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Best Meatballs Recipe for the Tastiest Juiciest Italian Style Meatballs

This is the best meatballs recipe for the tastiest, juiciest Italian style meatballs. Based on a traditional Southern Italian-style meatball typically made with ricotta, parmesan and pecorino cheeses, they’re fried until brown then simmered in a rich classic Italian tomato sauce. Serve as the Italians do with a rucola salad – or your favourite pasta.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 30 Meatballs
Calories: 115kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 250 g onion finely diced
  • 40 g white bread crusts removed
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • 400 g ground fatty pork
  • 250 g ground beef
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 60 g ricotta cheese – or another white cheese
  • 20 g grated parmesan cheese
  • 20 g grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley or celery leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 600 ml our homemade Italian tomato sauce see notes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley celery leaves or fresh basil leaves


  • In a fry pan or round flat-bottomed wok, heat the olive oil and fry the diced onion until soft and translucent, then transfer to a dish and refrigerate to cool to room temperature.
  • In a large mixing bowl, soak the white bread in whole milk, then add the ground fatty pork and ground beef, whisked egg, ricotta, parmesan and pecorino cheeses, fried onion, chopped flat leaf parsley or celery leaves, and seasonings, and combine with your hands.
  • Using a tablespoon and kitchen scales, scoop out 40 g of the ground meat mixture and roll it a few times between your two hands to form a meat ball. Don’t over-roll as you want the mixture loose to produce a more rustic meatball rather than a tight ball. Transfer it to a tray and repeat until you’ve used up all the mixture, then refrigerate until ready to fry.
  • In a large frying pan/skillet, make our homemade Italian tomato sauce using our recipe (link above) then turn the heat down to low and simmer while you fry the meatballs.
  • To another large frying pan/skillet over medium heat, add the cup of olive oil and heat until hot, then, using long tongs, transfer enough meatballs to fill the pan without touching. Fry the meatballs until they’re brown, using the tongs to rotate so that they’re evenly coloured, then transfer to the pan with tomato sauce. Repeat until all meatballs are fried and are all in the pan then simmer for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve as the Southern Italian do, at the centre of the table. Sprinkle with chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, celery leaves or fragrant basil, with a simple salad of fresh rucola tossed in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or with your favourite pasta.


Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 249IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg