Easy Italian Meatballs

Italian meatballs are one of our favorite things to make for Sunday dinners. They require a little bit of time, but the results are well worth it! We love how tender and flavorful these meatballs are, especially when we pile them on a bed of freshly cooked spaghetti or use the leftovers for meatball subs! However you decide to use them, they’re sure to be a hit!

Easy Italian Meatballs

The secret to these meatballs is a combination of freshly minced basil and parsley! You just can’t go wrong with fresh herbs! Also using a light hand when mixing creates incredibly tender meatballs- because dense, tough, dry meatballs are the worst! So are you ready to get started?!

Easy Italian Meatballs

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs (plain or seasoned will work) and the milk. I prefer buttermilk but sometimes I don’t have any on hand so I just use whole milk. Stir together and let it sit for 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are a soggy. Then, in a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, ground pork, bread crumb mixture, egg, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Whew, I know that sounds like a lot, but I promise these meatballs are incredibly flavorful! Using your hands, gently mix the ingredients, being careful not to overwork it. Shape meat mixture into balls, approximately 1 1/2 inches in size. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil. When the oil is shiny and hot, add the meatballs. You may need to do more than one batch depending on the size of your skillet. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or they won’t brown properly. Brown the meatballs on all sides, rotating every 2-3 minutes or so. Remove meatballs and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Easy Italian Meatballs

To make the sauce, set a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. When it’s hot, add the onion and saute until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, taking care not to brown it. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a rolling simmer, then reduce to low and allow to gently simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked meatballs and the parmesan, simmer for an additional 50 minutes (longer if I have time). I like to stir the mixture once or twice just to make sure that the meatballs aren’t sticking!

Easy Italian Meatballs

Once everything has simmered away they’re ready to be devoured! And let me tell you, they will be! We love tossing ours on top of spaghetti and then using the leftovers for lunch… because meatball subs are the best! No matter how you eat them, they’re sure to become a family favorite! Enjoy :)

Easy Italian Meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These flavor-packed easy Italian meatballs are a family favorite! They're perfect to serve on top of a pile of spaghetti or to use for meatball subs!
Author:
Yield: About 18 meatballs
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • ¾ c. breadcrumbs
  • ¼ c. whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ c. grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil, minced
  • 3 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ c. olive oil

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ c. onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. For the meatballs: In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and buttermilk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are a moist.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, ground pork, bread crumb mixture, egg, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Using your hands, gently mix the ingredients, being careful not to overwork it. Shape meat mixture into balls, approximately 1½ inches in size.
  3. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil is shiny and hot, add the meatballs. You may need to do more than one batch depending on the size of your skillet. You don't want to overcrowd the pan or they won't brown properly. Brown the meatballs on all sides, rotating every 2-3 minutes or so. Remove meatballs and place on a paper towel lined plate.
  4. For the sauce: In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and saute until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a rolling simmer, then reduce to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked meatballs and the parmesan, simmer for an additional 50 minutes, taking care to check that the sauce isn't burning or that the meatballs aren't sticking. Serve with cooked spaghetti or place or use for meatball subs.
Notes
-Ground turkey can be subbed for the ground beef and ground pork.


Recipe source: Life Made Simple