Italian Meatballs Recipes

November 1, 2011
A plate of spaghetti with meatballs.Regarding the Italian meatballs, none of the recipes are like the one I learned from my family. My grandparents came from Sicily.



  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 or 4 pieces of bread, broken into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. rosemary (crushed)
  • 1 bay leaf (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp. basil leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 clove of garlic minced finely


Mix everything together and shape into balls and fry. I do not add oil, as the fat in the meat is sufficient. I use a non-stick pan. When they are browned, add to the spaghetti sauce and let them simmer until they are done. You can thank my Italian grandmother. You can add a handful of Parmesan cheese before mixing, for a richer taste.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Source: My Italian grandmother.

By Maya Lee from Redlands, CA

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Bronze Tip Medal for All Time! 51 Tips
August 2, 2010

This recipe is easy to make, freezes well and is delicious! A fantastic recipe which makes about 48 golf ball sized meatballs. Part of saving money is also in saving time. I make these meatballs when I have a free afternoon and freeze them for future use.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 5,887 Posts
February 25, 2009

Mix thoroughly first eight ingredients. Form into balls (12-14) and place in deep baking dish. Heat can of tomato soup with one can water, then pour over meat balls in casserole dish.


Bake 1 1/4 hours at 350 degrees F.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 5,887 Posts
June 9, 2009

This is my all time favorite! I could eat spaghetti 7 days a week and not get tired of it! This particular recipe is a bit time consuming, but it is SO worth it!

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October 15, 2007

Instead of frying your meatballs which adds fat and calories, drop medium size meatballs into boiling chicken broth, cooking for about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels and then add them to simmering spaghetti sauce.

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8 Questions

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June 13, 2007

A few months ago I heard someone say that they put white bread soaked in milk in their meatballs and I can't for the life of me remember where I heard that. Does anyone have a recipe like that?

Noreen from Dunmore


June 14, 20070 found this helpful

A recipe that I have used calls for using white bread soaked in water. I would think that milk could be used as a substitute for the water. The liquid is just being used to keep the meatballs moist & tender.


Italian Meatballs

4 slices white bread
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp crushed oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
dash black pepper

Soak bread in water 2-3 minutes, then squeeze out excess water. Combine soaked bread with remaining ingredients, mixing well. Form into small balls. Brown slowly in olive oil.

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By Barb (Guest Post)
June 14, 20070 found this helpful

My Yiayia (Greek for Grandmother) made her meatballs that way all the time. They were called keftethes (greek meatballs). delicious

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By debbie in sc (Guest Post)
June 14, 20070 found this helpful

my husband who is 1/2 sicilian always makes the meatballs this way, as his grandmother did. i used to use store bought bread crumbs. however just this week i made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and realized i was out of bread crumbs. i took 2 slices of white bread, tore off the crusts and soaked the bread in milk and then crushed it in my hands until it was paste-like and crumbled it into the meatball mixture.


i made the best, juciest meatballs i have ever made, so i am now a convert.

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June 14, 20070 found this helpful

The bread and milk seems to work better with the eggs to hold everything together when father used this recipe(but with just a pinch or Oregano) in his restaurant in Little Italy in Ontario, Canada. Too much Oregano can be very overpowering for some people.

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June 14, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you all so much for your input!! I never knew it was that popular!! I will be trying it this weekend for Fathers Day for my fathers dinner.

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June 15, 20070 found this helpful

Also try uncooked oats!

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By Ruth (Guest Post)
June 15, 20070 found this helpful

My mother used white bread and milk also in meatloaf and meatbaLLS. I feel it was done at a time when meat processing was different than it is now. Coulld be wrong-still delicious, also try raisins in your neatballs. great way to get them to eat dried fruit. My neighbor used to cook them that way

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By Joyce (Guest Post)
June 15, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Noreen, my name is Joyce and I am 59 years old. I just wanted to tell you that my mother always made her meatballs with white bread soaked in milk and then squeezed out. I, to this day, still make my meatballs the same way. As a matter of fact just last sunday (June 10, 2007) I made meatballs this way. Sometimes tho, I will just wet the bread with water and squeeze it out and put it into my meat mixture. Hope this helped you out somewhat.


Enjoy............Joyce (from Ct.)

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Hi, I soak my white bread in milk and 1/2 hamburg and 1/2 pork then add my egg and my onions peppers etc and roll my roll my meat balls and soak in my sauce for about 3 hours on low. The flavor from the sauce gets in the meatballs. They're very moist and flavorful.

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February 17, 2005

Looking for a great recipe for meatballs to serve with pasta. My old tried and true recipe just isn't as good as it once was. Eventhough I think I'm using all the same ingredients, it just doesn't taste the same, so I need to try something new. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Bonnie from NJ


By Marn (Guest Post)
February 17, 20050 found this helpful

The Best Meatballs
"I never knew how to make good meatballs until I found this recipe. I normally make mine with just ground beef and they still taste great. I've used the combination of pork, beef and veal and they are equally good. Definitely use fresh bread crumbs and freshly grate your cheese instead of using the canned really does make a difference." Original recipe yield: 8 servings.


1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup olive oil


Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold it's shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)
Place cooked meatballs into Marinara Sauce and cook for 15 more minutes.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

5 star Recipe "A wonderful savory meatball and sweet sauce recipe that works as a main dish, or you can use just the meatball recipe part for parties. I recommend serving over white rice." Original recipe yield: 6 to 8 servings.

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained with juice reserved
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 large carrot, diced
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a large, shallow baking sheet.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs and onion. Sprinkle with ginger, seasoning salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Shape into one inch balls.
Place meatballs in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes; set aside.
To make the sauce, mix enough water with the reserved pineapple juice to make 1 cup. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the juice mixture, 1/3 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Stir in cornstarch, ginger and seasoning salt, until smooth. Cover and cook until thickened.
Stir pineapple chunks, carrot, green pepper and meatballs into the sauce. Gently stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked.

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By Margie Minard (Guest Post)
February 18, 20050 found this helpful

This makes the best meatballs I ever ate!!! I have a wonderful spaghetti sauce recipe to go with them if you'd like to have it, too.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1/4 c cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c soft bread crumbs
1/4 c parmesan cheese

Mix all together, form into 1 inch balls and and bake till done...about 20 minutes at 350. Can also be added to spaghetti sauce to cook after just a few minutes under the broiler.

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By Bonnie from NJ (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

Thanks a lot for the recipes--appreciate your help. Yes, I'd love to have the spaghetti sauce recipe too. Thanks again.

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October 20, 20150 found this helpful

Did you get the spaghetti sauce recipe? I would like to have it also but can't seem to find it on here. Thanks a bunch, Bonnie from Missouri

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April 21, 2020

Here is a traditional Italian meatball recipe, served with tomatoes, garlic and lots of cheese over pasta. Make and freeze these for a quick weeknight dinner.

Mama Mia Meatballs

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