These are the BEST Italian Meatballs! My Italian grandmother’s recipe, the word perfect doesn’t even begin to cover it. Check out the reviews on this recipe, your family will be sure to fall in love. Grandma served these on their own, but you can feel free to top your spaghetti with some homemade spaghetti sauce and then throw on these meatballs. Throw together a quick bacon spinach salad (<—– another great family recipe) and you have a complete meal! And if you want, you could always try this meatball recipe but in the turkey form with these Baked Turkey Meatballs. Just don’t tell grandma.
Guys, it’s Friday and I don’t have another cocktail for you. BUT! I did just reshoot my Classic Red Sangria (you know, like what you would get at a Spanish tapas restaurant with your girlfriends). So go check it out.
Also! You can’t be mad I don’t have another cocktail for you because I do have my amazing Italian grandmother’s amazingly amazing meatball recipe. You guys. This recipe. It’s the bee’s knees. The cat’s meow. It’s the stuff (that’s not how I really talk, but I like to keep the blog PG).
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN MEATBALLS
Grandma started her amazing meatballs by soaking some Italian bread in cold water. I’ve read other recipes where they soak the bread in milk, you know because water soaked bread sounds gross. So I tried that with this recipe and it messed with the flavor. I’m sure Grandma did water because they were hard core pinching pennies and milk has never been cheaper than water, but I really think it’s the way to go.
Once you’ve soaked your bread (above is the milk soaked version, but stick with water!), and squeezed as much liquid out as possible, you combine it with your meat, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, and seasoning. You want to mix it together until just combined. You don’t want to beat the crap out of it. (Oops. PG-13?)
Okay, so Grandma was old school and would never do this, but I love using a cookie scoop for this recipe! It keeps all the meatballs the same size which makes for more consistent cooking and it also makes things go a lot faster! (Plus it’s great to have on hand when you are making actual chocolate chip cookies.) You just scoop them all out (meatballs on the right in the above photo) and then quickly roll them all into balls (meatballs on the left).
Okay. Now I have three cooking methods for you. They all come with their pluses and draw backs, so you really just need to find the one that works for you. I’m going to start with the one that is in the recipe you can print.
THREE DIFFERENT WAYS TO COOK ITALIAN MEATBALLS
- Cooking Method One Put all of the rolled out meatballs on a cookie cooling rack and put that rack on a baking sheet that is lined with aluminum foil. Bake the meatballs in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a meatball in the middle of the pan is cooked through. Pro: It is clean and easy Con: You don’t get those crispy outside edges.
- Cooking Method Two Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and then fill it about a half of an inch full of extra virgin olive oil. Heat the oil and then brown the meatballs in batches, turning them after about two minutes. Transfer them to a baking sheet and finish cooking (about 10 minutes) in the oven. Pro: You get the crispy outside edges without deep frying them Con: You have a two step process and that’s annoying.
- Cooking Method Three Fill your cast iron skillet almost an inch full of extra virgin olive oil and heat. Cook the meatballs in batches (about 10 around the outer edge). Cook for three minutes and then flip, cooking the second side for an additional two minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined sheet. And then serve or keep warm in a covered baking dish in an oven set at very low heat. If you cut into them immediately after removing from the oil they won’t be cooked, there is some carry over cooking that happens on the plate. Pro: They are ridiculously amazing with their crisp fried outer edge and their soft amazing inside. Con: I mean, they are deep fried meatballs. (Wait . . . is that supposed to go under the pro list . . .?)
Grandma did method three. But you guys, I kind of loathe frying. So I’m more of a method one kind of gal. And then these photos are method two. But you guys. Method three. OMG! Soooooo, delicious. Crispy on the outside, and soft, delicious, and packed with flavor on the inside. If only Grandma was still here to do the frying.
Whether you are serving these up with some homemade bread, or just
So I hope these make up for the lack of your Friday cocktail. They are amazing!
The BEST Italian Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chuck 85/15
- 1/2 lb ground pork if you can only get a pound, save half in the freezer
- 2 eggs whisked
- 4 slices of Italian bread 5 ounces
- 1 cup bread crumbs I used Italian seasoned
- 4 TBSP grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 TBSPs chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375
- Soak the bread in cold water for about five minutes, ringing out the excess water and pulling the bread apart with your fingers.
- Combine the meat, eggs, and parsley in a large bowl. Add the bread. Then add the dry bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic salt, and salt.
- Using a cookie scoop scoop out the meatballs onto wax paper and then roll them into into consistent balls. Place them on a cookie cooling rack. Place that rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can cut into a meatball in the middle of the rack and not see pink.
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