Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Best Italian Meatballs

If you’re on the hunt for a trusty, foolproof meatball recipe, look no further — these are classic Italian meatballs at their finest. A blend of beef and pork give them richness, a few aromatics and some cheese make them flavorful, and a splash of milk ensures they’re tender. These are exactly the meatballs you want piled onto spaghetti, tucked into a crusty sub roll, or, as the Italians do, eaten all on their own.

Italian Meatballs

COOKING TIME15 minutes to 20 minutes

PREP TIME : 20 minutes to 25 minutes


  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • ounces ground beef
  • ounces ground pork
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • large egg
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • (24 to 25-ounce) jar 
    marinara sauce, or 3 cups homemade


    1. 1.Finely grate 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and place in a large bowl. Finely chop 1/2 small yellow onion and 2 cloves garlic, then coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves; add everything to the bowl. Add 8 ounces ground beef, 8 ounces ground pork, 1/2 cup panko, 1/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix lightly with a fork until just combined.
    2. 2.Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), wetting your hands with water as needed to keep the mixture from sticking, and place on a baking sheet so that they are not touching. You should have 16 to 18 meatballs.
    3. 3.Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the meatballs and brown the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to large plate (the meatballs will not be fully cooked).
    4. 4.Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 1 jar or 3 cups marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Gently add the meatballs into the sauce, and reduce the heat to simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.


    Make ahead: The meatballs can be shaped and refrigerated for up to 1 day before cooking. The meatballs can also be frozen uncooked or cooked. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the meatballs to a freezer container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. If uncooked, thaw in a single layer in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. If cooked, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight or thaw directly in simmering sauce for 15 minutes.