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Published October 2, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Enjoy a classic delicious weeknight meal with this spaghetti and the best homemade meatball recipe that comes together in under 1 hour.
Meatballs consist of finely minced meat with vegetables, seasonings, and binders like eggs and breadcrumbs to help keep them together. They are thin cooked and served in a myriad of ways.
There isn’t much in the food world that is more traditional than spaghetti and meatballs. It’s easy to make, it’s delicious, and when it’s homemade, there’s absolutely nothing like it.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make It
- Beef – I use a lean to fat ground sirloin of 90/10.
- Pork – Ground pork is what you will need for this.
- Bread – Any good artisan loaf of bread will work, such as Italian or French bread.
- Vegetables – I like to add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to mine.
- Herbs – Basil, parsley, and fresh rosemary are used in these meatballs.
- Cheese – Parmesan cheese is best, but you can use pecorino Romano.
How to Make the Best Meatball Recipe Ever
1. Submerge some Italian or French bread in water for 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Prep up onions and garlic and add to a bowl. I usually do this stage while the bread is soaking.
3.: Squeeze as much liquid from the water-soaked bread as possible and add it to the bowl with the onions and garlic.
4. Add ground beef and ground pork to the bowl as well. I like to use ground sirloin at a 90/10 ratio of lean to fat.
5. Add the eggs, parsley, rosemary, basil, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Use all fresh herbs, and you can add fresh oregano to the mix as well.
6. Mix everything in the bowl until completely combined.
7. Form golf ball-sized meatballs using your hands and place them on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake in the oven at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes. This recipe makes 40 meatballs, so be sure to freeze the remaining uneaten meatballs.
Can You Cook Raw Meatballs in Sauce?
If you add the raw meatballs to the tomato sauce, they will most likely fall apart into the sauce.
Start by browning all sides of the meatballs in a large sauté pan over medium heat with olive oil, which takes about 6-8 minutes.
Next, add them to the sauce and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until they are completely cooked. I prefer to pan-sear the meatballs or cook them directly in the oven.
Serve It with Spaghetti
This is a personal choice, but I like to first coat the meatballs in the Pomodoro sauce and then set them to the side. From there, I add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss it around until coated, and then serve the tomato sauce-coated meatballs over top of the pasta with a garnish of parmesan cheese and parsley.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These can be made 2 to 3 hours ahead of time. Just keep them warm and covered at very low temperatures.
How to Reheat: Add the meatballs to a casserole dish and cover them off with foil. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 375° or until warm. You can also heat it in the microwave. If serving with spaghetti and sauce, simply place them in a saucepot along with the sauce and cook over low heat until warm.
How to Store: Store them covered in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The meatballs freeze well covered in plastic for up to 2 months. Likewise, the Pomodoro sauce freezes well but will not if it is coated in the pasta.
CHEF NOTES + TIPS
- Once the pan-seared or oven-roasted meatballs are browned, you can add them to the sauce and then simmer them over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are completely cooked throughout.
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Spaghetti and The Best Meatball Recipe Ever
For the Meatballs:
- 2/3 loaf of French or Italian bread submerged in cold water
- 2 small or 1 large peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 ½ pounds of 90/10 ground sirloin
- 1 ½ pounds of ground pork
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 heaping cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
Optional Spaghetti and Sauce
- 1 pound uncooked spaghetti noodles
- ½ batch of Pomodoro sauce
- Preheat the oven 425°.
- Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the water-soaked bread as possible and add to a large bowl along with all of the meatball ingredients and mix until completely combined.
- Next for golf ball sized meatballs and place them 1” apart on cookie sheet trays lined with parchment paper.
- Bake them at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until they begin to get a little brown on top and are cooked throughout. This recipe makes 40 total meatballs.
- With 10 minutes left in the cooking process add the spaghetti to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally so that the noodles do not stick.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and place the desired serving amount for 4 people into the sauce and coat in the sauce. Remove and set aside.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Serve with meatballs over top and garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley.
I grew up in an American Italian family and the family meatball recipe was handed down to my brothers and sister….thought it couldn’t be improved on? Billy you changed my mind and recipe! The best and I share your recipe with all who come and eat in my kitchen. la dolce vita Angelo
Certainly the best meatballs I’ve ever made and, now, best I’ve ever eaten!
