Not a turkey or chicken to be found; traditional Italian meatballs are made with a mixture of meats such as pork, veal and beef. For my recipe, I use lean ground beef and they taste just as delicious, but with less fat and calories than traditional meatballs. Easy to make and delicious, these Italian Beef Meatballs will quickly become a staple in your recipe rotation. They’re kid approved, too! Who doesn’t love a meal the whole family enjoys?
What you’ll need to make Italian Beef Meatballs
Here’s the ingredient list for this recipe:
- 96/4 lean ground beef
- I buy this locally at King Kullen or Trader Joe’s
- marinara sauce
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- dried oregano
- fresh parsley
The most frequently asked question for this recipe will most likely be: can I use jarred marinara sauce?
My answer? Of course you can! Whatever your family enjoys, and whatever is easiest for you will work perfectly here.
I make my own because I find it to be so easy! And it comes without all the added sugar that you find in the jarred ones. For my marinara sauce recipe, click here.
How to make Italian Beef Meatballs
Oven baked or fried?
So, first things first… you can either bake these (which is what the recipe says to do) or you can pan fry them. I’ve done both, and they both work great!
If I pan fry them, I finish cooking them in my marinara sauce. If I bake them, they fully cook in the oven, and then I just toss them in the marinara sauce. Either way works perfectly.
If you’re using the oven method, preheat the oven to 375F.
Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to cooking.
Prepping the ingredients
First, let’s prep some of the ingredients. Mince up your garlic and chop up your parsley.
For this recipe, I like to grate my onion. Grating the onion allows it to be super finely minced, but also it breaks down some of the fibers of the onion and makes… onion juice? Well, it leaves a really flavorful liquid that helps keep the meat moist. To grate the onion, use a cheese grater like this one.
You’ll need 1/4 cup of the grated onion for this recipe. It will look like this.
Add the onion, garlic and parsley that you’ve prepped to a large mixing bowl, along with the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce you plan on using to serve the meatballs with (yes, the marinara also goes inside the meat mixture!), the oregano, salt, and pepper.
Now, get to mixing. Use the best tools out there for this: your hands.
Now, it’s time to roll the meatballs. The size of your meatballs is totally up to you; just update your recipe builder accordingly. For this recipe, I like to make either 12 or 16 meatballs. This time, I used a small scooper and made 16 meatballs.
Cooking the meatballs
Grab a baking sheet, and spray it with olive oil spray. Then, place your meatballs evenly on the baking sheet.
Now, bake the meatballs for about 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through.
Then, toss them in your sauce! It’s as easy as that.
Serve over pasta, or on rolls with some melted mozzarella for the ultimate meatball hero!
Italian Beef Meatballs
- cheese grater
- mixing bowl
- baking sheet
- 1 lb lean ground beef 96/4 lean ground beef
- ¼ cup marinara sauce
- ¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup onion grated
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Marinara sauce for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Grate the onion using a cheese grater or mini food processor. Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley.
- Add the beef, onion, garlic, marinara sauce, breadcrumbs, egg, oregano, salt, pepper, and parsley to a bowl.
- Using your hands, mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Using a small scoop, create 18 equal-sized portions. Roll and form them into balls using your hands.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
- Place the meatballs on the baking sheet equally spaced apart.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Toss with more marinara sauce for serving.
- Frying pan directions: preheat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil spray and sear the meatballs on all sides until golden brown, using tongs to flip them gently (the meatballs will not be cooked through). Then, add them to marinara sauce in a pot to finish cooking,
- 1 point per meatball, all plans