Italian Meatballs

These homemade Italian meatballs are bursting with flavor! Tender and juicy, simmered on the stovetop in a rich sauce, they are ready in just 30 minutes. This is the best recipe for Italian meatballs and spaghetti.

A white bowl filled with spaghetti noodles and topped with Italian Meatballs made from Homemade Recipe

The Best Italian Meatball Recipe

The best Italian meatball recipe starts with a mixture of ground beef and pork seasoned with parmesan cheese, parsley, and Italian seasoning.

Then they are pan-fried until golden brown and cooked through. After that, they are simmered in a homemade marinara sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese.

This juicy meatballs recipe will surely be a hit with your family. Serve the best Italian meatballs recipe over a bed of spaghetti for a delicious and satisfying meal.

An Italian covered in homemade tomato sauce on a wooden spoon.

If you’re a fan of Italian homemade meatballs and spaghetti, you must try my recipe for meatballs smothered in gravy! It’s delicious served over mashed potatoes.

Kitchen Essentials You May Need

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You can find my favorite essentials can be located on my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and connect replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Mixing Bowl – Incredibly durable and long-lasting, stoneware mixing bowls are versatile and can be used for various tasks, including mixing, stirring, and even used as a serving bowl.
A plate full of traditional Italian meatballs over the top of spaghetti noodles.

Homemade Italian Meatball Ingredients

This Italian meatball recipe is ideal for when you need a quick meal. It requires ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and pantry, making it an easy go-to.

Despite being simple, each ingredient is important in achieving the ultimate tender meatballs.

Here is what you will need to make these Italian sausage meatballs.

  • Ground Beef and Pork – I recommend using a combination of ground beef and ground pork for the best ideal fat content. Veal can also be added for a unique flavor of the meatballs, but it is optional.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Instead of using fresh breadcrumbs mixed with milk to make a panade, we will use finely grated parmesan cheese. This helps to absorb the juices as the meatballs cook, ensuring the meatballs stay nice and moist.
  • Herbs and Seasonings – I highly recommend using organic herbs, and for this recipe, we will use parsley and Italian seasoning. You can also substitute using fresh herbs.
  • Egg – The purpose of adding an egg to the meatball mixture is to help bind the mixture together.
  • Milk – I suggest using whole milk instead of cold water for the best texture. The richness and moisture it adds will give the meatballs extra flavor.
  • Salt + Pepper – Season generously with salt and black pepper for best results.
  • Oil – to give the meatballs a more delicious flavor, try browning them in a large skillet with some bacon grease. Alternatively, butter or another neutral-flavored oil can be used for browning.
An enameled cast iron skillet filled with simmering Italian meatballs in tomato sauce.

How to Make Italian Meatballs for Spaghetti

Making the perfect Italian meatballs in sauce is easier than you may think. With this simple step-by-step guide, you can make a meal your family loves in about 30 minutes.

For the exact amount of ingredients and the complete instructions, refer to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Here is how you make Italian Meatballs.

Italian meatball mixture in a white ironstone bowl.

Steps to Make the Meatballs

Step 1 – Mix Ingredients. Add ground meat, herbs, spices, egg, and dairy ingredient for your meatballs to a large mixing bowl.

Thoroughly combine the meatball ingredients using your hands. Then shape the meat mixture into firm meatballs, about two teaspoons of mixture per meatball.

Rolled Italian Meatballs ready to be cooked on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet.

Brown the Meatballs

Step 2 – Brown the Meatballs. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, place meatballs in the skillet in a single layer.

Gently cook the meatballs on each side for 3-4 minutes or until they are golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165˚F.

Cook the meatballs in batches, assuring that each one is evenly browned. Once the meatballs have cooked, transfer them to a plate and set aside.

A cast iron skillet filled with Italian sausage meatballs cooking on the stovetop

Make the Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Once the meatballs are ready, it is time to make the homemade italian meatball sauce recipe. You can make your sauce in the same skillet you used to make the meatballs or opt for store-bought sauce for a quicker option.

Simmering Italian meatballs sauce on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet.

Add the Meatballs to the Sauce

Step 4 – Combine Meatballs and Sauce. Return the meatballs to the cast iron skillet with the sauce and gently toss them until they are well coated. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Adding old fashioned Italian meatballs to homemade tomato sauce marinara recipe.

