Two Meatballs in One


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.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
8 servings


Small Meatballs:

  • 4 sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed

  • ½ cup water, or as needed

Large Meatballs:

  • 2 ¼ pounds ground beef

  • ½ cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

  • ¼ cup ketchup

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 egg

  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ sweet onion, minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (15 ounce) can no salt-added diced tomatoes with Italian herbs

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried sweet basil

  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice


  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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 (per serving)

483 Calories
32g Fat
19g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 483
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 121mg 40%
Sodium 878mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 17mg 87%
Calcium 125mg 10%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 766mg 16%

* 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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