posted in Beef Main Dishes

Homemade Meatballs

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

Homemade Meatballs

Use them to top spaghetti or to stuff inside rolls for meatball sub sandwiches!


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
SOURCE: (adapted slightly and reprinted with permission from William Morrow from Food From My Frontier)


  1. postedMar 19, 2012 3:36 AM

    My favorite is the Sun-dried Tomato Risotto. And tres leches cake, of course!

  2. postedMar 19, 2012 3:40 AM

    I love Ree’s Homemade Cinnamon Bread…its the best!

  3. postedMar 19, 2012 3:40 AM
    Cheryl Stoy

    Blueberry Crumbcake

  4. postedMar 19, 2012 4:04 AM
    Olivia S.

    I love her Beef with Peppers stir fry! It’s so good!

  5. postedMar 19, 2012 4:07 AM
    amy marantino

    the Marlboro Man sandwich

  6. postedMar 19, 2012 4:20 AM

    Rib eye steak with whiskey cream sauce

  7. postedMar 19, 2012 4:28 AM
    Louisa B.

    Baked lemon pasta!

  8. postedMar 19, 2012 4:34 AM

    I feel boring, but I have to say chocolate chip cookies!

  9. postedMar 19, 2012 4:42 AM

    I LOVE her cinnamon rolls! So yummy!

  10. postedMar 19, 2012 4:43 AM

    There are so many good ones – I’m trying Crash Hot Potatoes this week!

  11. postedMar 19, 2012 4:46 AM

    Her cinnamons rolls are TDF!

  12. postedMar 19, 2012 4:48 AM

    Oh goodness – my husband is going to love the whiskey bbq sliders

  13. postedMar 19, 2012 4:53 AM

    My favorite recipe is the Marlboro Man Sandwich. Sticks to your ribs!

  14. postedMar 19, 2012 4:59 AM

    Her eggs benedict. Delicious!

  15. postedMar 19, 2012 5:01 AM

    Her texas sheet cake! thanks!

  16. postedMar 19, 2012 5:12 AM

    I made her chicken pasta not too long ago and it was great!

  17. postedMar 19, 2012 5:14 AM

    i love her cinnamon rolls

  18. postedMar 19, 2012 5:14 AM
    Sara Burnette

    My favorite PW recipe is Cinnamon Rolls – I make them for Christmas gifts and Christmas morning every year. They’re decadent!!

  19. postedMar 19, 2012 5:15 AM

    the marlboro man sandwich

  20. postedMar 19, 2012 5:17 AM

    the salisbury steak recipe looks good!

  21. postedMar 19, 2012 5:18 AM

    Her creamy mashed potatoes. Delicious!

  22. postedMar 19, 2012 5:20 AM

    I love her white chicken enchiladas from the PW website. That’s my go-to recipe when I have company over.

  23. postedMar 19, 2012 5:21 AM

    so hard to choose a favorite… I guess the chicken tortilla soup, it was a hit with the whole family.

  24. postedMar 19, 2012 5:24 AM

    I love just about everything in the cookbook, but the Texas sheet cake is a family favorite.

  25. postedMar 19, 2012 5:26 AM

    Her buttermilk fried chicken is amazing!

  26. postedMar 19, 2012 5:28 AM

    We make her Creamy Chicken Mushroom Spaghetti Casserole every other week!! It’s even better as leftovers to take for lunch!

  27. postedMar 19, 2012 5:30 AM
    Robin Gossman

    Love her mashed potatoes with cream cheese and Lawrys salt. Make em every year for Christmas

  28. postedMar 19, 2012 5:32 AM
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids

    The meatballs look delicious. It is honestly hard to pick just one favorite. If I had to, I think that it would be her Texas Sheet Cake. Amazing!

  29. postedMar 19, 2012 5:33 AM
    Evelyn R

    PW chicken spaghetti is a family favorite

  30. postedMar 19, 2012 5:37 AM
    Sheddy R

    By far, it’s her cinnamon rolls!

  31. postedMar 19, 2012 5:38 AM

    Chicken spaghetti is my favorite, too!

  32. postedMar 19, 2012 5:41 AM

    Her cinnamon rolls are fantastic!!

  33. postedMar 19, 2012 5:44 AM

    I made the Caramelized Onion Dip from Tasty Kitchen for Christmas last year…yummy!

  34. postedMar 19, 2012 5:46 AM

    I looove her chili recipe! sooo good!

  35. postedMar 19, 2012 5:52 AM

    These meatballs look really good, as does your Reuben Sandwich. My favorite recipe from Pioneer Woman is her pancakes. They are delicious! Please enter me in this contest for Ree’s new cookbook!

  36. postedMar 19, 2012 5:55 AM
    Amy M.

    PW Cinnamon Rolls are Amazing! We love them.

  37. postedMar 19, 2012 5:58 AM
    Amy C.

    So hard to choose just one! The mashed potatoes are so easy and so delicious. That is probably the recipe I make the most!

  38. postedMar 19, 2012 6:00 AM

    Black berry cobbler or corn dogs! Both make such a wonderful birthday treat. I think I’m going to go make some for my birthday today!

  39. postedMar 19, 2012 6:01 AM
    Donna Tanner

    Her restaurant style salsa!

  40. postedMar 19, 2012 6:10 AM
    Jenn @ Icing on the Cake

    Too hard to choose! Either the Milky Way cake or the Blackberry Cheesecake! Yum.

  41. postedMar 19, 2012 6:12 AM

    My husband and I love the Cajun Chicken Pasta!

  42. postedMar 19, 2012 6:14 AM

    My favorite PW recipe is her cinnamon rolls DELISH!!!!

