Easy Italian Style Meatballs

Meatballs are typically made with inexpensive cuts of meat and combined with a variety of ingredients that serve as extra fillers, such as breadcrumbs and egg, and finished with plenty of herbs and spices for great flavor. Then, depending on your mood or craving, the meatballs can be served in a sauce ladled over pasta or piled on a hoagie roll to make a delicious meatball sub.

While there are so many different ways to prepare Italian style meatballs by varying the blend of meats and herbs, this is one of my favorite recipes. The key ingredient is a generous amount of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, which melts into the meat and adds rich flavor. A blend of soy sauce, lemon and a kick of crushed red pepper flakes doesn’t hurt either. (You can reduce the red pepper if you prefer a milder version.)

Italian Style Meatballs

HOW TO MAKE MEATBALLS
While there are so many different ways to prepare Italian style meatballs by varying the blend of meats and herbs, this is one of my favorite recipes. These easy meatballs are made with ground beef for a more lean variation. However, if you aren’t concerned with the fat and are looking for an even more flavorful rendition, I would simply use equal parts of ground beef and sausage for the perfect blend of flavors.  You can really use any ground meat including veal, lamb or sausage. 

A key ingredient is a generous amount of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, which melts into the meat and adds rich flavor. A blend of soy sauce, lemon and a kick of crushed red pepper flakes doesn’t hurt either. (You can reduce the red pepper if you prefer a milder version.)

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Since I am using a leaner cut of meat, I rely on my fillers to provide that extra moisture. In addition to the traditional egg and herb seasonings I also add a few special ingredients to ensure my meatballs are moist and flavorful. Once the mixture is prepared I roll them out to a 2oz meatball, which I find to be the perfect size….and yes, I do weigh them) I find that having a consistent size ensures each meatball reaches that 165 degree temperature at the same time.

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Once the meatballs are rolled and placed on the baking sheet, I will do one final basting of each meatball with the meatball glaze. I find this not only adds to the flavor it also makes the meatball look more appetizing once they are cooked.

These are so easy to make, but I tend to make them in large batches because they freeze so well. So if you make too much (never a problem) or double the batch, then place the extras in a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. Simply allow them to defrost overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. While I am a huge fan of a food saver, I found the vacuum seal would smash my meatballs so I opt for simply using the freezer safe bags. This also allows me to easily take out as many as I need for the next meal.

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5 from 1 vote

Italian Style Meatballs

If there is any food that exemplifies comfort food, it’s meatballs. Your mother likely made meatballs and so did her mother, and chances are that you are also making your own. They are typically made with inexpensive cuts of meat and combined with a variety of ingredients with extra fillers, such as breadcrumbs and egg, and plenty of herbs and spices for great flavor. Then, depending on your mood or craving, the meatballs can be served in a sauce ladled over pasta or piled on a hoagie roll to make a delicious meatball sub.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 408kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 eggs slightly beaten
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoon oregano fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons parsley fresh, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • cup pecorino romano cheese grated

Meatball Glaze

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pecorino romano cheese Grated
  • 1 teaspoon oregano fresh, finely chopped

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, crushed pepper, ketchup, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
  • Roll the mixture into 2 ounce balls and arrange on a baking sheet.
  • 3.Meatball Glaze: Combine the ketchup, pecorino romano. Using a basting brush, coat the outside of each the meatballs. Add a final sprinkle of oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 on an instant read thermometer.
Nutrition Facts
Italian Style Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 408 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 893mg39%
Potassium 509mg15%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 579IU12%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 193mg19%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

Dried oregano leaves may be substituted for fresh.
Any combination of ground veal, sausage and ground beef can used in addition to the ground beef. I would recommend a blend of 1/2 pound sausage, 1/2 pound veal and 3/4 pound ground beef.
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