Italian Meatball Recipe

Italian Meatballs
If you’ve been searching the net for the perfect recipe for Italian meatballs, your search has officially come to an end. Look no further because today I have for you the best Italian meatball recipe on the face of this earth. Now before I continue I already know what your thinking, “but Bobby everyone claims to have the best meatball recipe,” and as true as that may be, these meatballs really are the best! With their amazing flavor they are sure to impress anyone, and they are great for eating for a casual dinner or to make on any special occasion. If you’re feeding a large crowd, make sure to make a lot because these are going to disappear. I usually bake these in the oven, but you can also simmer them in pasta sauce for about 40 minutes and you will be amazed with the perfect texture it gives them. These meatballs can also be pre-made and then frozen, so you can just pull them out of the freezer and cook them whenever you like. They go great with noodles and pasta sauce topped with mozzarella or parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

 Italian MeatballsItalian Meatballs

PrintPrint Recipe

Italian Meatball Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 ½ pounds of lean beef or pork (or use a mixture of both)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 large slightly beaten egg
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (can use less)
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of dried parsley


  1. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. Shape the mixture into small-medium sized meatballs. At this point if you don’t want to cook these right now you could put them in the freezer for later.
  3.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and place the meatballs on a baking sheet. As you can see, I had to use pizza pans.
  4. Put your meatballs in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.Another cooking method is to simmer the meatballs in pasta sauce for about 40 minutes. This will give them great flavor and texture. 

Italian MeatballsItalian Meatballs

Italian MeatballsItalian Meatballs


279 Responses to “Italian Meatball Recipe”

  1. Max — June 18, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    Just wanted to comment on your photography! It’s great – I have tried to take decent food shots but never get anything i like (though I don’t have a macro lens) – but even still, most of the time the images just look washed out. The first and third shots on this post are great.

  2. Bobby — June 19, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

    Max – thanks for the compliments on my photos!

  3. Geoffrey — August 5, 2008 @ 8:11 am

    What will doubling the recipe require for adjusted oven time/temperature? Thanks.

  4. Bobby — August 5, 2008 @ 8:52 am

    Geoffrey – Shouldn’t require any additional oventime or a higher temp. 25-40 minutes should easily fully cook them. To check if they are done just cut one in half, if it’s brown all the way through they are done. I hope you enjoy the recipe. Thanks.

  5. Caroline — August 19, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

    I have tried your recipe, and it was awesome!! I actually baked the meat balls and froze them for a later date, (kind of like those kind you get from the grocery store!!) so I was just wondering how you mixed your meat and ingreatens up, like I used a spoon, but I think I will be using my hands next time!! I have pictures of my process if you’d like to see it, web site is…

    and yes you can see your recipe in the back ground and I put it in my notebook!! I feel like a dork now haha
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  6. Kelly — October 3, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

    This was the first time I ever made meatballs. They tasted amazing. My dinner guests loved them. This is a keeper.

  7. j dog — October 5, 2008 @ 10:28 am

    I just tried your recipe and it was great. Great flavor and consistency. Thanks for the recipe! 😉

  8. Ethiks — October 15, 2008 @ 8:18 am

    Im at work right now preparing ideas for our presidential debate party tonight. Looks like im gonna go with your Italian meatball’s here. Simplistic, attractive recepie. Thanks, i’ll let you know how it went.

  9. HEATHER — October 15, 2008 @ 10:18 am

    I too am preparing your meatball recipe for my debate party. The kids will be fed early so I’ll have a verdict before the adult passion and spirits.
    I’ll email a review.

  10. celia — October 25, 2008 @ 10:25 am

    Hi, going to try this tonight. I have a 6 yr-old who is complaining that I always cook the same thing- but he hates trying ‘new’ food. Will try your meatballs and see what he thinks.

  11. Kathleen — October 29, 2008 @ 11:01 am

    I have the first batch in the oven– smells delicious! the baby in my tummy can’t wait for some yummy protein.

  12. Tammy — November 2, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

    We just tried these meatballs and even though we had to substitute wheat hamburger buns instead of Italian breadcrumbs, the meatballs turned out fabulous! Great recipe!

