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Italian Meatballs

Libby with Lemony Thyme
My favorite combination for meatballs (or meatloaf for that matter) is a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal. Just add a few more simple ingredients and you are less than an hour away from heaven. Great. Big. Italian Meatball Heaven.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


For the Meatballs

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or ground veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a good handful of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

For Pan Browning

  • 2-3 Tbl. olive oil for pan browning

For Serving

  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • Cooked pasta optional
  • Garnish with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese


For the Meatballs

  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the ground meat. Mix well. Add in ground beef and pork and gently combine with hands. Do not overwork mixture. Form mixture into (8) about 2 1/2-inch diameter balls.

For Pan Browning Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray and reserve.
  • Add 1 Tbl. olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, brown meatballs. Transfer to baking dish. Spoon marinara sauce over meatballs. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

For the Oven Browning Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes (for smaller meatballs reducee the cooking time). Transfer to a pot of marinara sauce and simmer gently for 15 to 30 minutes.

To Serve

  • Serve meatballs over favorite cooked pasta. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.