If you’re on the hunt for a trusty, foolproof meatball recipe, look no further — these are classic Italian meatballs at their finest. A blend of beef and pork give them richness, a few aromatics and some cheese make them flavorful, and a splash of milk ensures they’re tender. These are exactly the meatballs you want piled onto spaghetti, tucked into a crusty sub roll, or, as the Italians do, eaten all on their own.

Make a Double Batch for Your Future Self

Meatballs freeze incredibly well, so go ahead and make a double batch of this recipe. Just arrange any you want to freeze in a single layer — either uncooked or cooked — on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Place them in a freezer bag or container and store for up to a month. If frozen uncooked, just thaw them in the fridge overnight before pan-frying. If cooked, they can go straight from the freezer into a pot of simmering sauce to thaw and heat for 15 minutes.

Italian Meatballs


  • 1/4 cup

    finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2

    small yellow onion

  • 2 cloves


  • 1/4 cup

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 8 ounces

    ground beef

  • 8 ounces

    ground pork

  • 1/2 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/3 cup


  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/4 cup


  • 1 (24 to 25-ounce) jar

    marinara sauce, or 3 cups homemade


  1. Finely grate 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and place in a large bowl. Finely chop 1/2 small yellow onion and 2 cloves garlic, then coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves; add everything to the bowl. Add 8 ounces ground beef, 8 ounces ground pork, 1/2 cup panko, 1/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix lightly with a fork until just combined.

  2. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), wetting your hands with water as needed to keep the mixture from sticking, and place on a baking sheet so that they are not touching. You should have 16 to 18 meatballs.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the meatballs and brown the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to large plate (the meatballs will not be fully cooked).

  4. Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 1 jar or 3 cups marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Gently add the meatballs into the sauce, and reduce the heat to simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The meatballs can be shaped and refrigerated for up to 1 day before cooking. The meatballs can also be frozen uncooked or cooked. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the meatballs to a freezer container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. If uncooked, thaw in a single layer in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. If cooked, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight or thaw directly in simmering sauce for 15 minutes.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored on their own or in sauce an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

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