Serve

Step 5 – Serve. Finally, complete your meal of Italian meatballs by serving them over a bed of spaghetti noodles or your favorite pasta. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve with a side salad, the perfect accompaniment to this hearty dish.

Italian meatballs and sauce with spaghetti noodles.

Tips for Making easy Italian meatballs

  • Use Fresh, High-Quality Ingredients: The freshest ingredients will provide unparalleled flavor for the best meatball recipe. Use fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, onion, fresh garlic, organic dried or fresh parsley, and Italian seasoning.
  • Be Consistent: To ensure even cooking, make sure your meatballs are kept small and uniform in size. You can use a cookie scoop to measure out 2-inch meatballs. Large-sized meatballs will take longer to cook compared to smaller meatballs.
  • Trouble Shaping the Meatballs: If you are having trouble shaping your meatball mixture, it may be too wet or too dry. If the meatballs are too wet, add more grated parmesan cheese or Italian breadcrumbs to bind the meat. If they are too dry, add more milk or another large egg.
  • Mixture Sticking to Your Hands: Working with slightly damp hands (oil or water) will help keep the meatball mixture from adhering to your hands.
  • Make an Extra Batch: Meatballs are an ideal make-ahead dinner or meal prep option as they can be stored in the freezer. Making extra batches of meatballs is a great way to ensure you have delicious meals on hand for the future.
Freshly cooked Italian meatballs just like mama would have made.

Make Ahead Options for Meatballs

  • Day in Advance – You can make this Italian meatball recipe a day in advance; mix the ingredients, shape them into balls, and keep them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer – Make a double batch and freeze them for a future Italian spaghetti and meatballs meal. When you are ready to cook the meatballs, thaw the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator overnight and then prepare them the next day.
Traditional Italian meatball on a spoon

To Store and ReHeat

Meatballs can be an incredibly versatile and nutritious meal. Make an extra batch to keep in the freezer for make-ahead meal options.

  • To Store: If you have leftovers, they can be easily stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoyed throughout the week.
  • To Freeze: You can store the meatballs, cooked or uncooked, in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
    • Cooked Meatballs: Allow the meatballs to cool completely. Then arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then, transfer to a freezer-safe container or sealed freezer bag.
    • Uncooked Meatballs: Form them into small balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the meatballs until they are solid. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag.
  • To Reheat: Leftover meatballs without sauce can be reheated in a 350F preheated oven for 5-10 minutes. For meatballs with sauce, reheat over medium heat on the stovetop until thoroughly heated, about 10 minutes.
A simmering pan full of easy Italian meatballs.

Printable Recipe Card

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If you decide to make this easy meatball recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @RockyHedgeFarm on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Yield: 39 Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

A white bowl filled with spaghetti noodles and topped with Italian Meatballs made from Homemade Recipe

These homemade Italian meatballs are bursting with flavor! Tender and juicy, simmered on the stovetop in a rich sauce, they are ready in just 30 minutes. This is the best recipe for Italian meatballs and spaghetti.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Pound Ground Pork
  • 1 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/4 Cup Milk

Instructions

Add ground meat, herbs, spices, egg, and dairy ingredient for your meatballs to a large mixing bowl.

Thoroughly combine the meatball ingredients using your hands. Then shape the meat mixture into firm meatballs, about two teaspoons of mixture per meatball.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, place meatballs in the skillet in a single layer.

Gently cook the meatballs on each side for 3-4 minutes or until they are golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165˚F.

Cook the meatballs in batches, assuring that each one is evenly browned. Once the meatballs have cooked, transfer them to a plate and set aside.

Once the meatballs are ready, it is time to make the homemade italian meatball sauce recipe. You can make your sauce in the same skillet you used to make the meatballs or opt for store-bought sauce for a quicker option.

Return the meatballs to the cast iron skillet with the sauce and gently toss them until they are well coated. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Finally, complete your meal of Italian meatballs by serving them over a bed of spaghetti noodles or your favorite pasta. Top with more parmesan cheese and serve with a side salad, the perfect accompaniment to this hearty dish.

Did you make this recipe?

If you make the best Italian meatballs please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @RockyHedgeFarm on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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