Chris’ Italian Meatballs

Chris’ Italian Meatballs


It seems like homemade meatballs are a delicacy here 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. We are fortunate that we can source our meat from local farms which makes all the difference. Sometimes I make the meatballs with pork and beef or just port. Other times I use a combination of veal, beef, and pork. Whatever combo you decide, homemade meatballs are worth the effort, so let me share my recipe with you all.

1 Dice a sweet onion and sweat it over medium heat with olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper or red pepper flakes, and some herbs like oregano.

2 Add minced garlic once the onions start to get some color. Stir for a minute and then add the breadcrumbs. Cook the breadcrumb and onion mixture for an additional 3 minutes or until the breadcrumbs start to brown.

3 Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Place the meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and chopped parsley into a large bowl, and once the breadcrumb mixture is cooled down, add that to the bowl as well.

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.

Note: Like I mentioned earlier you can use a combination of whatever meats you can find or prefer.  This is a large recipe because meatballs make great leftovers for lunch the next day. Having homemade leftovers is key to eating healthy food.

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

5  I used to fry my meatballs in some olive oil, but now I usually bake them in the oven since it’s easier and probably healthier and still tastes great.

Find a large cookie sheet and preheat your oven to 350F degrees. While waiting, put your meatball mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to bring the temperature down a few degrees which helps with forming them.

I prefer meatballs that are about the size of a golf ball, but sometimes I experiment with larger sizes when I cook them in tomato sauce.  It’s really up to you. You’ll just have to adjust your cooking time, but aim for 40 minutes and then see.

Form the meatballs in between your palms moving your hands in a small circular motion. Place them in a tray and make sure they have some space like this.

Note: 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 canned tomatoes. Scrape the bottom bits off and cover on low heat for at least an hour or two. 

6 When baking, cook the meatballs for 40 minutes or until they start to brown all over and just before the bottom begins to turn dark. Check them halfway and adjust accordingly. They should form a bit of crust on the bottom which gives them a rich flavor.

Using a spatula, remove the meatballs from the baking tray and serve with tomato sauce, garlic aioli, or your favorite 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)