  13. Lorraine — November 16, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

    I am not much of a cook, but have been trying to make good n’ hearty meals to freeze. That way, I can have a great home cooked meal at any time. I found your meatball recipe and IT WAS AMAZING! I am passing this recipe on to a friend of mine after telling her how awesome they were. Now I feel like I can whip these up for company and everyone will leave with their taste buds satisfied! Thanks!
    : )

  14. Melissa — November 19, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

    I’m in the process of making these meatballs right now… I have to say they look (and smell) delicious! I opted for the baking method because I’m making dinner in a couple of hours and just wanted to have them ready ahead of time so it wouldn’t be a bum rush to get everything done all at once. I mixed them with a fork and because I have fairly long fingernails, I put ziploc baggies over my hands to roll them up and it worked out just fine. I got 25 meatballs out of this recipe and I actually only had 1 lb. of ground beef. Hopefully they will taste as good as they smell!

  15. miguel — November 20, 2008 @ 9:06 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. I tried it last night and loved it!

  16. brian — December 1, 2008 @ 9:15 pm

    Quick, simple, straightforward and delicious result. Made about 10 meatballs for tonight and froze the rest for another random monday night when I crave a little Italian dinner with a bottle of red wine. I think these also would be great on a sandwich. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Jenny Carter — December 2, 2008 @ 10:01 am

    I am going to try and make these, and I am wondering what kind of sauce I would put them in to cook them in the crock-pot, any Ideas? Thanks!

  18. Bobby — December 2, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

    Jenny – spaghetti sauce or marinara would be great. I hope you enjoy the meatballs!

  19. Melinda — December 7, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

    These are the best meatballs I’ve ever had. I used them for meatball subs. They are simple but have a great flavor! Thanks!

  20. Dawn — December 14, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

    I’ve used this recipe twice. Everyone loves them. It’s simple. Most ingredients already in the cupboard.

  21. Lynn — December 14, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

    Just a quick tip; I place my meatballs in the microwave for a few minutes. They brown nicely. Then I drain off all the fat and place them in the sauce or freeze. Saves me time.

  22. Mike Zaleski — December 17, 2008 @ 9:46 am

    I never made meatballs before either, but I’m going to try this recipe. Should I do a combination of baking and simmering in the sauce? Can you just put the raw meatballs ni the sauce for 40 mins or should I bake them for a while (or 20 mins) first? Im’ 26, but I’m pretty much just starting out cooking with meat. Any comments/help would be appreciated.

  23. Bobby — December 17, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

    Mike – You can simmer them from the raw state for 40 minutes. I would recommend browning the meatballs in the oven as you stated and then simmering. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  24. janice — December 19, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

    Can i just bake them right into the oven and not simmer it? This really smells good..Im actually preparing it right now for dinner.

  25. Bobby — December 19, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    janice – yes you can. Enjoy the recipe.

  26. jamie — December 22, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

    Well I have a very picky husband and my food is never as good as his mothers. However, I can now say I make something better than her! He loved your meatball recipe! Thanks for giving one up on my mother in law!

  27. Maureen — December 28, 2008 @ 10:55 am

    I am making these today. Would you know how many garlic cloves make 2 tablespoons? Thank you.

  28. Bobby — December 28, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

    Maureen – It all depends on the size of the cloves. If they are decent sized I would say about 5.

  29. Jenny — December 30, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

    Great recipe – my family loved the meatballs! I used them in a traditional spaghetti and meatballs dinner. I baked the meatballs as suggested, then added them to the sauce to simmer a little while. The only thing I changed was using garlic powder instead of the cloves since that’s what I had on hand.
    Yummy recipe – definitely one that goes in the rotation!

  30. upstate Mom — December 31, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

    Everyone in my family LOVES these!

  31. Jeffro — January 10, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

    This was a simple recipe, thanks for sharing. Made spaghetti and “Your” meatballs. Everyone asked for more meatballs. I cant wait for a Meatball sandwich.

  32. Christy — January 11, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. It was a hit! This was my first time making meatballs. I think I added a little too much salt, but no one said anything other than it was good.

  33. Joan — January 14, 2009 @ 3:52 am

    I usually brown my meatballs in a pan with olive oil. Drain. And then add to sauce. Do you think this is an unnecessary step? If I choose to bake them, could I coat them with olive oil for a little more flavor or should I just leave them alone. I think that the oil also adds to the sauce that I make and add the meatballs to. Your suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks.

