A meatball dish that is comparable to that of your preferred Italian eatery! This meatball consistently turns out to be unbelievably soft, delectably tasty, never dry, and they never fail to impress! Everything you need to know to consistently make them excellent is provided here.

The Best Recipe For Homemade Meatball


Nothing is more gratifying than a pasta bowl filled with properly cooked, swirled, and tangled spaghetti smothered in a vivid, garlicky San Marzano marinara sauce and topped with layers of handmade meatball.

Speaking of comfort food at its best!

It’s my opinion that these simple meatballs, which can be served with homemade or store-bought sauce and either fried or baked, are the greatest.

What therefore creates the best meatball? Here are my opinions and some advice:

use the majority of fresh ingredients. Fresh bread crumbs, fresh herbs, fresh meats (not previously frozen), and fresh aromatics.

Everything in this place is new, except the aged parmesan, but that is obviously for good reason.

For the finest flavor, combine different meats. I use beef and pork since they are readily available and affordable to me. But if you can find veal, use 1/3 lb each of beef, pig, and veal.

Don’t use meats with low-fat content. The meatball is made soft by the fat. Keep it at 80% to 85% lean.

seasoning and flavoring the mixture appropriately. We aren’t preparing hamburger balls to serve with ketchup.

They acquire the mouthwateringly wonderful Italian flavor we crave by adding herbs, garlic, and onions. Don’t forget to season the meat with salt and pepper, of course!

Use a liquid to moisten, and milk is preferred over water. Water lacks the flavor and richness that whole milk does.

To bond, use enough eggs. The absence of the eggs will cause the meatballs to crumble, especially when added to the sauce. I usually use one egg per pound of beef, so we’ll use two here.

More advice:

the cheese! It adds so much flavor. Use freshly grated parmesan cheese in this recipe rather than the grated, shelf-stable variety. It doesn’t melt as well and has a lesser-grade taste.

The meatball mixture shouldn’t be overworked. It is simpler to combine without producing an overdone beef paste when you use your hands (and your fingertips) as opposed to a spoon or spatula.

The meatballs are browned. Here, I’ll demonstrate two ways to brown food, either by baking it in the oven or frying it in olive oil. Browning adds a ton of flavor. Use a dark baking sheet if using an oven because it encourages browning.

Form into evenly sized balls so they cook evenly. A greased cookie scoop or a kitchen scale is useful (cover them with plastic wrap or wax paper to keep them clean).

With lubricated hands, form. The meatballs won’t stick this way. Sometimes I use my hands to lightly coat the baking pans with olive oil, making them ready to shape meatballs right away.

This is my vision of the ideal dinner, and these meatballs are one of my all-time favorite Italian dishes! Who’s ready to start making some now?

What Components Makeup Meatballs?

  • Ground beef (80 – 85% lean) and ground pork – don’t use previously frozen or the meat won’t hold together as well and they won’t taste as fresh.
  • Fresh bread crumbs – made from hearty, dense bread such as a la bread loaf (not a fluffy loaf of french bread or sandwich bread). The hearty stuff is more absorbent. Preferably use 2 or 3-day-old stale bread.
  • Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, and oregano) – I highly recommend sticking with the fresh herbs but if you don’t have them on hand dried will work in a pinch (use 2 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp dried parsley and 1 tsp dried oregano). But the next time does try them fresh it does make a difference in flavor.
  • Fresh onion and garlic – normally I’m all about sautéing these aromatics first, but to save time we finely mince the onion to the size of minced garlic so it isn’t crunchy by the time the meatballs are done.
  • Eggs – these will hold the meatballs together. Don’t skip them.
  • Whole milk – this keeps the meatballs moist. No one wants to eat dry meatballs.
  • Parmesan cheese – use real Parmigiano-Reggiano such as Murray’s for the best authentic flavor.

For Spaghetti And Sauce:

  • Spaghetti pasta – to make spaghetti and meatballs you’ll want about 16 – 20 oz dry spaghetti, cooked according to package directions (I go easy on the salt if using store-bought sauce). Fresh spaghetti would be even better if you have access to it.
  • Marinara sauce – for a shortcut I use 2 (24 oz) jars of best quality tomato basil sauce (if going this route I always use Rao’s) or if you have more time make 1 batch of Homemade Marinara Sauce.

Make Fresh Bread Crumbs At Home:

  • Tear up slices of hearty bread (2 or 3 days old) into pieces.
  • Place in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs.
  • Some recipes call for toasted fresh breadcrumbs but here we use fresh. If you need to toast them for a different recipe spread on a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet and bake in a 300-degree oven until dried, tossing occasionally for about 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool.
  • Store leftover, fresh or toasted crumbs, in an airtight container in the freezer for longer shelf life (up to 3 months).

Creating Meatball:


  • Soak bread crumbs: In a large mixing bowl stir together bread crumbs and milk, then if needed add more milk 1 Tbsp at a time to moisten the bread fully. Let rest while you chop ingredients (or at least 5 minutes).
  • Add ground meats and other meatball ingredients to the mixing bowl: Add in beef, pork, eggs, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, and parmesan, and season over top of ingredients evenly with salt and pepper (I use 3/4 tsp salt if using jar sauce because it can be salty, and 1/2 tsp pepper).
  • Toss mixture by hand: Gently toss mixture and break meat up with fingertips until ingredients are evenly mixed.
  • Form into balls: Shape mixture with greased hands into evenly sides meatballs, about 1 1/4 inches each (or about (38g).

Meatball Baked In An Easy Way:

I typically choose this method because it is simpler than frying, requires less hands-on time, and doesn’t produce excess fat from the oil.

But since they are both mouthwateringly good, choose your preferred method.

