Homemade Italian Meatballs

As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

Italian Meatballs are about as good of a comfort food as you will find. These take a little time and some tender loving care, but boy, oh boy, are they worth it.

Homemade Italian Meatballs are quintessential Italian cuisine and just so delicious.

Oh, just look at these babies!

Close up of homemade Italian meatballs with Parmesan cheese on top.


Making authentic Italian meatballs is easier than you think.

Watch us show you the tricks to making the best Italian meatballs you’ll ever have or serve!

We love them, of course, on pasta, but they also make an incredible appetizer.

Who’s ready for the best Spaghetti and Meatballs in the world? WE ARE!





Just make smaller-sized meatballs and you won’t believe how fast these go at your next party or church pot luck!  

They are easy to keep heated in your trusty slow cooker.  I’ve been making these for years, and are always a huge hit.

The Loon, of course, loves them like crazy.

Using homemade fresh marinara sauce is key to make these Italian meatballs amazing.


These take some time to make, so start thinking about prepping a day or two in advance.

The end result, though, are something to behold!

Talk about flavor!  Simmering in the homemade marinara bolsters the Italian flavor so perfectly.

Homemade Italian Meatballs being lifted out of a pot of marina sauce with a wooden spoon.

We like to bake the formed balls in the oven to brown them up on the edges, then they go into a simmering pot of homemade marina to finish cooking and absorb even more flavor from the sauce.

If you prefer to brown them in a skillet, go for it!  They may lose some of their circular shape, but that’s okay…they’re homemade, remember!


A nice grating of fresh Parmesan cheese is the perfect final touch!


Make the marinara up to a week ahead of time.  These also freeze wonderfully well!

You just gotta make this incredible Italian Meatballs recipe!  Meatballs are one of the most popular food types in the world.  Learn all about the history of the beloved meatball here.

And did we mention how amazing these Italian meatballs are in a meatball hero?  Oh, this sandwich is MY meatball HERO!

Homemade Italian Meatballs in side a cheesy meatball hero sandwich on a cutting board.

Homemade Italian meatballs with a cheese grater above grating Parmesan cheese.

Homemade Italian Meatballs

These Homemade Italian Meatballs are wonderful over pasta, as an appetizer, or in a meatball hero sandwich. They take a little time to make, but are they ever worth it. You won't believe how incredible your house will smell as these gems are simmering in the made-from-scratch marinara sauce. Incredible.
4.8 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Authentic Italian, Meatball Hero
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 345kcal



  • 3 slices white Italian bread torn into large pieces
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 1/2 lb ground sirloin
  • ½ lb ground veal
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian bread crumbs recipe below
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices firm Italian bread crusts removed (let them sit out for about an hour to firm up)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 cups fresh marinara sauce




  • Process the bread in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until finely ground.


  • In a large mixing bowl, using your hands, mix together the beef, veal, pork, and eggs.
  • Gently mix, don’t over do it!
  • Now add the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salt, garlic, and pepper and mix it well.
  • Tear the bread into pieces and put in a bowl.
  • Add the milk and let it sit for about 8 minutes, press the bread with your fingers, make sure the milk is absorbed by the bread.
  • Add the soaked bread to the meat mixture and mix it in. Next add the grated cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the milk (discard the remaining milk).
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge about an hour.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, pull out chunks of meat and roll them between your hands that have been dampened with water. Place the balls on a baking sheet. Refrigerate the rolled balls for at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375 F.
  • Bake meatballs for 30 minutes. Flipping once, halfway through cooking.
  • (Alternatively, you can brown the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil - about 1 tablespoon - until browned on all sides).
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the marina over medium-high heat.
  • Slowly, and carefully, add the browned meatballs and any accumulated juice to the marina.
  • Lower the heat to medium and cook them for at least 45 minutes. Give them plenty of time to let the sauce and meatballs to get very familiar.
  • Use tongs to remove the meatballs from the sauce and place in serving bowl. Ladle on a little sauce and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top.
  • Serve with extra sauce on the side!



Calories: 345kcal
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!