Chef John's Italian Meatballs

Chef John's Italian Meatballs

397
Chef John 15518

"Homemade meatballs are a very easy to make, and since we skip the very messy step of pan-frying these before they hit the sauce, it becomes downright simple. Here I use a standard half-beef/half-pork mixture. You can substitute water or beef broth for the milk, if preferred."

Ingredients 2 h 15 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 82 cals

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Nutrition

Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 82 kcal
  • 4%
  • Fat:
  • 5.5 g
  • 8%
  • Carbs:
  • 1.7g
  • < 1%
  • Protein:
  • 6.2 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 34 mg
  • 11%
  • Sodium:
  • 192 mg
  • 8%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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Directions

  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onions in hot oil until translucent, about 20 minutes.
  4. Mix beef and pork together in a large bowl. Stir onions, bread crumb mixture, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian herb seasoning, and Parmesan cheese into meat mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
  5. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  6. Using wet hands, form meat mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange onto prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
Chef John’s Grilled Lamb Steaks

Grilled marinated lamb dressed with a minted honey and sherry vinaigrette.

Chef John's Grilled Flap Steak

See how to grill a thin, inexpensive cut of beef for salads, sandwiches, & tacos.

Footnotes

  • Cook's Note:
  • Some recipes use equal portions of beef, veal, and pork, which is also nice, yet more expensive. These days you can find all sorts of lean-to-fat ratios for ground beef. Most stores sell 90% lean, 10% fat, but I prefer the 80% lean, 20% fat ratio for this recipe.
  • Cook's note:
  • Once cooked, you can add the meatballs to your favorite prepared tomato sauce for 1 to 2 hours.
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Reviews 397

  1. 516 Ratings

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Sarah Jo
4/6/2012

I made Chef John's meatloaf a week or so ago and it was quite tasty which made me excited to try his meatball recipe. The bread crumbs I used in this recipe were made from homemade garlic-butter croutons and I cut back on the salt just a bit. To make uniform meat balls, I used my small cookie scoop. After baking my meatballs, I drained the fat off of them and added them to a homemade marinara and let them sit in the sauce for 20 minutes or so before I served them on pasta. The family really thought these were quite good. They held up well (to both cooking in the oven and sitting in the marinara) and had a nice flavor. Next time, I'd double the italian seasoning but that's really just personal to our family.

marcosheller
4/21/2012

These meatballs were awesome! I added more breadcrumbs than the recipe called for, left out the red pepper, and used beef broth instead of milk. They were a big hit and I even posted a picture! Thanks Chef John!

Rock_lobster
4/26/2012

CJ's Italian Meatballs Haiku: "I can't believe it. These beat 'Meatball Nirvana' And they held up too!" So my biggest praise for these meatballs is that after I made a double-batch, w/o changing the recipe, I froze them into weekly portions, but after thawing a handful of them in sauce last night, I couldn't have been more delighted that they held their meatball shape and didn't fall apart! So I don't know what of CJ's method, or ingredients, resulted in a firm (oh yes, and scrumptious!) meatball, but I think this recipe has replaced AR's 'Meatball Nirvana' in our house from now on.