Italian Meatballs

These homemade Italian meatballs are sure to rival your favorite Italian restaurant. They are juicy, soft, and full of flavor!

Italian meatballs make for a hearty skillet of home-cooked comfort food. These meatballs are the perfect compliment to a pasta dish, poured on top Spaghetti Squash, or served along-side Italian Bread.

Italian meatballs surrounded with marinara in a skillet.

Homemade Italian Meatballs

In Italy, meatballs are actually 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.

These classic Italian style meatballs are flavorful and delicious! The herbs add the perfect amount of flavor to compliment the marinara sauce. And the best part? They’re easy!!

Serving with spaghetti or fettuccine is always a tasty bite-full as well – making for one delicious dinner!

Italian meatball ingredients in a glass bowl

How to Make Italian Meatballs

PREP. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil then lightly spray the foil.

SOAK. Add the bread crumbs and broth to a small bowl and let it soak for 20 minutes.

MIX. 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.

BAKE. Preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven is heating up use a cookie scoop to form meatballs about 1 ½ inches thick. Evenly space them over the baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes until cooked through and browned.

MARINARA. 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.

MEATBALL SHAPE TIP: When forming the meatballs I like to use a cookie or ice cream scoop. This helps ensure that they are all the same size and will cook at the same rate. 

Once I have them scooped I’ll 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.

Italian meatball meat mixture in bowl

MEATBALL Tips

Meatballs that fall apart: Make sure the ratio of the binder (breadcrumb + egg) and the meat is spot on. Too many bread crumbs can make them too loose. Whereas, not enough bread crumbs and they won’t hold together either

Using only ground beef: This recipe can be made using only ground beef. Keep in mind that the more lean, lower in fat, the meat is, the tougher the meatball will turn out.

I recommend using 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef, especially if you are going to be using only ground beef. 

Uncooked Italian meatballs formed into balls and lined up on a sheet pan.

FAQ

Can you cook the meatballs different ways? 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 stove top for 15-20 minutes or in a crockpot on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. 

What to serve Italian Meatballs with? One of the most popular ways to eat Italian meatballs is over spaghetti. Tube pastas also work well since they hold the sauce and makes it easy to get a forkful of noodle with each bite of meatball. 

You can also serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, or zucchini noodles. My brother’s favorite way to eat them is on toasted sub bread for a homemade meatball sub.

How to store? Make the meatballs ahead of time and STORE them either raw or cooked to be used later.

  • Raw: Form the meatballs and STORE them, covered, in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. You can also FREEZE them in a freezer Ziploc for 1-2 months.
  • CookedSTORE cooked meatballs alone or in the sauce for up to 3 days in the fridge or FREEZE for up to 2 months. Thaw before reheating.
Italian meatballs recipe in pan with sauce

For More Italian Dishes, try:

Italian Meatball Recipe

5 from 3 votes
These homemade Italian meatballs are sure to rival your favorite Italian restaurant. They are juicy, soft, and full of flavor!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Chill 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 48 minutes
Servings 7
Calories 458 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tsp minced garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
  • 24 oz 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 1 ½ 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

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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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Comments:

  1. 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!!

  2. 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.