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This homemade Italian meatball recipe is sure to rival your favorite Italian restaurant. They are juicy, soft, and full of flavor!

These meatballs are the perfect compliment to a pasta dish, poured on top of Spaghetti Squash, or served along-side Italian Bread.

Italian meatball recipe surrounded with marinara in a skillet.

Homemade Italian Meatballs

In Italy, meatballs are called Polpette. They are made by combining a mix of beef and pork, spices, and binders such as eggs and breadcrumbs. These binders help the meatballs hold their form and add to their texture.

The herbs add the perfect amount of flavor to complement the Marinara Sauce. And the best part? They’re easy!!

Why we love them:

  • Simple. These meatballs have a quick prep!
  • Tasty. This classic Italian meatball recipe is flavorful and delicious!
  • Perfect pairing. Serve with your favorite pasta for a tasty bite-full for one delicious dinner!
  • For the whole family. Italian meatballs make for a hearty skillet of home-cooked comfort food making it a go-to Family Dinner Idea.
Ground meat and seasonings in a glass bowl.

Meatball Ingredients

  • plain bread crumbs – or use Italian seasoned bread crumbs and omit the added Italian seasoning.
  • beef broth
  • olive oil
  • onion powder
  • ground beef For tender and flavorful meatballs, I recommend using 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef.
  • ground pork – adjust the taste using mild or spicy Italian sausage.
  • large eggs
  • fresh parsley
  • cloves garlic minced and crushed
  • garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • ground black pepper – to taste
  • Italian seasoning
  • parmesan cheese grated
  • Rao’s Marinara Sauce – or your favorite brand. You can also make your own Marinara Sauce.

Meat Tips

My favorite way to make this recipe is to use an equal amount of ground beef and pork sausage, but you can also do the following:

  • All beef: Omit the pork sausage and double the ground beef to make an all-beef meatball.
  • Add veal: Substitute some of the beef with veal.
  • Ground turkey: For a very lean meatball use ground turkey to make Italian flavored Turkey Meatballs.
Homemade marinara sauce in a white ramekin.

How to Make Italian Meatballs

  1. PREP. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil then lightly spray the foil.
  2. SOAK. Add the bread crumbs and broth to a small bowl and let it soak for 20 minutes.
  3. MIX. In a large bowl mix together the beef and pork. Add the soaked bread crumbs along with the eggs, herbs, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until combined, cover, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. BAKE. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Use a cookie scoop to form meatballs about 1½ inches thick. Evenly space them over the baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes until cooked through and browned.
  5. MARINARA. Add marinara sauce to a large pan on LOW-MEDIUM heat. After baking the meatballs, drain the fat off of them and let them sit in the sauce for 15-20 minutes and serve on their own or over pasta.

Shaping Meatballs

I use a cookie or ice cream scoop to form the meatballs to ensure they are all the same size and will cook at the same rate. 

Once scooped, roll them or toss them from hand to hand to smooth out the round shape. Adding a bit of olive oil to your hands will help them not stick so much.

Meatball mixture in a glass bowl.

MEATBALL Tips

  • Meatballs that fall apart. The ratio of the panade (breadcrumbs soaked in milk) and the egg needs to balance with the amount of meat. Too many bread crumbs can make them too loose and crumbly. Not enough breadcrumbs and the mixture won’t hold together.
  • Different cooking methods. Brown the meatballs in a skillet with a bit of olive oil before placing them in a pot of sauce to simmer. The sauce can simmer on the stovetop for 15-20 minutes or in a crockpot on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. 
Uncooked Italian meatballs formed into balls and lined up on a sheet pan.

SERVING + Storing Tips

Serving suggestions. One of the most popular ways to eat homemade Italian meatballs is over spaghetti.

  • Tube pasta works well since they hold the sauce and makes it easy to get a forkful of noodle with each bite of meatball. 
  • Serve it over Mashed Potatoes, Rice, or zucchini noodles.
  • Eat them on a toasted sub roll and covered with mozzarella cheese for a homemade meatball sub sandwich.

Store raw. Form the recipe for Italian meatballs and store them covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in a freezer Ziploc for 1-2 months.

Store cooked. Store cooked meatballs in an airtight container alone or with the sauce for up to 3 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw before reheating.

Italian meatball recipe in pan with sauce.

For More Italian Dishes:

5 from 9 votes

Italian Meatball Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This homemade Italian meatball recipe is sure to rival your favorite Italian restaurant. They are juicy, soft, and full of flavor!
Servings: 7
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Chill: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 48 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼-½ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic crushed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
  • 24 ounces Rao Marinara Sauce

Instructions 

  • Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil then lightly spray the foil.
  • Add the bread crumbs and broth to a small bowl and let it soak for 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl mix together the beef and pork. Add the soaked bread crumbs along with the eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until combined, cover, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven is heating up use a cookie scoop to form meatballs about 1½ inches thick. Evenly space them over the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes until cooked through and browned.
  • Add your Marinara sauce to a large pan on LOW-MEDIUM heat. After baking the meatballs, drain the fat off of them and let them sit in the sauce for 15-20 minutes and serve on their own or over pasta.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 7g, Calories: 458kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 147mg, Sodium: 1418mg, Potassium: 742mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 509IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Haven’t tried them yet — tonight is the night. But I want to know what to do with the 2 tbsp olive oil that is called for in the recipe?

    1. This was my question too—and the onion powder isn’t mentioned either. I’m assuming it just gets mixed in with the other herbs and spices?

  2. How much parsley? It says 1/4 but doesn’t specify cup, tbsp, tsp etc.

    Making this tonight! Excited to see how it turns out

    1. Thanks for catching that! We’ll get it updated. It is 1/4 cup of fresh parsley. Hope you enjoyed the meatballs!!

  3. 5 stars
    I make these all the time. They’re so good my husband and I eat them straight off the pan and only half of them ever make it into the sauce.

  4. 5 stars
    I don’t make meatballs often, but when I do, this recipe is my go-to!! They are so easy to make & super tasty!!