No matter what new recipe I create, these classic Italian Meatballs will always remain my family’s absolute favorite. Going by the word from all my family and friends, these are the best meatballs and I invite you to try them and let me know. These meatballs are tender, juicy, and made with simple ingredients for the best flavor.
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When I say that this is my most famous (and the most asked) recipe, I’m not exaggerating. Just about every one of my co-workers and family member have tried these meatballs and immediately asked how I make them.
Every party that we host, I have to make the meatballs. If I took some meatballs to work for lunch, I had to share with my friends so I made sure to pack extra. Every one of my close friends fell in love with these meatballs and it’s the only recipe they now use.
As a matter of fact, this was one of the first recipes that I posted on this site 7 years ago, when I first started my blog. Through the years, I’ve posted hundreds of recipes and this is still the first one my husband asks for.
I wanted to resurrect this classic dish from the years of newer recipes and share it with all my readers. It’s a dish worth re-sharing over and over again.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST ITALIAN MEATBALLS:
- For juicy, tender meatballs it’s best to combine ground beef and ground pork together. Ground beef on it’s own can be tough and dry, adding pork will give you juicier meatballs with a softer texture.
- When choosing ground beef, don’t get lean ground beef but get about 85% lean to 15% fat ratio. (It will say the lean to fat ratio right on the package label.)
- Either bread crumbs or milk soaked bread can be used. I prefer to use milk soaked bread because there is something about this old traditional way of making meatballs that created a tastier, more tender meatball.
- Finely dice yellow onion and press fresh garlic for the meat mixture to infuse more flavor and again, it will create the best texture over using powder onion and garlic.
- Adding fresh herbs will give you more flavor in the meatball as well rather than dried herbs. Fresh ones are more potent than dried.
- When choosing marinara sauce, use your favorite one. Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, your favorite sauce will always taste the best to you.
- For the last flavor enhancing step, add sauce when the meatballs are only about half way cooked and then finish cooking them in sauce.
BEST WAYS TO SERVE ITALIAN MEATBALLS:
- The most classic way to serve Italian meatballs is of course, over spaghetti. You can’t get more traditional or comforting than Spaghetti and Meatballs.
- Second place goes to the Meatball Sub. Grab a few fresh subs from the bakery, slice them in the middle and add a few meatballs in the center. Add a little more sauce over the meatballs, top it off with a couple of slices of mozzarella cheese, and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted. Enjoy fresh from the oven!
- You can always cut the leftover meatball and make a Cheesy Meatball Dip with them.
- If pasta is not your friend, you can serve meatballs with a side of mashed potatoes or rice.
- For a healthier option, serve these meatballs over zoodles or quinoa.
HERE ARE SOME MORE EASY RECIPE YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
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The BEST Italian Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 thick slice of whole wheat bread soaked in a little milk (milk squeezed out)
- 1 eggs
- 1/2 cup yellow onion minced
- 3 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tbsp fresh basil minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley minced
- 3 cups Marinara sauce (24 oz jar)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil for cooking
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh basil minced
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the ground beef, ground pork, egg, minced onion, pressed garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper in large mixing bowl. Squeeze out the slice of bread, break it up, and add it to the bowl. Mix everything very well.
Preheat a large cooking pan that is also oven-safe over medium heat. Add a little oil for cooking meatballs.
Grease your hands with some cooking spray. Scoop out some meat using a cookie scoop and roll meatballs. (You can make meatballs bigger or smaller according to your own preference. Just remember to adjust cooking time if making bigger or smaller meatballs.)
Roll all the meatballs before adding them to the pan. Once all the meatballs are rolled, add them to the hot pan.
Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes, then flip.
Pour marinara sauce over the meatballs and slowly stir.
Bake meatballs for about 20 minutes.
Add a little more minced basil over the top once the meatballs are done.
**Milk-soaked bread can be substituted with 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs if needed.***
All images and text ©Lyubov Brooke for ©Will Cook For Smiles. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If using my posts in collections and features, please link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as most ingredients and brands have a slight variation.
**This recipe was originally posted on Will Cook For Smiles on March 4, 2011.**