)

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3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
I halved this recipe and came up with 19 meatballs making sure to have no leftover parts. I used 2 Italian sausages and 1 pound of hamburger using a small cookie scoop for the sausage (and that cut in half) and a larger scoop for the hamburger. It was a little difficult to get the sausage meat to stick together but they held up well with the boiling method. For the sauce I used only one 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes with basil otherwise following the recipe. This all turned out well and we (hubby and I) enjoyed the dinner as did my son's family who received all the leftovers. I don't think that if I were to make these again that I would bother with making the little meatball in the middle because in the end you couldn't tell the difference between the two----it would have been fine just to mix all those ingredients together. Maybe it would be fun if there were a different color to one or the other after cooking. We did have a nice dinner so thank you lynn socko! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I changed slightly to include 1 pound of Italian pork 1 pound Italian turkey and I pound premium beef. Mixing all together and baked as instructed. Very tasty! Read More