Best Italian Meatballs

In my book, nothing says comfort food like a nice plate of spaghetti with these: the best Italian meatballs ever! I’ve skipped the pan browning to it simple.

Best Italian Meatballs
Best Italian Meatballs

Best Italian Meatballs


½ cup Italian style bread crumbs*

¼ cup milk

1 pound 85% ground beef

1 onion, finely diced

1 egg

1½ tsp minced garlic (3 cloves)

1 tsp Worchestershire sauce

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tbls grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

Soak crumbs in milk for 20 minutes.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Shape into 24 balls (1 ½“ each).


*For gluten-free meatballs, replace old-fashioned rolled oats for bread crumbs.


Cooking Method #1: Drop meatballs one at a time into the sauce, soup or other cooking liquid and simmer gently for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160͒. Do not stir for the first 10 minutes to allow meatballs to set. Stir gently and occasionally after that.

Cooking Method #2: Bake uncovered in at 400͒ for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160͒.

Suggestion: Substitute meatballs for the sausage in this spaghetti sauce!

6 servings (4 meatballs), 258 calories per serving

Hack: Place uncooked meatballs on cookie sheet and place in freezer until solid. Seal in a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer for future use.




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6 Replies to “Best Italian Meatballs”

  1. I have made meatballs most my adult life, HOWEVER your recipe is so much better and explains why I have issues during the cooking portion.  Wow…thank you for the fact of freezing them. Had no idea and it totally worked.  My issues in the past are no longer all due to your article.  My children are so much happier with the outcome too.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    1. Meatballs make everything better, don’t they?  I’m glad I could help and, as a mother and grandmother, I’m especially happy that your children happy!  Thank you for the encouragement! 

  2. Haha thanks for the article my guy! Yet another amazing article Cynthia. As a relatively new chef myself, I’m searching each and everyday for new recipes that I can enjoy and impress my family, and especially my crush! That being said, these meatballs look delicious. Pair em up w some pasta and you’ve got yourself a meal! Speaking of pasta, are there any pasta recipes you’d recommend to me? 

  3. It sounds like a tasty recipe. I have a few questions about it. Which milk would you use whole or 2%? Could you replace 4 ounces of ground beef with Italian sausage or ground turkey? Would you be able to brown the meatballs on a skewer on the grill? Are you using the fat from the meatballs as a flavoring for the sauce, soup or other cooking liquid? Do you skim the fat off the surface before serving? 


    1. Jerry, I love questions!!  You can use any milk you have on hand.  Water will also work.  You can replace the ground beef with any other ground meat or poultry, in part or in whole.  Yes, you can brown/cook meatballs on a skewer on the grill.  The meatballs do flavor the food in which it’s cooked.  I don’t find that I have a problem with fat floating to the top of the sauce but you can certainly skim off any fat that you do see.  If you prefer to avoid adding fat to your dish, feel free to fully cook the meatballs before adding them.  This can be achieved by baking them in a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes.

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