The BEST Italian Meatballs

These meatballs are tender, juicy, and made with simple ingredients for the best flavor. Serve them over spaghetti, baked in a sub, or with some zoodles for a healthier dinner.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword beef, ground beef, marinara, meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 (Makes about 40 1-inch meatballs)
Calories 295 kcal


  • 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
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil minced
US Customary - Metric


  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. 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.

  3. Preheat a large cooking pan that is also oven-safe over medium heat. Add a little oil for cooking meatballs. 

  4. 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.)

  5. Roll all the meatballs before adding them to the pan. Once all the meatballs are rolled, add them to the hot pan. 

  6. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes, then flip. 

  7. Pour marinara sauce over the meatballs and slowly stir. 

  8. Bake meatballs for about 20 minutes. 

  9. Add a little more minced basil over the top once the meatballs are done.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

**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.

Nutrition Facts
The BEST Italian Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 295 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 459mg20%
Potassium 524mg15%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 430IU9%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.