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Homemade Meatballs

In just a few simple steps, you can have your own tender and flavorful Homemade Meatballs that are perfect for pasta or subs!

EASY AND FLAVORFUL HOMEMADE MEATBALLS

Once you have made your own Homemade Meatballs, you’ll forever be spoiled and will want to make them anytime you are craving spaghetti and meatballs. These Italian Meatballs are extremely flavorful and turn out incredible every time you make them. The combination of the different meats and the various cheeses and seasonings makes these meatballs irresistible!

A sub roll with three large Homemade Meatballs and sauce.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

How do you keep Homemade Meatballs from falling apart?

Making sure you are using a binding ingredient like eggs and then using the breadcrumbs helps the meatballs stick together. I generally say one egg per pound of meat for best results. You also don’t want to over mix the meat or the meatballs may come out tough.

What is the best ground meat to use for meatballs?

I like to use a combo of the ground beef and ground pork. But you could technically use any ground meat. I suggest sticking to an 80/20 ground beef so there’s enough fat to work with. Fat equals flavor but you also don’t want an overly fat meat since it will release a lot while cooking in the oven. Just understand that when you start switching the meats to ground poultry, lean meats or meat substitutes, you may not get the same results as you would by using the original recipe.

Are these Italian Meatballs?

I would consider these more Italian Style Meatballs. Traditional Italian Meatballs use a pound of veal, a pound of ground beef, and a pound of pork. But, since we don’t love veal, we changed it up a bit and used 2 pounds of ground beef instead.

What is the best way to cook Italian Meatballs?

I love the combination of frying the meatballs to brown them before baking them. It locks in the flavor and moisture and gives them good color. Finishing them off in the oven ensures the center gets fully cooked without the outside burning or getting too dark.
If you want to skip the oven step, just add the meatballs directly to pasta sauce and let them simmer until they are fully cooked. Be sure to stir them gently in the sauce so they don’t break while cooking. This can take a while so be patient.

Can I make smaller meatballs?

Yes. This decrease in size will require a change in cooking time. You’ll have to figure that timing out as I have only made these meatballs this size. Just use your digital meat thermometer to know when they are done.

How do I know when my meatballs are cooked and safe to eat?

You should always use a digital meat thermometer to ensure that your meatballs reach 165F before eating. You can not just go by the cook times. Most people’s ovens aren’t calibrated to the correct temperature (I know mine isn’t and it’s new) so having an oven safe thermometer in your oven is helpful to make sure your oven is actually heating to the correct temperature. Also, depending on which oven rack you are cooking them on, they may not cook in the same amount of time. Only use the recipe cooking times as a suggested time. Use your meat thermometer to determine if they’re done and safe (no one wants to dig into raw meatballs.)
This meat thermometer (paid affiliate link) is the one I use. They are cheap but definitely worth every penny. They also have thermometers with a probe that can go right into the meat and the temperature gauge can be place outside the oven so you never have to open the oven door.

Can I use these meatballs to make meatball subs?

We love these in subs! If you want a good homemade sauce, you can use my homemade marinara sauce. It pairs nicely with these meatballs. You could also use your favorite jarred sauce if desired. Rao’s roasted garlic is amazing!

How to store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container with the sauce, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze Homemade Meatballs?

I would suggest flash freezing the meatballs first and then storing in a freezer safe container or freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.

Three meatballs on a sub roll.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • ground beef – you can use al ground beef if you prefer or you can even toss in some Italian sausage. If you are doing that, you may want to adjust your seasonings though since Italian sausage is already seasoned.
  • ground pork – I think this is the key to moist meatballs. The combo of pork and ground beef isn’t just for flavor but it also makes these meatballs tender (without falling apart.
  • large eggs – pro tip: if you let your eggs come to room temperature, they mix into the meat much easier.
  • pecorino romano and parmesan cheeses – I like this cheese mixed with the parmesan. But, you can just use one or the other, if desired. For folks who generally don’t enjoy Parmesan cheese, this one can be a good alternative.
  • Italian bread crumbs – you can use regular bread crumbs here. I am just amping up that Italian flavor.
  • garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil – you can substitute the oregano and basil with Italian seasoning. I would only use about half the amount though (or to your personal taste) as Italian seasoning has more seasonings in it than just oregano and basil so it can come across as stronger in flavor.
Ground beef, ground pork, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, grated pecorino romano cheese, grated parmesan cheese, eggs, Italian bread crumbs, chopped white onion, and parsley.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE MEATBALLS 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet  with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, pecorino romano cheese, bread crumbs, onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, pepper, salt, and basil and mix until well combined but do not over mix (or the meat can get tough.) It is easiest to use your clean hands for this step.

Roll the meat mixture into ¼ cup size balls and place them onto the prepared baking sheet. If you have a large spring loaded cookie scoop, you can use that to make it easier. 

collage of two photos: ground beef and ground pork in a bowl with seasonings; raw meatballs on a baking sheet.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, fry and brown the meatballs in batches on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes per side). I ended up frying these in about 3 batches.

Once browned, place the meatballs back onto the prepared baking sheet. Once all of the meatballs are browned, place the baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until an internal temperature reaches 165°F. 

collage of two photos: browning meatballs in a skillet; cooked meatballs on a baking sheet.

Then enjoy how you prefer!

A large sub roll with Homemade Meatballs.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

A sub roll with Homemade Meatballs and sauce on it.

Homemade Meatballs

In just a few simple steps, you can have your own tender and flavorful Homemade Meatballs that are perfect for pasta or subs!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 34 minutes
Total Time: 49 minutes
Servings: 25 meatballs

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, pecorino romano cheese, bread crumbs, onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil basil, salt and pepper and mix until well combined but do not over mix (or the meat can get tough.) It is easiest to use your clean hands for this step.
    A mixing bowl with ground beef, ground pork, eggs, pecorino romano cheese, bread crumbs, onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, pepper, salt, and basil.
  • Roll the meat mixture into ¼ cup size balls and place them onto the prepared baking sheet. If you have a large spring loaded cookie scoop, you can use that to make it easier.
    Uncooked meatballs on a lined baking sheet.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Once hot, fry and brown the meatballs in batches on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes per side). I ended up frying these in about 3 batches.
    Browned meatballs in a skillet.
  • Once browned, place the meatballs back onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Once all of the meatballs are browned, place the baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until an internal temperature reaches 165°F.
    Meatballs baking on a baking sheet.
  • Enjoy with your favorite pasta and sauce or in meatball subs!
    A large sub roll with Homemade Meatballs.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 307mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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