Grandma’s Famous Italian Meatball Recipe

By Ghuman


Welcome to Grandma’s Famous Italian Meatball Recipe! This recipe has been passed down through generations of our family and is a favorite among all of us. Grandma’s meatballs are always a hit at family gatherings and potlucks. They are juicy, flavorful, and full of Italian spices. This recipe is easy to make and can be served with pasta, in a sandwich, or as an appetizer. So, let’s get started and make some delicious Italian meatballs!

Grandma’s Famous Italian Meatball Recipe

Grandma’s famous Italian meatball recipe has been passed down through generations and is a family favorite. This classic Italian dish is sure to please everyone at your dinner table. The secret to Grandma’s delicious meatballs is in the combination of herbs and spices that she uses.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Add the milk and egg and mix until everything is well combined.
  3. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place them on a baking sheet.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are browned on all sides.
  5. Transfer the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve the meatballs with your favorite pasta and sauce.

Grandma’s meatball recipe is the last word household consolation meals! Spheres of floor beef broil till golden brown, then simmer in a flavorful tomato sauce till tender and juicy. Serve over spaghetti noodles or your favourite pasta.

Three large beef meatballs on a bed of spaghetti noodles and topped with parmesan cheese
Desk of Contents
  1. Meat choice
  2. Utilizing a panade
  3. Breadcrumb choice
  4. Broiling creates new flavors
  5. Meat-to-bread ratio
  6. Make a straightforward tomato sauce
  7. A very good sauce takes time
  8. What to serve this with
  9. Grandma’s Italian Meatball Recipe Recipe

Earlier than we received married, my husband, Jason, needed to verify I knew the right way to make all his favourite meals. He comes from an Italian household the place a love of meals is their bond. After calling up Grandma Rose to ask for her meatball recipe, I realized that she doesn’t use an inventory of particular measurements and cooks by really feel. As a culinary scientist who craves particulars, I had some homework to do.

After years of testing, that’s how lengthy we dated for; I lastly figured it out! Crucial parts are the breadcrumb combination to retain juiciness, broiling to create floor flavors, and simmering to tenderize the meat. This recipe makes loads of servings to make use of with pasta or sandwiches, and the leftovers style even higher.

unmixed meatball ingredients in a bowl

Meat choice

I take advantage of floor beef between 80% (floor chuck) to 90% (floor sirloin). The proportion corresponds to the quantity of lean meat-to-fat that’s processed collectively. Fats provides taste, whereas the meat gives a distinction in texture.

Grandma did say she makes use of a combination of veal and pork now and again, along with the meat. For this recipe, you’ll be able to simply substitute floor turkey or hen for a more healthy different.

Utilizing a panade

If utilizing breadcrumbs, you wouldn’t have to soak them in liquid earlier than mixing with the meat like I usually would for a basic panade. That’s as a result of the breadcrumbs’ dimension is so high-quality that the moisture from the eggs and fats juices within the floor beef is ample.

When you combine and broil, the liquids will take in into the crumbs and activate the pure starches. In the course of the simmering course of, the starches additional bind to the liquid and swell to lock within the juices. 

Breadcrumb choice

I like to recommend utilizing plain breadcrumbs then including in dried Italian seasonings for herbaceous notes. You should utilize premade Italian-style breadcrumbs for comfort, however I favor to manage the extent of seasonings. 

Alternatively, if I’ve leftover bread, I make contemporary breadcrumbs in a meals processor then bake them till dry for a tastier meatball. This feature works properly for those who need to make gluten-free breadcrumbs if none can be found on the market.

Broiling creates new flavors

Grandma’s Rose adamantly advises broiling the meatballs earlier than simmering them within the sauce. This course of is an integral step in preserving the meat collectively throughout simmering and enhancing the floor taste and texture. The meatballs prepare dinner underneath the broiler on one facet, then flip to get the bottoms browned as properly.

Grandma was a sensible lady! With out realizing it, she was telling me to verify the Maillard response is finished and executed excellent. In culinary faculty, I realized that Maillard browning is essential to creating lots of of recent taste compounds and aromas in a dish.

Meat-to-bread ratio

The proper ratio of meat-to-breadcrumb and fats for taste is essential to nailing the recipe. If there are too few or too many breadcrumbs, the feel is off (robust or spongy). I discover the proper candy spot is: 1 pound beef, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, and 1 massive egg.

