A meatball is ground meat rolled into a small ball, sometimes along with other ingredients, such as bread crumbs, minced onion, eggs, butter, and seasoning. Meatballs are cooked by frying, baking, steaming, or braising in sauce. There are many types of meatballs using different types of meats and spices. The term is sometimes extended to meatless versions based on vegetables or fish.
An easy recipes for meatballs that rivals that of your favorite Italian restaurant! These meatballs always come out amazingly tender, deliciously flavorful, never dry and they’re always sure to impress! Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to make them perfect every time.
Classic Beef Meatballs. Here they are – the top sellers at The Shop and sure to be a big hit at home. Most traditional meatball recipes call for Parmesan or pecorino cheese. While we’re big fans of these stronger cheeses, we prefer ricotta. It’s our secret weapon. The mild and creamy consistency of this fresh cheese gives the meatballs a unique light texture. Beef has a subtle flavor, and the ricotta is a great way to add fat and moisture to the recipe without the overpowering flavor of a sharper cheese. These are quick to prep, and baking rather than frying makes this a fast comfort food even during the busiest of weeks.
Swedish Meatball Recipe. Swedish meatballs make a delicious dish with tender meatballs served in a rich, creamy sauce over noodles or mashed potatoes! A favorite family recipe made from scratch!
Tastiest Homemade Meatball Recipe. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a pasta bowl cradling perfectly cooked, twirled and tangled, steaming spaghetti coated in a vibrant, garlicky, San Marzano marinara sauce, all piled high and layered with homemade meatballs throughout! Talk about comfort food at its proudest!
So what makes the best meatballs? Here are my thoughts and tips:
Using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Fresh meats (not previously frozen), fresh herbs, fresh bread crumbs, fresh aromatics. Everything is fresh here except the aged parmesan but of course, that’s for good reason.
Use a blend of meats for best flavor. I use beef and pork because that’s what accessible to me and at a reasonable price. But if you can get veal use 2/3 lb beef 2/3 lb pork and 2/3 lb veal.
Don’t use low fat percentages of meats. The fat makes the meatballs tender. Stick with 80 or 85% lean.
Properly flavoring and seasoning the mixture. We aren’t making hamburger balls to serve with ketchup. Adding herbs, garlic, and onions gives them that delicious Italian flavor we crave. And of course, don’t skip the salt and pepper meat needs it!
Use the liquid to moisten, and I recommend milk, not water. Whole milk adds more flavor and richness than water will.
Use enough eggs to bind. Without the eggs, the meatballs will fall to pieces especially when tossed into the sauce. I like to use 1 egg per pound of meat so here we go with 2.
How to freeze meatballs for meal prep?
Meatballs are great for make-ahead meals, brown the meatballs, let them cool completely, and then transfer to gallon freezer bags. Take all the air out of the bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat the meatballs, make the sauce and add
the meatballs frozen. Cook until heated through.
If you cook the meatballs in the sauce and want to freeze your leftovers, let the meatballs and sauce cool and then transfer to freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.
How to serve meatballs?
For a traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner, serve these over your favorite pasta (whole wheat if you’re on the purple plan), or try them over zucchini noodles or butternut squash noodles for a healthier twist. Serve the leftovers for lunch on crusty whole wheat
Italian bread for a meatball hero.
To make the meatballs gluten-free, swap the whole wheat bread for gluten-free bread and serve over gluten-free pasta or zucchini or butternut squash noodles.
Add cheese! It adds so much flavor. Use freshly shredded parmesan cheese here, don’t use the grated shelf-stable stuff. It has a lower quality taste and doesn’t melt the same.
Don’t overwork the meatball mixture. Mixing by hand (and your fingertips) to incorporate ingredients rather than using a spoon or spatula makes it easier to mix with ut turning it into an overworked meat paste.
Brown the meatballs. Browning adds so much flavor and here I’ll show you two methods to achieve this through cooking in the oven or frying in olive oil. If going the oven route use a dark baking sheet as it promotes browning.
Form into evenly sized balls so they cook evenly. A kitchen scale is helpful (covered with plastic wrap or wax paper to keep things clean), or a greased cookie scoop.
Shape with greased hands. This way the meatballs don’t stick. Sometimes I brush the baking sheets with olive oil using my hands then tadah, hands are already oiled and ready to shape meatballs.
Why reinvent the wheel? For generations, home cooks have relied on these classic easy recipes for meatballs for their infallibility and ease—and when we say they’re easy, we really mean it.
These meatballs are one of my all-time favorite Italian foods and this is my idea of the perfect dinner! Now who’s ready to make some??
Browse collection of easy recipes for meatballs.