The BEST Italian Meatballs
Last year, I shared with you my father-in-law’s amazing meat sauce recipe, which is absolutely, positively my favorite meat sauce. Ever. If you haven’t tried it yet, grab a big pot and get stirring!
Now, about these meatballs… They are just as amazing as his meat sauce, and every time he makes them for someone that has never had them before, they always ask for the recipe. They are beyond tender, flavorful but not overwhelming, and the perfect accompaniment to a dish of spaghetti (or smothered in mozzarella and eaten on a toasted hoagie!).
One of the keys to these meatballs is using a mixture of ground beef, pork and veal – the combination makes the meatballs incredibly tender and ensures that they taste less like little hamburgers and more like the traditional, classic Italian meatballs. The other key? Letting them simmer in a pot of sauce for at least an hour. They soften up, take on some of the sauce and go from great to phenomenal.
My father-in-law used to pan-fry the meatballs in olive oil before putting them in the sauce, but said that he recently started baking them. I love baking them – quicker and less mess! I make these fairly large, but you could of course adjust the size to your personal preference.
Next on my list – making a huge batch of these meatballs to keep in the freezer for quick and easy meals!
Classic Italian Meatballs (baked!)
My father-in-law’s fabulous recipe for classic Italian meatballs.
- 1 pound meatloaf mix (mixture of ground beef, pork and veal)
- ⅓ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon finely minced yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
- Shape into large meatballs (I use a heaping large cookie scoop, which is 3 tablespoons) and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the meatballs over, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Place the meatballs in a simmering pot of sauce for at least 1 hour before serving.