  • Preheat oven and prepare baking sheets: preheat the oven to 400 degrees before you begin preparing meatballs. Spray two dark-coated non-stick 18 by 13-inch baking sheets well with non-stick cooking spray, or brush with olive oil.
  • Align meatballs on baking sheets: Place formed meatballs on baking sheets, fitting about 20 per each and spacing evenly apart.
  • Bake until cooked through Bake in the upper and lower third of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and turn meatballs if browned already on the bottom (use a thin metal spatula to scrape from the baking sheet if needed). Transfer pans to opposite racks and bake until cooked through, about 8 – 12 minutes longer (should register 165 degrees in the center of meatballs, test meatballs in the center of the pan too as those cook a little slower than meatballs on edges).
  • Toss with warmed marinara sauce and serve. If desired you can simmer with sauce for 10 – 20 minutes over low heat for even more tender meatballs.

Cooking Meatball:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet: Pour 3/4 cup olive oil into a 12-inch non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat.
  • Cook in batches, turning halfway: Cook meatballs in 3 batches (so they aren’t overcrowded and won’t brown) until golden brown on the bottom, about 4 – 6 minutes. Then rotate to the opposite side and cook the opposite side until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain (continued…).
  • Simmer in marinara sauce on the stovetop to cook through: Transfer meatballs to warmed marinara sauce in a large pot, cover, and simmer over low heat until meatballs are 165 degrees in center, gently tossing meatballs occasionally, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Can I Use Turkey Ground?

It is not suggested for this particular recipe. The ratios and cook times might differ slightly. It may be more difficult to work with.

Can I Prepare Them Ahead Of Time?

Yes. Reheated, these are wonderful. Reheat sauce and cooked meatballs in a covered pot over low heat with periodic gentle stirring until thoroughly heated in the refrigerator for up to three days.

The microwave can be used to reheat a little piece. On 50% power, rewarm. Lower wattages are best for reheating most meats (and don’t forget to cover, we all detest spatter).

Can Meatball Be Freeze?

Yes. If you decide to do this, cook everything through and then freeze it for up to two months in an airtight container (ideally with the marinara sauce). After freezing, reheat as described above.

How should spaghetti and meatballs be accompanied?

  • Grilled Broccoli
  • Italian Bread
  • Salad Caesar
  • Breadsticks
  • Roasted tomatoes, squash, and zucchini

Recipe For meatball

A meatball dish that is comparable to that of your preferred Italian eatery! These meatballs consistently turn out to be unbelievably soft, beautifully moistened, and incredibly aromatic, and they never fail to impress! makes for such a traditional, hearty dinner.

10 servings


350 seconds


two hours

In about 55 minutes!


  • Fresh bread crumbs, 2 cups (5.2 oz)*
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, plus more as necessary
  • 85% lean ground beef, 1 lb.
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • two huge eggs
  • Finely minced half a cup of yellow onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves (2 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh basil, chopped coarsely.
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped finely.
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly minced oregano
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • only if you’re utilizing the fried approach, 3/4 cup olive oil


  • In a large mixing bowl stir together bread crumbs and milk while adding more milk 1 Tbsp at a time to moisten the bread fully. Let rest while you prep ingredients (or at least 5 minutes).
  • To the breadcrumb mixture add beef, pork, eggs, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, and parmesan, and season over top ingredients evenly with salt and pepper (I only use 3/4 tsp salt if I plan on using jar sauce to coat since it can be salty).
  • Gently toss mixture and break meat up with fingertips until ingredients are evenly mixed.
  • Shape mixture with greased hands into even-sized meatballs, about 1 1/4 inches each (or about 38g).

Oven-Baked Technique

  • You should preheat the oven to 400 degrees before making the meatballs.
  • Two nonstick pans with dark coatings should be well sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (see note 4) or brushed with olive oil.
  • Place the formed meatballs on the baking pans, about 20 per sheet, evenly spaced apart. 10 minutes of baking in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  • If meatballs have already been browned on the bottom, remove and turn them (use a thin metal spatula to scrape from the baking sheet). Move pans to oppose racks and continue baking for a further 8 to 12 minutes, or until well done (should register 165 degrees in the center of meatballs).
  • Add to the warm marinara sauce. If you would like even more soft meatballs, simmer on low heat (about 10 – 20 minutes, toss occasionally gently).

Stovetop Pan-Fried Method

  • Pour 3/4 cup olive oil into a 12-inch nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat to pan-fry the meatballs.
  • To prevent crowding, cook the meatballs in three batches for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. When the other side is ready, flip it over and cook it until golden brown. To drain, transfer to paper towels.
  • Place meatballs in a large pot of warmed marinara sauce (see note 5) and cover with sauce. Meatballs should be covered and simmered on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, gently tossing the meatballs halfway through.


  1. *To make fresh bread crumbs tear slices of stale hearty bread into pieces and place them in a food processor, pulse mixture to fine crumbs.
  2. **You can also use 2/3 lb ground veal, 2/3 lb ground beef, and 2/3 lb ground pork. In a pinch, I have even used just all beef – 2 lbs (which probably isn’t authentic but it’s still delicious).
  3. ***Be sure to chop yellow onion to a fine mince, about the size of the minced garlic otherwise it won’t be tender by the time meatballs are done cooking.
  4. ****Standard light aluminum baking sheets will work too meatballs just won’t brown as much.
  5. *****For this amount of meatballs you’ll need 2 (24 oz) jars of tomato basil sauce (such as Rao’s) or 1 recipe marinara sauce. Then you’ll also need about 16 – 20 oz. spaghetti, cooked to al dente according to package instructions.
  6. Nutrition estimate based on using the baked method. The fried method will absorb some of the oil so calories and the fat count will increase. Also, nutrition does not include pasta or sauce as that will vary based on what is used and how much is used.