Homemade Italian Meatballs

I used to be able to get away with making spaghetti as a meatless dish.  Our homemade sauce was sufficient to make it a satisfying meal.  It was a dish I could get on the table with little work and no planning ahead.

Unfortunately for me, I decided one time that I was going to be fancy and make some homemade meatballs to go with it.  The next time I made spaghetti without them I was met with “Don’t you usually add some meat to this?”  So, now whenever I want to make spaghetti I have to make meatballs too.

If you have (or are) an Italian grandmother, you’ll probably want to stop reading now.  I’m not making any claims that these are authentic Italian meatballs. However, I wanted to make the distinction because you’re not going to want to slather them in barbecue sauce and serve them as an appetizer.

So, here’s how I make my meatballs… Feel free to adjust the amount of this or substitute for that.  I won’t be insulted, I promise.

Add to a medium bowl 1/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, a teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning (or dried oregano, or dried basil, whichever you have), 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper).


I sometimes add 1-2 tablespoons of finely diced onion if I have my cutting board out (I’m not one to dirty a cutting board for a tablespoon or two of onion if I can help it), then omit the onion powder.  You could certainly do the same with some garlic.

Add one pound of ground beef and gently mix it with your hands until combined.


Divide it into 16 equal portions and roll them into balls.


I stick them in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour so the breadcrumbs can absorb the liquid and the fat in the meat can firm up a little.  I find they fall apart less when I do this.

I lightly spray my griddle pan with nonstick spray and preheat it for a few minutes.  You can use whatever pan you’d like, but I have the best luck with things not sticking on my griddle pan.


Put your sauce in a medium saucepan, preferably a heavy one with a lid.  Put that over medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil then turn it down to a simmer.

Brown the meatballs on all sides.


Once they are browned add them to your hot sauce and simmer them (covered, unless you need your sauce to reduce) for about 20 minutes or until they’re cooked through.


Once they’re done, enjoy them over your choice of pasta with a good sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.



Italian Meatballs


  • 1/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder,
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • A jar of your favorite pasta sauce


Gently mix all the ingredients except the pasta sauce in a medium bowl.

Divide the mixture into 16 equal portions and roll into balls.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Brown meatballs on all sides on a lightly oiled pan. Meanwhile, bring your pasta sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the browned meatballs to the hot sauce and simmer for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve over your favorite pasta.



Kimberly | My Frugal Farmstead


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