Meatball Recipe

A meatball recipe that rivals that of your favorite Italian restaurant! These meatballs always come out amazingly tender, deliciously flavorful, never dry and they’re always sure to impress! Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to make them perfect every time.

Bowl full of spaghetti and meatballs.

Tastiest Homemade Meatball Recipe

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a pasta bowl cradling perfectly cooked, twirled and tangled, steaming spaghetti coated in a vibrant, garlicky, San Marzano marinara sauce, all piled high and layered with homemade meatballs throughout! Talk about comfort food at its proudest!

This easy recipe gives you a few different options (homemade sauce or store-bought, fried or baked) and it’s my idea of the best meatballs.

So what makes the best meatballs? Here are my thoughts and tips:

Using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Fresh meats (not previously frozen), fresh herbs, fresh bread crumbs, fresh aromatics. Everything is fresh here except the aged parmesan but of course that’s that’s for good reason.

Use a blend of meats for best flavor. I use beef and pork because that’s what accessible to me and at a reasonable price. But if you can get veal use 2/3 lb beef 2/3 lb pork and 2/3 lb veal.

Don’t use low fat percentages of meats. The fat makes the meatballs tender. Stick with 80 or 85% lean.

Properly flavoring and seasoning the mixture. We aren’t making hamburger balls to serve with ketchup. Adding herbs, garlic, and onions gives them that delicious Italian flavor we crave. And of course don’t skip the salt and pepper meat needs it!

Use liquid to moisten, and I recommend milk not water. Whole milk adds more flavor and richness than water will.

Use enough eggs to bind. Without the eggs the meatballs will fall to pieces especially when tossed into the sauce. I like to use 1 egg per pound of meat so here we go with 2.

Bowl full of plain meatballs.

More Tips:

Add cheese! It adds so much flavor. Use freshly shredded parmesan cheese here, don’t use the grated shelf stable stuff. It has a lower quality taste and doesn’t melt the same.

Don’t overwork the meatball mixture. Mixing by hand (and your fingertips) to incorporate ingredients rather than using a spoon or spatula makes it easier to mix with ut turning it into an overworked meat paste.

Brown the meatballs. Browning adds so much flavor and here I’ll show you two methods to achieve this through cooking in the oven or frying in olive oil. If going the oven route use a dark baking sheet as it promotes browning.

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

Shape with greased hands. This way the meatballs don’t stick. Sometimes I brush the baking sheets with olive oil using my hands then tadah, hands are already oiled and ready to shape meatballs.

These meatballs are one of my all time favorite Italian foods and this is my idea of the perfect dinner! Now who’s ready to make some??

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