Italian Meatballs

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

"I make loads of these at a time and freeze them in freezer bags for future use. These are great for meatball sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, meatballs and gravy, sauced meatballs or just about any recipe that calls for the addition of meatballs. I prefer using a mixture of ground pork and beef but I have used all the options listed with great results. Gluten free bread can be used in this recipe but you will have to soak it a little longer to moisten the bread."

Original is 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (237.1 g)
  • Calories 486.6
  • Total Fat - 29.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 11.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 246.2 mg
  • Sodium - 662.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 4.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.6 g
  • Sugars - 2.5 g
  • Protein - 47.2 g
  • Calcium - 152.7 mg
  • Iron - 5.4 mg
  • Vitamin C - 2.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

In large bowl, line slices of bread, cover with milk and let soak for 1 minute.

Step 3

With electric blender, mix until mushy and well blended.

Step 4

Add remaining ingredients and mix well with hands.

Step 5

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on rimmed baking sheet and cook for 30 to 40minutes,until done.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • When selecting ground meat, look for a 90/10 lean to fat ratio for the best flavor and texture.
  • If using gluten-free bread, make sure to soak it longer to ensure that it is moist enough to blend properly.

  • For a gluten-free option, substitute the white bread with gluten-free bread and increase the milk to 3/4 cup to ensure the bread is fully moistened. This substitution will benefit those with dietary restrictions or who are looking for a gluten-free option.
  • For a lighter option, substitute the ground beef with ground turkey. This substitution will benefit those looking for a lighter option that is still packed with flavor.

Vegetarian Meatballs Replace the ground beef with 2 pounds of cooked and mashed lentils. Replace the eggs with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and 6 tablespoons of water. Mix the flaxseed and water together and let sit for 5 minutes; then add to the mixture.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli - This simple side dish is the perfect pairing for Italian meatballs. The garlic and parmesan cheese add a delicious flavor to the broccoli and the roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetable. It's a great way to add some extra veggies to the meal!

Garlic Herb Baked Fish: This light and flaky fish dish is the perfect accompaniment to the garlic parmesan roasted broccoli. The combination of garlic, herbs, and lemon juice creates a flavorful and aromatic dish that is sure to please. The fish is cooked in the oven, making it an easy and healthy option for a weeknight meal.


Q: How do I make the meatballs gluten free?

A: Use gluten free bread in the recipe and soak it for a longer time to moisten it.

Q: How do I make the meatballs healthier?

A: Use lean ground beef or turkey, reduce the amount of cheese and oil, and add more vegetables to the mixture.

11 Reviews


Oh, we adored these meatballs. I simmered in a tomato and basil sauce with some spicy Italian sausage and it was a hearty, wonderful meal. I doubled the recipe and made a TON of meatballs and they're in the freezer, ready for another day. I'm so happy I made this recipe. Thank you for sharing.


review by:
(6 Aug 2023)


Very tasty! I made small one bite size balls and enjoyed every mouthfull. The sauce is "Spicy Classico " a bought sauce. Served with a fresh salad. I love your photo with the meatball on the fork.


review by:
(20 Jan 2019)


I halved the recipe for three of us and served over spaghetti with a tomato, garlic and basil sauce meat sauce over it with a garden salad on the site with some garlic bread as well. The meatballs were a little on the dry side but that was my fault in just over cooking them by about 10 minutes or so. Other than that my only changes were partly from dietary reasons and family preferences in that due to dietary I omitted the onion salt and onion flakes and as they hate parmesan I substituted cheddar cheese and from my respective I have had always had problems adding milk soaked bread to my meat mix so used dried breadcrumbs till I got the texture I thought was right. From my half mix I got 26 meatballs each weighing about 30 about 30 grams but as mentioned they got just a little too much in the oven but overall a very enjoyable meal, thank you QueenBea, made for Alphabet Soup Tag Game.


review by:
(4 Sep 2015)


I doubled this recipe because we have a big family .I used all ground pork , ground from a loin . I used a small ice cream scoop to make the meatballs uniform . They came out wonderfully . This was my first attempt ever to make my own meatballs the family say's its a " do again " . Thank you for the recipe .


(9 Jan 2014)


These took a little while to make but I did a double batch so I could freeze some, so in the long run I will be saving time. They are delicious and I have used them to make spaghetti and meatballs and also meatball subs. I froze some to use for my sister's shower coming up and I know they will be so good with sauce. I made my meatballs on the small side so they made lots. This recipe will be cherished!


review by:
(18 Mar 2013)


I made these today and froze them for the freezer. I had to try one before I bagged them. They were very good. I didn't have fresh Parmesan so I used the "sprinkle from the can" type. Don't do that unless your in a pinch and then only use 1/4 cup and increase milk at least 1/4 cup. I didn't have Oregano so I used Italian seasoning. All in all they were very good and will be great to have on hand for quick dinners.


review by:
(18 Aug 2012)

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Fun facts:

The Italian meatball recipe is said to have been invented by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD. He is believed to have served them to his troops as a nutritious and delicious snack.

Famous Italian-American actor and comedian, Joe Pesci, is known to have said that his mother's Italian meatballs were the best he ever had. He even went as far as to say that he would never be able to replicate them.