Italian Meatballs

italian meatballs
Homemade Italian Meatballs
italian meatballs

Italian Meatballs

This Italian meatball recipe developed by my mom and approved by my adopted Nonna who was about as Italian as they come.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 pound ground beef no leaner than 85/15 or you will have DRY meatballs
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ¾ teaspoon table salt)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons spaghetti sauce


  • Preheat oven to 400 °F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  • Combine all ingredients above by hand, using your fingertips and not “squishing”, until well mixed.
  • Roll into small balls – see picture below, banana for scale (but seriously, about 2.5-3″ in diameter).
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes. Stir into your preferred heated spaghetti sauce and serve with spaghetti. Makes about 24 Italian meatballs (which is like 2 servings at my house).


Uncooked meatballs with a banana for scale.
italian meatballs (before cooking)
These freeze well after cooking, just allow the pan to cool completely and stick it directly into the freezer for a few hours. Then you can pop the meatballs off the pan and put them into a freezer bag for storage.
Keyword all beef meatballs, homemade meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs

Obligatory Fictional Backstory

I once went to Nepal on a spiritual journey to seek enlightenment. What I got instead was this recipe for Italian meatballs. I asked the Shaman “Mītabalakō rahasya kē hō?” which I thought was asking him to share the secrets of the universe with me, but my Nepali was a bit shaky so I actually asked for “the secrets of perfect meatballs”.

As serendipity would have it, it turns out that before he was a Shaman he was a highly respected professional chef in Italy! After much meditation, I’ve made a few adjustments and I think these are even better than the original recipe. Is that hubris? Maybe. Or maybe I’ve just improved upon a perfect recipe. Try it yourself and see.

Want more garlic? Check out Italian Dipping Sauce Chicken!

I would also like to share a glorious song from my childhood. You didn’t know this was going to turn into a sing-a-long blog, did you?

On top of spaghetti
All covered with chee-hee-heese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed

It rolled off the table,
And onto the floor
And then my poor meatball
It rolled out the door

It rolled in the garden and under a bush
And then my poor meatball
It turned into mush

The mush was so tasty
As tasty can be,
And then my poor meatball
Turned into a tree.

So if you eat spaghetti
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball
And don’t ever sneeze.

Source: LyricFindSongwriters: Tom Glazer On Top of Spaghetti lyrics © Memory Lane Music Group (Domestic) (slightly edited to match my memory)

Here is the phrase “spaghetti and meatballs” in as many different languages as possible. I used Google translate so I apologize in advance if I insult your grandmother. Come to think, I should have probably translated “Italian Meatballs” instead since “Italian Meatballs” is the actual title of the post. Oh well.

Spaghetti en frikkadelle spageti dhe qofte spagetti və küftə Spyāghēṭi ēbaṁ miṭabala espagetiak eta albondigak spahiecci i teftel špagete i mesne okruglice spageti i kyufteta spaghetti nhang meatballs espaguetis i mandonguilles spaghetti ug mga karne Yìdàlì miàn hé ròu yuán spaghetti è polpetti

špageti i mesne okruglice špagety a masové kuličky Spaghetti og kødboller spaghetti en gehaktballen spagetoj kaj viandoj spagetid ja lihapallid spaghetti at meatballs spagetti ja lihapullot spaghetti et boulettes de viande espaguetis e albóndegas sp’aget’i da khortsis burtulebi Spaghetti und Fleischbällchen makarónia kai keftedákia Spāghēṭṭī anē mīṭabaslsa espageti ak boulèt spaghetti da meatballs spaghetti a me nā pepa ʻai manu spaghetee aur meetabols

spaghetti thiab meatballs spagetti és húsgolyók spaghetti og kjötbollur spaghetti na meatballs spageti dan bakso spaghetti agus liathróidí feola spaghetti e polpette Supagetti to mītobōru spageti lan bakso Spāgeṭṭi mattu mānsada ceṇḍugaḷu spagettï jäne ettartqış spaghetti ning brahet sach spaghetti na ballball seupagetiwa miteubol spaghetti û meatballs spagetti jana koy etteri spaghetti lae meatballs Spaghetti et meatballs spageti un kotletes

spagečiai su mėsos kukuliais Spaghetti a Fleeschebäll špageti i ḱoftinja spaghetti sy baseball spageti dan bebola daging spāgeṭṭi, mīṟṟbēāḷs spagetti u pulpetti kōkihi me te kai Spēgēṭī āṇi mīṭabŏla spagyetti ba makhan bömbölög Spēgēṭī ra mīṭabalaharū spaghetti og kjøttboller spaghetti ndi nyama spaghetti i klopsy espaguete e almôndegas Sapaigēṭī atē mīṭabāla spaghete si chiftelute Spagetti s frikadel’kami spaghetti ma meatballs spaghetti agus buill-feòil špagete i ćufte

spaghetti uye meatballs spægaṭi saha mīṭbōls špagety a mäsové guľky špageti in mesne krogljice Spaghetti iyo boogaha hilibka spaghetti le li-meatball espagueti y albóndigas spaghetti sareng baso spaghetti na mipira ya nyama spagetti och köttbullar spagetti va gūştxūrī Āravāramāṉa maṟṟum mīṭpāls Spagheṭṭi mariyu mīṭ‌bāls S̄ pā kĕt tī̂ læa lūkchîn Spagetti ve köfte spagetti we köfte spahetti ta


2 thoughts on “Italian Meatballs”

  1. Pingback: Sugar and Spice Cookies – Give Me The Recipe, Dammit!

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