Best Meatball Recipe for an Italian Dinner | Step-by-Step Guide

Best meatball recipe for an Italian dinner

/ 10:28 AM November 08, 2021

The best meatball recipes are not always complicated. If you have been searching for the best meatball recipes, you are in the right place.

If you have tried to perfect your meatball recipe and failed, do not worry, we have the best meatball recipe for you. Your family and friends will praise how delicious your meatballs are.


There are a few secrets to making good meatballs, and we will share those with you today.

What is the secret to good meatballs?

What is the secret to good meatballs?

To cook the best meatballs, you may want to know a little secret to perfecting them. Mario Batali has a few tips to help you cook the best meatballs.

Some home cooks make meatballs by frying them, and others will put them in the oven to bake them. Batali cooks them in the sauce for about an hour and a half, and they should be soft when they are finished.

A meatball should consist of 50 % meat, and the other half should be breadcrumbs. There is one big secret to great meatballs.

If you want great meatballs, try using day-old bread and soak it in either milk or water, making the meatballs a lot lighter.


Another tip to making great meatballs is to never cook them for too long. If you overcook meatballs, they will be really tough. Also, if you use breadcrumbs in your meatballs, they will never get tough.

This is one of our favorite meatball recipes. You are sure to be a hit at any shindig or family gathering if you make these delicious meatballs.

Tastiest Italian Meatball Recipe

Tastiest Italian Meatball Recipe


  • Servings: 12-15 meatballs
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 3 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 cups basic tomato sauce (or Marinara sauce)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ lb. 85% lean ground beef (You can use ground turkey, beef and pork, any ground meats)
  • One lb. ground pork
  • Three large eggs
  • ½ cup finely minced yellow onion
  • Three garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped oregano
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup olive oil (if you are frying the meatballs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large, heavy skillet, bring the tomato sauce to a quick simmer. Put the bread in a medium-sized bowl and add milk. Leave this bowl to the side for now.
  2. In a bowl of a mixer, add beef and eggs. Next, grate the garlic in the bowl. Add cheese, parsley, and salt. Mix these for a short time.
  3. Next, add the milk-soaked bread crumbs to the meat mixture. Mix these until you see some texture and moisture. It usually takes about one minute.
  4. The next step is to take the meat mix and form them into 12-15 meatballs. Make sure that they are smaller than a tennis ball. You want them larger than a golf ball, however.
  5. Next, add meatballs softly to the sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cook the meatballs for 15 minutes- 30 minutes. You want to make sure the meat is cooked through.
  6. You want to add parsley leaves and some olive oil for a nice presentation.

Baked Meatball Recipe

Baked Meatball Recipe

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • Half pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground round
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • One whole egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • One teaspoon garlic powder
  • One teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the meats, cheese, egg, and basil in a large bowl. Parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and bread crumbs.
  2. Use your hands, mixing all of these ingredients well. Place in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Use directly after mixing, or place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  3. Put the leftover ¼ cup of bread crumbs in a small bowl. Weigh meatballs in 1.5 oz portions. You can place it on a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Use your hands to shape the meatballs and make them round.
  4. Roll in the breadcrumbs and put meatballs in muffin cups—Bake for 20 minutes or when they are golden brown.
  5. In this recipe, the meatballs were baked in the oven. However, there are many ways to cook meatballs, and now the debate about which way is the best to cook meatballs.

What is the best way to cook meatballs?

What is the best way to cook meatballs?

There are mixed answers for what the best way to cook meatballs truly is. Some people love to bake them, while others fry them.

It is a personal preference. However, if you want to have juicy meatballs, this is the answer for you.

For juicy meatballs, many chefs advise pan-fried meatballs are best to keep them juicy. If you are watching your calories and want meatballs, it is advised to bake the meatballs instead of frying them.

Frying is the faster way to cook meatballs, so frying would save you time if you are in a hurry.

If you want tender meatballs on the inside, pan-frying is the best way to get those results.

If you plan to add meatballs to a sauce, you can brown the meatballs over medium heat and add them to your sauce to finish cooking from there.

A tip on pan-frying meatballs is to make sure the pan is oil located and on medium heat. The meatballs should cook 3-5 minutes per side. Always make sure you are frequently turning them.

Baking meatballs helps to reduce the fat. Baking them helps you avoid the extra oil that you get with frying. When you bake meatballs, you do not have to turn them constantly.

To bake meatballs, heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Put meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and oil.

Baked meatballs generally take 15-25 minutes to cook.

The best way to cook the most tender meatballs is to put them in the simmering sauce simply. The sauce and your meatballs will taste so much better if they are prepared this way.

Many people also like to cook their meatballs in a slow cooker. Place the meatballs and tomato sauce in the slow cooker, and make sure the meatballs are covered with sauce.

If you cook the meatballs on high, they are cooked in 3-4 hours, and cooking them on low will take about 6-7 hours. If you happen to notice the tomato sauce is bubbling, you should reduce the heat to warm.

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

As we discussed in the previous paragraph, it is honestly a personal choice that you like better for how they are cooked. Some people who are on a diet have to bake their meatballs.

If you want to stay away from extra fat and calories, baking meatballs will help you do that. Otherwise, frying is the preferred way to cook meatballs.

However, you cook your meatballs is okay. If you happen to make too many, there is good news. You can also freeze meatballs.

Meatballs freeze well, and you can freeze them before or after you cook them with sauce.

When freezing meatballs before they are cooked in sauce, you should follow these steps.

  1. Put the uncooked meatballs on a plate and flash freeze them. This prevents them from sticking together and takes about 30 minutes.
  2. Store them in a freezer bag or an airtight container inside the freezer. Meatballs will be fresh until about three months in the freezer.
  3. If you are ready to cook the meatballs, remove the frozen meatballs from the freezer.
  4. Add them to tomato or marinara sauce.
  5. Let the meatballs simmer until they are fully cooked. It usually takes about 80 minutes.

Freezing meatballs after they have been cooked in the sauce is easy as well.

Here are the steps.

  1. Put the cooked meatballs in an airtight container with some sauce. Make sure this has cooled completely.
  2. Freeze for 3-4 months.
  3. Take the meatballs out of the freezer, place them in the microwave on defrost, and you can reheat them on the stove. Make sure that they are cooked thoroughly.
  4. Meatballs can also be in the refrigerator. Place them in an airtight container. Meatballs will remain good in the fridge for 3-4 days.

A Recap

Meatballs are a good side dish to any Italian meal. Preparing meatballs is quite easy and only takes about one hour.

Baking meatballs take a little longer than frying them; however, many dieters prefer to bake them to avoid oils.

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