This is the best Homemade Meatballs recipe ever!
There once was a relative who casually commented that she couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a recipe for homemade meatballs on my site. “I can’t have everything!” I told her. “Yeah, but meatballs???” she questioned. She’s right. It’s time for a good meatball recipe. Thank goodness the Pioneer Woman came along with her fab recipe to save my meatball-lacking site. Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) has published a brand-new cookbook, you see- The Pioneer Woman Cooks- Food From My Frontier. It’s bright and pretty and full of step by step photos, life on her ranch, and food that you want to eat. Besides the fact that I’m proud to call Ree my friend and you should support her because she’s lovely and fabulous and has cute dimples and a contagiously fun personality, her cookbook is truly one that you’ll want to have on your cookbook shelf.
Meatballs are the ultimate in comfort food, right? Toss them in marinara sauce and top a pile of freshly cooked noodles with them, or stuff them into a roll to create a meatball sub sandwich with melted mozzarella. We opted for Meatball Subs this time. SO good.
For the meatballs… they are a simple combo of ground beef and pork, garlic, fresh parsley, eggs, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt/pepper and a splash of milk. P.S. >Whole Foods and maybe other markets sell both ground beef and ground pork in bulk in their meat department… so you can just go in there and tell them you’d like 3/4 pound of each.
Shape them into whatever size meatballs you’d like- tiny ones to go on pizza or regular-sized meatballs like these (you’ll get about 24). Then you pop them into the freezer for a few minutes, just to firm them up so they don’t fall apart when you cook them in a skillet.
The meatballs are quickly browned in a skillet before they’re added to marinara sauce to simmer and finish them off. You can use bottled marinara, or you can make Ree’s recipe, or you can make the homemade marinara sauce that I made the other day.
Then you are free to use your meatballs however you’d like! I hope that relative who so delicately pointed out that I have no meatballs on my site is happy now. I really should thank her for her feedback… because these meatballs were very, very good!
In her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman shares a recipe for Rigatoni and Meatballs (sauce and all). These are just the meatballs here. The whole recipe (served over spaghetti) can be found on The Pioneer Woman’s website.
Yield: 24 meatballs
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- splash of milk
- olive oil
- 6 cups marinara sauce (2 jars or homemade)- more or less, as desired
- In a large bowl, combine the meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, a couple of grinds of pepper and a splash of milk. Mix together well with clean hands. Roll into 24 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet with the meatballs into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm them up slightly.
- To brown the meatballs, heat a couple of swirls of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) in a heavy pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, turning to brown all sides. They do not need to be cooked through.
- Add the meatballs and marinara sauce to a large pot and stir gently. Heat over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during simmering.
- Serve meatballs and marinara over noodles or stuffed into rolls with melted mozzarella cheese
- If you are preparing this recipe as Gluten-Free, just be sure to use GF breadcrumbs in place of regular. And use GF marinara sauce, of course.