Chris’ Italian Meatballs

Chris’ Italian Meatballs


Homemade meatballs are a delicacy in America. In Italy, they’re just another meal your mom or nonna makes on a fairly regular basis. In our home meatballs are a monthly treat.

Sometimes I make them with pork only. Other times I use a combination of veal, beef, and pork. We can get our beef and pork from local farms which makes all the difference. I’ve been wanting to make lamb meatballs complemented with Callie’s tzatziki sauce with sheeps milk yogurt. Luckily our local farm also raises lamb. 

Homemade meatballs are worth the effort, so let me share my recipe with you all. 

Start with a sweet onion, diced and sweated over medium heat with olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper and some herbs like oregano. Add some minced garlic towards the end and add the onion mixture to a large bowl. This will be helpful to mix all the ingredients together before forming into perfect spheres. 

Wait a few minutes for the onions to cool and then begin to add the rest of the ingredients. Like I mentioned earlier you can use a combination of whatever meats you can find or prefer. Sometimes I only use two pounds of meat and other times I use four pounds. Most of the time it makes sense to use four pounds of meat so we can have leftovers for lunch and dinner throughout the week. Having homemade leftovers is key to our meal planning.

In addition to the onions and meat, you will want to add eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, cheese, herbs like parsley and maybe basil plus additional salt and pepper. If you want to make the meatballs spicy you could add red pepper flakes or even Calabrian chilis. Not Another Cooking Show has a great recipe for this. 

Mix all of these ingredients together so that they are uniformly distributed. I recommend using your hands for this. Just get in there. 

I prefer to bake my meatballs. I used to fry them on the stove but I didn’t find there to be much of a difference and the oven was easier, so grab a large cookie sheet and preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Sometimes I put my meatball mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to bring the temperature down a few degrees. This helps with forming the meatballs. 

I prefer meatballs that are about the size of a golf ball. But sometimes I experiment with larger spheres when I cook them in my tomato sauce.  It’s really up to you. You’ll just have to adjust your cooking time. 

If you want to cook them in tomato sauce, form about a dozen meatballs and throw them in a sauce pan. Brown each side and then add some garlic and then pour in the pureed tomatoes. Scrape the bottom bits off and cover on low heat for at least an hour or two. While that’s happening or if you just want to cook them by themselves, for the meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet spaced evenly. Cook them until they start to brown all over and just before the bottom begins to turn dark. They should form a bit of crust on the bottom which is delicious. 

You can add some to the sauce while it continues to cook or eat them as is or with a side of dipping sauce. You really can’t go wrong with these. 


1 sweet onion
1 or 2 minced garlic clove
3 lbs of a mixture of beef/pork/veal
2 eggs
1 cup of breadcrumbs (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup of whole milk
grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
parsley & oregano
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)