  34. Bobby — January 14, 2009 @ 7:39 am

    Joan – I think baking them in the oven is the best way. If you want to coat them in olive oil, I don’t think it could hurt. What I usually do its brown them in the oven and then finish by simmering in the sauce. The combination is great.

  35. amy — January 14, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    just had to say- excellent meatball recipe! they were delicious & very easy to make! i baked them for about 22 minutes, then added them to the sauce for another 20 minutes or so. they added great flavor to any otherwise dull jar sauce. i froze half & can’t wait to dig into those.
    thanks for a recipe that is now one of my favorites!

  36. Lisa — January 15, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    I’m making these right now w/ some modifications cause I always go overboard 😉

    I did not read the reviews first and put the raw meatballs right into the sauce. I hope they turn out okay still. I’ll post back after I eat them and if they are good, I’ll state my added ingredients.

    Can’t wait to try them!

  37. Cathy — January 19, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    Wow, I made a triple batch and they are wonderful. I used half ground turkey instead of beef (can’t eat beef). My husband was very happy, and now I have bags frozen for several meals. One hint: to make the balls quickly, I used a small Ice cream scoop that has a lever to pop out the balls. They needed only a tiny bit of rolling to finish shaping, and they are all the same size (I have problems getting them even in size by hand.) YUM!

  38. Anita — January 20, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

    Made these tonight and they are delicious!! Thanks for a simple and tasty recipe that will become a house favorite!!

  39. Fran — January 29, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    I’m curious to know, I am going to be making these meatballs today for the first time, but what do you think about putting a sauce on them before freezing? I always put a sauce I make (brown sugar, mustard, garlic and onion spagetti sauce… and just this and that for seasonings) on my meatloaf every 30 minutes or so while I bake it… just enough to lightly cover the top each time – so that it doesn’t spill over and burn in the pan – hate when that happens.
    So would you put the sauce on it – then freeze it, or would you wait? I guess I’m asking if it would hurt to do this? If it would taste okay when thawed and reheated then.

  40. Bobby — January 29, 2009 @ 11:35 am

    Fran – Yes, you can freeze the meatballs with the sauce.

  41. Mike — January 30, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

    What about when cooking in a crockpot?

    I baked for 15 minutes in the oven and plan on cooking in a crockpot at the lowest setting for about 8 hours tomorrow.

    I wonder if I should have baked for more time? Less time?


  42. Bobby — January 30, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

    Mike – I would check them after about 4-5 hours on low if you already baked them for 15 minutes. Let me know how they turn out.

  43. Amy — February 1, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    This is similar to what I usually “piece” together from around the kitchen – it’s nice to have it in print! Here’s a tip to help on time and mess: I used my KitchenAid with the dough hook to mix. No more messy, frozen fingers! Combine with the mini ice cream scoop for forming the meatballs and production is a breeze.

  44. Laura on Feb 2-09 — February 2, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

    I have made these once and they are so good. My husband and kids loved them. I like that you have pictures as well. Thank you.

  45. Carrie Osorio — February 6, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    I am not even a very good cook at all, and these were so tasty! I used them to make meatball subs. Yum!

  46. paula — February 10, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

    These are easy to make and the best meatballs I’ve ever had

  47. Lisa — February 15, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

    Awesome meatballs! My first time from scratch and I’ll be hanging on to this recipe. In fact, I’m still taste testing as I sit at my computer… hope there is enough for dinner!!

  48. Joe P — February 21, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

    Thanks for your wonderful recipe. It helped me to remember how my mother made them. It has that same wonderful taste. (though she browned them in a pan) The only thing I added to the recipe was an equal amount of ground veal to the beef and pork per her recipe. She would wake me up on Sunday mornings with one of these delicacies under my nose and say “time to get up for church. What a reward.

  49. Tara M — February 22, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

    Thanks so much for the great recipe, I’m going to give it a shot for the first time ever.

    I’m Italian and I’ve never made a meatball, for being alive for 33 years, that’s a sin!

    I am glad everyone left helpful tips too!

1 2 3 6


  1. Pingback: » Italian Cooking - March 17, 2008

Leave a Comment