Meatballs on top of spaghetti paired with a great marinara sauce is a staple recipe in Italian restaurants that can’t be beat. Luckily, this is also a simple recipe that can be recreated at home. The ideal Italian meatball is juicy, hearty, and tender all the way through with just the right texture to absorb the marinara sauce.
Best Meatball Recipe
This recipe is a classic, using nothing fancy or out of the ordinary. To create a more unique meatball, try substituting the Italian herb blend with either our Argyle Street Blend to take on a more south eastern Asia feel, or our Shawarma Seasoning to incorporate Arabic flavors. Pair this meatball recipe with garlic bread using our Taylor Street Garlic & Herb Seasoning and you’ll have a gourmet meal in no time.
Tools you’ll need:
- Small bowl
- Cutting board
- Lightly greased, rimmed baking sheet
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
- 2 teaspoons greek oregano
- 1-2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound ground meat of your choice
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Combine the milk and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients so the breadcrumbs soak up the milk and become soggy
- Whisk together the egg, salt, pepper, parmesan and parsley in a separate bowl
- Add the ground meat to the egg mixture and use your hands to mix thoroughly
- Add the chopped onions, garlic, and soaked breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly until just combined to avoid overworking the meat
- Form the meat into meatballs by pinching off a piece of the meat mixture and rolling between your hands to form a 1 ½ inch ball. Continue this process until all of the meat is rolled into balls. Place the meatballs onto the baking sheet ensuring they are not touching
- Option 1: Roast the meatballs on a prepared baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The meatballs are done when they read 165 degrees in the middle of the ball and the outsides are browned
- Option 2: Cook the meatballs directly in the sauce by bringing a marinara sauce to a simmer and add as many meatballs as will fit comfortably in the pan. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes. Meatballs are done when they read 165 degrees in the middle of the ball
How to Cook Meatballs
Meatballs can be broiled, roasted or simmered depending on what you plan on using them for. If you’re planning to freeze meatballs or use them for something other than in a sauce, it’s better to cook them in the oven. This will cause the outside of the meatballs to be crispier and more sturdy. If you plan on serving the meatballs with a sauce, either over pasta or in a sandwich, it’s better to simmer them so they can better absorb the marinara to create an impeccable mashup of flavors.
How to Make Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs
To make a lower-carb meatball option you can make meatballs without the breadcrumbs, and you don’t have to use anything else as a replacement. Simply omit the breadcrumbs from the recipe above and cook as stated. Meatballs without breadcrumbs will still stick together just as well, if not better, than recipes using breadcrumbs.
How to Make Meatballs Without Eggs
There are many substitutes for eggs in meatballs. Instead of eggs, try one of our substitutions here in your favorite meatball recipe. Each substitution amount listed here is per egg for the recipe, so if your recipe calls for two eggs, double the substitution listed here.
- 2 tablespoons of buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed combined with 3 tablespoons of water, and let sit for 10 minutes