Perfect Italian Meatballs

(Last Updated On: February 7, 2019)

There’s really nothing more delicious and homey than a plate full of spaghetti topped with homemade meatballs and sauce. We’ve been making meatballs this way for years,¬†inspired by the secret recipe of a family of Italian chefs we met in San Diego. Of course, we’ve made our own¬†modifications over time. The real secret for moist, fluffy meatballs is to finish cooking them by poaching them in a good homemade tomato sauce. We will usually make a big batch of meatballs, brown them (but not fully cook them), and freeze them in batches. They can be quickly thawed out and be finished cooking in the sauce in no time.

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This recipe will yield approximately 40 meatballs

Perfect Italian Meatballs

Perfect Italian Meatballs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mince garlic, onions, and parsley. The idea is get the flavor of these ingredients to permeate the meatballs, not to have chunks of onion or garlic in the meatballs.
  2. Mix beef, veal, pork, garlic, onion, eggs, cheese, and parsley in a large bowl, until thoroughly mixed. Don't over-mix the meat as it will change the consistency.
  3. Fold in the breadcrumbs, adding water to keep the consistency very moist, but still able to form balls that will hold their shape.
  4. Form meatballs approximate one and half inches in diameter.
  5. Brown the meatballs either in a frying pan, on a baking sheet in the oven.
  6. Cook the meatballs only until browned, not fully cooked. Remove from pan.
  7. Add meatballs to sauce, and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until fully cooked.

Pint it for later!

Perfect Italian Meatballs


If you love meatballs, try this recipe for Bulgarian Meatball Soup, Supa Topcheta. Simply Delicious!

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