I never knew how to make good meatballs until I found this recipe. I normally make mine with just ground beef and they still taste great. I've used the combination of pork, beef and veal and they are equally good. Definitely use fresh bread crumbs and freshly grate your cheese instead of using the canned variety...it really does make a difference.

Advertisement

Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.

    Advertisement
  • Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)

Nutrition Facts

613 calories; 53.2 g total fat; 149 mg cholesterol; 333 mg sodium. 6.6 g carbohydrates; 26.6 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (1135)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2008
They ARE the best meatballs, even though I use all beef most of the time. I don't fry, b/c I am too impatient, and the meatballs break up more that way. I scoop them out with a spoon, roll them in my hands, and bake on a cake rack in the oven over a foil-lined cookie sheet. This way, they brown nicely, excess fat is drained off, and they can go right into sauce, or, in our family, meatball hoagies, along with sauteed onions and peppers. They also freeze very well when baked this way. When I take these to parties, I always get requests for the recipe. Read More
(3268)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
10/13/2009
There is nothing I hate more than to get a mediocre or worse review from people who do not follow the recipe as written, and then judge YOU on it. I followed this to a "T" even though my experience as a chef was telling me not to. Too much cheese. Not enough garlic. And "salt and pepper to taste" is a personal pet peeve. If you are going to post a recipe, include all the measurements, or be prepared to take your lumps. This recipe is good enough to avoid disaster, but DO NOT FRY. They stick to the pan and melt away when you add them to the gravy(tomato sauce). Instead, bake them for about 35 minutes at 350. Then, put them in the gravy for the last hour or two. Replace half the cheese with more breadcrumbs. Less mess, healthier and easier. Read More
(821)
1496 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1139
  • 4 star values: 261
  • 3 star values: 53
  • 2 star values: 19
  • 1 star values: 24
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2008
They ARE the best meatballs, even though I use all beef most of the time. I don't fry, b/c I am too impatient, and the meatballs break up more that way. I scoop them out with a spoon, roll them in my hands, and bake on a cake rack in the oven over a foil-lined cookie sheet. This way, they brown nicely, excess fat is drained off, and they can go right into sauce, or, in our family, meatball hoagies, along with sauteed onions and peppers. They also freeze very well when baked this way. When I take these to parties, I always get requests for the recipe. Read More
(3268)
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2008
They ARE the best meatballs, even though I use all beef most of the time. I don't fry, b/c I am too impatient, and the meatballs break up more that way. I scoop them out with a spoon, roll them in my hands, and bake on a cake rack in the oven over a foil-lined cookie sheet. This way, they brown nicely, excess fat is drained off, and they can go right into sauce, or, in our family, meatball hoagies, along with sauteed onions and peppers. They also freeze very well when baked this way. When I take these to parties, I always get requests for the recipe. Read More
(3268)
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2008
This is soooo close to my Nonna's authentic Italian recipe! I am telling you, these meatballs ROCK! Uh oh, the word is out!!! How funny! 3 meats, the breadcrumbs, plus 1 egg. You can also use fresh chopped spinach instead of parsley (or 1 pkg frozen, thawed and all water squeezed out) and pecorino romano cheese instead of parmesan. I make sure I have these on hand almost all the time, I use one lb of EACH meat, and it makes 30-40. Instead of frying, I par bake mine on a cookie sheet at 325 for about 10 minutes, then set the tray (if room allows) into the freezer for an hour or so. Pop them off the tray, into a couple of large freezer bags. Meatballs on demand!! Drop them into a sauce or steam in a glass casserole dish for about 5 minutes, they will be medium-well on the inside. Absolute crowd pleaser if you are making a big Italian dinner!! Read More
(1879)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2008
I use beef, pork, and veal, as it is readily available in my supermarket. Also, I bake mine instead of frying them, use parchment paper, 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Then, if I have sauce simmering, I drop them in for the finale, or I freeze them for later use, or to give away to the children. Read More
(1411)
Rating: 3 stars
10/13/2009
There is nothing I hate more than to get a mediocre or worse review from people who do not follow the recipe as written, and then judge YOU on it. I followed this to a "T" even though my experience as a chef was telling me not to. Too much cheese. Not enough garlic. And "salt and pepper to taste" is a personal pet peeve. If you are going to post a recipe, include all the measurements, or be prepared to take your lumps. This recipe is good enough to avoid disaster, but DO NOT FRY. They stick to the pan and melt away when you add them to the gravy(tomato sauce). Instead, bake them for about 35 minutes at 350. Then, put them in the gravy for the last hour or two. Replace half the cheese with more breadcrumbs. Less mess, healthier and easier. Read More
(821)
Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2003
Honestly I was skeptical using water in a meatball recipe but it was really great! I scaled to 4 servings used only beef 85% 1/2 cup italian style breadcrumbs and Kraft parmesan cheese as my young children do not yet appreciate the stronger flavor of "real" cheese and they both said they were the best meatballs ever. Also I did not fry them to cut down on fat and clean-up and they kept their shape just fine. I just put them in the gravy and cooked them on simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce was a simple marinara just sautee 2 cloves of garlic add 3 cans of crushed tomatoes 1 can paste 3/4 c. water and simmer. Add 1T oregano 1t. basil 1t. onion powder salt and pepper and voila! Geanine and I teamed up to make an awesome dinner! Thanks Geanine! Read More
(527)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2003
This IS the best Italian Meatball recipe ever. My ex-mother-in-law gave me this recipe more than 25 years ago. We use italian style breadcrumbs and much less liquid (about 1/4 cup milk). What makes it so good is the ratio of meats. You can adjust the flavorings to suit your family's taste. Once browned, the meatballs can finish cooking in the frypan or by baking, or even add them to the sauce. I would recommend this basic recipe to anyone. Excellent addition to Allrecipes.com. Read More
(406)
Rating: 5 stars
12/05/2003
Thank you Geanine! My husband told me that these were absolutely the best meatballs he had ever tried! I didn't pan fry them in olive oil - I simply dropped them into a crockpot full of homemade spaghetti sauce and let them cook with the sauce all afternoon. Also, I used italian style bread crumbs instead of making my own - just used a third cup less. My husband absconded with the leftovers to take to work this morning, and three people from his office called me today to get the recipe! Will ALWAYS use this recipe for spaghetti and meatballs! Read More
(277)
Rating: 5 stars
12/05/2003
Wow, This is the way that I make my meatballs (recipe from my Mom, not some cookbook), but instead of using water, we use milk, and soak the bread in it, and also skip the olive oil browning, as the meat produces enough fat for the browning proceedure. Thanks Geanine! Read More
(197)
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2008
Exactly the way I make them, except I don't use quite as much water and I don't fry them. I drop them in the sauce to cook. Makes the sauce taste awesome. Read More
(192)