Perfect Italian Meatballs


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Perfect Italian Meatballs seem like an appropriate way to start this week right? I think so!

Perfect Italian Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Adam first whipped these up for me this summer and threw them on a pizza. 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 basically my recipe for success these days between all the holiday parties and events. I’m majorly savoring any down time at home and these Perfect Italian Meatballs are kinda the best way to do it!

Perfect Italian Meatballs

5 from 4 votes


  • 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
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium ball fresh mozzarella


  • 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 chopped. 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 begins to smoke slightly. Fry the meatballs to seal the crust, flip them over so both sides are done. 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


  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

  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!