Perfect Italian Meatballs

Rating:

Total Time:

55 minutes

Difficulty:

Easy

Perfect Italian Meatballs seem like the appropriate way to kick off the ALMOST weekend!

Perfect Meatballs from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

These meatballs have been in the fall/winter rotation since my culinary school days. They are PERFECTION. Adam, one of my very best friends and food stylist wizard, made them for me over 8 years ago! I’ve since stolen his recipe and made them on repeat for chilly nights when all I want to do is throw something in the oven, curl up on the couch with a blanket, and have a glass of red wine. That’s basically my recipe for success these days between all the crazy deadlines and work obligations. I’m majorly savoring any down time when I can snuggle with Poppy, eat some Perfect Italian Meatballs and be very chill.

The key to these meatballs is two fold:

  • the pesto like herb mixture that gets blended in a food processor before being adding to the meat mixture. It’s insane and really a key moment in this recipe
  • the use of both beef and pork. yes, you could absolutely just use one or the other, but the combo of two makes these extra special and worth the extra trip to the grocery store.
Perfect Meatballs from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

If you’re wondering what to serve these with… here are a few of my favs:

Perfect Italian Meatballs

Gaby
Buckle up – these are the most perfect italian meatballs that will ever grace your kitchen. Go ahead and double the recipe because you'll want these on hand at all times. Inspired by the OG Food Network man himself… Tyler Florence
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs divided
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh parsley
  • 1 loosely packed cup s bunch basil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium ball fresh mozzarella

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl combine the beef, pork, ½ cup panko bread crumbs, milk and eggs and set aside. In a food processor, combine the parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts. Process for 30-45 seconds until almost pesto like. Add the herb mixture to the meat and mix until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the meatballs into large balls then roll them in the remaining panko bread crumbs.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Fry the meatballs on all sides to seal the crust. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • To the same pan, add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and some extra basil. Let everything simmer together and reduce slightly for about 10 minutes. Pour the tomato mixture over the meatballs and top with torn mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Garnish with extra torn basil and parsley.

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Recipe Rating




45 comments

  1. Heather Christo

    Meatballs!!! my favorite and these indeed look totally delicious. Perfect for a blustery night.

  2. Monika

    I haven’t made meatballs in ages, and I don’t know why! This reminds me that I need to do it with this recipe ASAP!!

  3. Julie @ Table for Two

    These would be perfect on top of pasta or in a meatball sandwich!

  4. Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen

    We are major meatball lovers in my house. Yours look amazing!!!

    • Gaby

      Hey Ellen!

      Sorry! I don’t have the software to calculate the nutritional value of my recipes – there are some online programs you can input the recipe in if you’re comfortable using a specific program! Thanks
      Gaby

  5. Jenna

    Made these tonight. These meatballs were super easy to make and a wonderfully hearty dish on a rainy Pacific Northwest night.

  6. Kimberly Endrizzi

    Do you use all 1/2 cup of oil in the meatballs or is some of this intended for frying? Do you toast your pine nuts or leave them raw? Thanks!

  7. Laurie Daniels

    These look awesome..I am in the process now of making brie, bacon and basil, I am however roasting a few heirloom grape tomatoes with it
    …Can’t wait for dinner…You are a cook after my own heart!!!

  8. melanie

    i wa looking at this once and knew i had to try it…and boom! i have been making these eversince. i make batches of the meatballs and just put them on the freezer. And anytime we want to have some italian meatballs it would be so much easier to make it from then. thank tou gaby. this is a real bomb and a lifesaver.

  9. Antonia

    These were incredible! My husband claimed them “best meatballs he ever had” Next time I’m trying poly-o mozzarella (personal preference).

  10. Grace

    At what temperature do you bake the meatballs at the end? They look delicious!

  11. Lauren

    How many meatballs does this make? Also, if making ahead and reheating the next day, how long would you reheat for? Thanks!

    • Gaby

      roughly 20-24 meatballs depending on the size! I’d reheat in some sauce in a skillet for 10ish minutes but check the middle to see if its warm

  12. Jamie

    5 stars
    This is my FAVORITE meatball recipe! My husband and I love meatballs and when we made these, we knew we’d never need another recipe!

  13. Courtney Meza

    Sorry, I’m confused. The recipe says for 1/2 C olive oil, but how much of that goes into the herb mixture and how much is used for the pan?

    • Lauren

      Hi Courtney, I read in a previous reply she posted that all of it actually goes into the meatballs!

  14. Lulu

    5 stars
    First of all, thank you- your book has gotten us through covid-19 quarantine.

    I had never made meatballs… these are amazing! And now our family is hooked. I was hesitant about freezing them because I have frozen store-bought meatballs before and they were not good. You cannot tell the difference with these. Still delish.

    Gaby, is there a side-dish that you would recommend to go with these (besides pasta)? Like a specific salad or something.

    Thank you!

  15. HollyKG

    I just made these and they are delicious. I was confused about the oil though. It says 1/2 cup plus more for drizzle, yet its mentioned as part of the herb mix, part of frying, and then the drizzle. Are you supposed to put 1/2 cup of oil IN the herb mix? That’s what I did…

    • Gaby

      yes – in step 2: In a food processor, combine the parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts. Process for 30-45 seconds until chopped. Add the herb mixture to the meat and mix until evenly combined.It’s basically like adding a pesto into the meat mixture before you cook

  16. Lauren

    5 stars
    I think these are the best thing I’ve ever cooked. They have so much flavor; I feel like someone cooked them for me. I didn’t change the recipe and wouldn’t do anything differently.

  17. jess

    These are so good! My husband and I high fived after eating them because we were so proud!

    I have a ton of pesto in my freezer from this past summer so I used a cup of that instead of making the herb mix (since the herb mix is basically a pesto). I also only had 2 eggs so I used only 2 instead of 4 and they still stuck together fine. Taking a cue from Gaby’s chicken parm meatballs, we stuffed these with a ball of mozzerella. I figure you can’t go wrong with more cheese!

  18. Karen Carter

    How many meatballs should I be able to make with this recipe? Or how large should my meatballs be?

  19. Laurel P Hansen

    This looks great, perfect for a potluck I’m organizing in early November. My question, and forgive me if someone has already asked this question, is what size baking dish? I’m planning to double the recipe so need to know if I use one large or two medium or two large. Thanks,

  20. Pamla Grier

    5 stars
    Made these meatballs last night. Seriously, the best meatballs I’ve ever eaten, Today I ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner–I’m obsessed! My “large” meatball were slightly smaller than a tennis ball. I baked them in a 9×13 pan and had 16 meatballs. The sauce is simple and oh so good. The total star of the dish is the pesto added to the meatballs. Thank you, Gabi, for a new family favorite.

  21. Barbara+Gabbe-Harris

    I made these meatballs today…OMG! Sooo good! Amazing how light they were! I especially liked adding the herbs to the meat mixture after combining in the Cuisinart….a new way to make meatballs for me. My husband was over the moon! His favorite meal is spaghetti & meatballs, will definitely make these again. Thanks Gaby!

  22. Melissa

    Making these tonight… Absolutely can’t wait!

    Eating some tonight, plan to freeze the rest. How would you recommend freezing? Simply taking what we didn’t eat including the fresh mozzarella that was baked on top and putting it in one dish? Would the mozzarella freeze OK? Simply reheat in a 350 oven from frozen until defrosted and warmed through?