I used to think a chef’s recipe is just too complicated. Chef Parisi teaches well, and his recipes are such that confidence is gained with every one I’ve tried. Furthermore, each recipe I’ve done is now a “go to”- including these meatballs!
This is an excellent recipe. I have made it many times and will never go back to my old recipe for meatballs.
The best I ever made according to my husband. The soaking bread in water was key for me. It also helped my meatloaf. Last night I had family over they all said its the best meatloaf they ever had. Thx!
I forgot to give u 5 stars on previous comment. My bad.
Absolutely LOVE these meatballs!
I think it has to do with the soaked bread.
Flavorful and so easy to make, love the texture. So great to make and freeze for a quick, delicious dinner or a great meatball sandwich. The sauce is a must make as well.
I made these meatballs they were not only delicious they were super moist. Thank you Chef Billy for another great recipe. Next I do want to try your meatloaf recipe as we spoke before it is different than mine but I love trying new things.
These meatballs are not only the moistest, they are the most flavorful I have ever served. I served them with garlic mashed potatoes and a caramelized-onion gravy and cranberry sauce. Next I am going to make the spaghetti sauce. Your recipes and techniques are making me popular, Billy! Thanks.
Oh my gosh! These really are the BEST meatballs! We are making them for a second time, can’t wait!
As Muhammad Ali said, if you can do what you say yoi ain’t bragging. Made this last night, using your meatball, spa, and sauce recipes. The best spaghetti and. Eat all meal we ever had. Only issue we had is we put the meatballs in for 30 minutes at 425 and the bottoms got a little burnt. Our fault the next batch, we made a lot, we put them in for 22 minutes and perfect. Thanks for the recipes
Oh my! The hits just keep on coming. I thought I knew how to make a meatball but I was clearly mistaken. Best I ever had.
These are legit! The aroma they create while I’m putting them together is so wonderful. Thank you Chef. Now I want to make your lasagna!
I tried this meatball recipe and it’s a keeper! I thought I had the best recipe but your Recipe is better! My family loved how’s most the wet bread made the meatballs.
Also tried the spaghetti sauce recipe with the 2 different Italian cheeses and I was pleasantly surprised how delicious the cheese made the sauce.. Thank you for sharing your time and recipes!
Very good, I love the texture of the meatballs. I knew 1 1/2 tablespoons of rosemary was to much for me, next time I’ll use 1/2 of that. Good job and I like cooking your recipes.
I am a seasoned Italian home cook, but sadly, my meatballs were mediocre at best. I made your recipe last weekend and they were fantastic … this will be my go – to recipe from now on. Thank you for sharing it !
Amazing recipe. Best meatballs I’ve ever made. Hits all the right notes, simple yet complex flavors.
These are indeed the best meatballs I have ever had. I have tried many, many different recipes over the years and these are incredible. One my son’s friend said I should sell these! Thanks for sharing your recipe Billy.
It’s early morning here in AZ. I’m enjoying my cup of coffee out on the patio. My husband and I are finally having a coupe of friends over for dinner (while socially distancing of course) this evening. I’ve been making meatballs and sauce for probably as long as you’ve been alive. I started watching you on Facebook about a month ago. So… here is the thing, you really know your stuff and as a lifelong corporate trainer, I can tell you-you really know how to teach! Your level of detail is perfect. But back to dinner tonight. Now I’ve already made your meatballs once and they are delicious and easy to make. This however is the first time I made your sauce. I do have to admit, I still start with about a half can of tomato paste. I learned a year ago that the best thing to do is brown it in some oil first. And I mean brown it super dark. It adds a natural sweetness to the sauce. I then continued with your recipe and OMG, it’s amazing!!! Like I said you know what you’re doing. So thank you for the simplicity of your recipes. BTW, I hope your move went well. Best wishes.
I have made your sauce (2 kinds, Pomodoro and spaghetti), your pasta and your meatballs! Seriously, all great. I am not a stalker, but now I have friends who also follow you!
This is my favorite kind of comfort food!
You can’t beat homemade spaghetti and meatballs! Such a classic that’s always so delicious!
I love homemade meatballs, the ones made with beef and sausage like this are the best. I’m intrigued about the bread, I’ve never seen it soaked before.
Loved these meatballs! I popped about half in freezer to have on hand for next time!