Make a straightforward tomato sauce

Meals wealthy in glutamates like onions, garlic, and tomatoes serve to spice up the meatballs’ savory flavors. Minced garlic and onion saute with the tomato paste so as to add a touch of sweetness and depth to the sauce. Top quality crushed canned tomatoes create a thick however pourable consistency. I make the sauce and simmer it briefly for about half-hour whereas making ready the meatballs. 

Meatballs simmering in a pot of tomato sauce

A very good sauce takes time

Slowly simmering the meatballs within the sauce for over an hour permits the liquid to coax out the appetizing browned flavors from the meat. The braising course of and acids within the tomato assist to melt the more durable connective tissue within the beef, so that every chunk breaks down with little resistance. The sauce taste concentrates over the lengthy cooking interval.

This recipe can be very best to be made in a gradual cooker, about 3 hours on excessive or 6 hours on low. Jason jogs my memory that the sauce must be thick in order that it will probably cling to the noodles. It’s simple to regulate the consistency with a bit of water or beef inventory to your liking on the finish of cooking.

What to serve this with

Meatball sliced in half with a fork on a bed of spaghetti noodles

Find out how to forestall meatballs from shrinking

Including breadcrumbs to the bottom meat combination creates a starchy paste that holds the moisture in and prevents shrinkage. Often, when meat cooks, the muscle fibers’ proteins tighten and contract, which causes massive quantities of water to squeeze out. If you don’t use a basic panade or breadcrumbs, the meatballs will scale back in dimension and have a tendency to develop into dry or robust.

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Tomato Sauce

  • In a big pot or dutch oven, warmth olive oil over medium-low warmth. As soon as scorching, add the onion and garlic, sauté till onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.

  • Stir within the tomato paste and prepare dinner for 1 minute. Stir within the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer coated, with lid barely ajar to stop splattering for half-hour, stirring sometimes. Season with salt and pepper to style.


  • Set the oven rack to the lower-middle place and set it to broil. Line a big baking sheet with foil and calmly grease it with olive oil. Put aside.In a big bowl, add the bottom beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced onion, salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Use arms to combine totally till mixed.
  • Measure and roll the bottom beef combination into ⅓ cup (3 ounces) rounds, concerning the dimension of an egg. Evenly area the items on the baking sheet, there needs to be about 14 to fifteen meatballs.

  • Broil the meatballs till the floor is browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Flip over and prepare dinner for an extra 2 to three minutes to calmly brown the opposite facet.

  • Switch the meatballs to the tomato sauce. Cowl the pot with the lid barely ajar, simmer on low warmth for not less than 1 ½ hours, checking and stirring each 20 minutes, or as wanted. The meatballs needs to be fork tender when sliced.

  • On the finish of cooking, modify the consistency of the sauce with water if wanted, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Season to style with salt and pepper.

  • Serve meatballs with spaghetti topped with sauce, sliced basil, and Parmesan cheese.

  • Storing: Cool fully and retailer in an hermetic container for as much as 5 days.
  • Freezing: Raw meatballs might be saved in a big freezer bag for as much as 1 month within the freezer. Defrost earlier than broiling. Cooked meatballs and sauce might be frozen for as much as 1 month, then defrosting and reheated on the stovetop till scorching. 
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour.
  • Make it within the gradual cooker: Use a 6-quart gradual cooker. Add the sauce components to the gradual cooker and broiled meatballs. Prepare dinner on excessive setting for 3 hours, or 6 hours on the low setting.

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Diet Info

Grandma’s Italian Meatball Recipe

Quantity Per Serving

Energy 216
Energy from Fats 99

% Each day Worth*

Fats 11g17%

Saturated Fats 4g20%

Polyunsaturated Fats 1g

Monounsaturated Fats 4g

Ldl cholesterol 44mg15%

Sodium 810mg34%

Potassium 19mg1%

Carbohydrates 9g3%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 19g38%

Vitamin A 250IU5%

Vitamin C 4.1mg5%

Calcium 120mg12%

Iron 0.5mg3%

* P.c Each day Values are based mostly on a 2000 calorie food regimen.

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