  43. postedMar 19, 2012 6:18 AM
    Jeanne ODonnell

    My favorite recipe, so far, is Texas sheet cake. Love it!

  44. postedMar 19, 2012 6:18 AM

    All of her recipes are great, but I really love the Marlboro Man Sandwich or the Cinnamin Rolls. YUM!

  45. postedMar 19, 2012 6:20 AM

    I have always loved the cinnamon rolls. And the photos – drool!

  46. postedMar 19, 2012 6:20 AM

    Definitely the pasta a la betsy! Still make that one all the time.

  47. postedMar 19, 2012 6:24 AM

    Her pizza crust is the best!

  48. postedMar 19, 2012 6:25 AM

    My favorite recipe is the recipe for her amazing chocolate cake she made for her hubby’s birthday in her TV show….I made it for my family and they were just over the moon about it!

  49. postedMar 19, 2012 6:26 AM

    I love her cinnamon scones! YUM

  50. postedMar 19, 2012 6:29 AM

    Who can resist those delicious-looking devil dogs?

  51. postedMar 19, 2012 6:34 AM

    Her barbecue meatball recipe is my favorite although I have made many of her other recipes and they are always delicious!

  52. postedMar 19, 2012 6:36 AM

    Ooooh don’t know….these meatballs look pretty darn tasty! Thanks for the chance to win.

  53. postedMar 19, 2012 6:48 AM

    I haven’t made it yet, but I’m dying to make her sheet cake.

  54. postedMar 19, 2012 6:48 AM

    My favorite from her site is red velvet sheet cake…yummmm..:)

  55. postedMar 19, 2012 6:52 AM

    Hands down, “Knock you Naked Brownies”

    I made these a few weeks ago and the are magnificent! They are also super easy to make. They were a huge hit at my house.

  56. postedMar 19, 2012 6:52 AM

    Roasted butternut squash pasta with brown butter sage sauce- amazing!

  57. postedMar 19, 2012 6:54 AM
    April V

    I love her Texas Sheet Cake!!

  58. postedMar 19, 2012 6:56 AM

    we make edna mae’s pancakes with yogurt insttead of sour cream and pw’s beans and cornbread. easy and delicious.

  59. postedMar 19, 2012 6:56 AM
    Chris W.

    These meatballs look amazing! I have to say my favorite Pioneer Woman recipe is definitely her mac and cheese – can’t make it too often, but when I indulge it’s SO GOOD.

  60. postedMar 19, 2012 6:56 AM

    The glazed donuts! She has inspired me to get into food photography. All of her meals leap off the page and make you want to cook them immediately!

  61. postedMar 19, 2012 6:58 AM
    Missy G

    My fave is Perfect Iced Coffee. Since we’re already hitting mid 80s in SE TN, iced coffee is definitely a go-to in the afternoons.

  62. postedMar 19, 2012 6:58 AM

    Love the pie crust recipe! Have made this so often and is foolproof everytime and is easy!! It is better than my moms’ recipe and that is saying something!:)

  63. postedMar 19, 2012 6:59 AM

    Ooh, her braised short ribs!

  64. postedMar 19, 2012 7:14 AM

    My favorite, often made recipe by Ree is her Parmesan Chicken. I’ve made it several times for guests too. Everyone LOVES it!

  65. postedMar 19, 2012 7:15 AM
    Hello Kimmy

    I am new to the Pioneer Women cookbooks, blog and show. Just saw Ree on The Chew making chicken tetrazzini. It looks so simple and delicious. I love that. Gives cooks hope in the kitchen.

  66. postedMar 19, 2012 7:15 AM

    Knock You Naked Brownies, of course! 🙂 Hope I win!!

  67. postedMar 19, 2012 7:16 AM
    Gina B

    My favorite PW recipe is her Beef Stew with Mushrooms!

  68. postedMar 19, 2012 7:18 AM

    My favorite recipe is her chicken tortilla soup.

  69. postedMar 19, 2012 7:18 AM

    I LOVE homemade meat balls. I cooked an Asian version this weekend in fact for a dinner I hosted. I would soooooooooooooo love to get my hands on a copy of Ree’s book. Here’s hoping!

  70. postedMar 19, 2012 7:18 AM
    Danielle D.

    The brisket and roasted asparagus!

  71. postedMar 19, 2012 7:20 AM

    I love her blueberry cobbler..cause my favorite part is crust and there is more crust in hers and it’s simple to make!

  72. postedMar 19, 2012 7:20 AM

    I love the Pioneer Woman’s green bean casserole. It’s a more modern, fresh version of the classic and I make it every year for Thanksgiving!

  73. postedMar 19, 2012 7:22 AM

    any recipe from the pioneer woman that includes short ribs!

    or the goat cheese polenta, mmmmmmmm.

  74. postedMar 19, 2012 7:22 AM
    Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Her cinnamon rolls. YUM!

    Great giveaway!

  75. postedMar 19, 2012 7:22 AM

    I love this her Creamy Chicken Spaghetti. It is delicious!

  76. postedMar 19, 2012 7:23 AM

    Hubby and I love her beer braised beef! If it’s a PW recipe then I KNOW it’s good! 😉

  77. postedMar 19, 2012 7:24 AM

    Cinnamon rolls! !!! Cinnamon rolls! ! Cinnamon rolls! !! They are a favorite in my house.

  78. postedMar 19, 2012 7:25 AM

    Hot fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls! Hubby loves the knock you naked brownies 😉

  79. postedMar 19, 2012 7:27 AM

    Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy — yum-o!!

  80. postedMar 19, 2012 7:28 AM
    Julia P.

    I love her texas sheet cake! Have brought this dessert to many luncheons.

  81. postedMar 19, 2012 7:28 AM

    I love so many! But my family’s favorite is one that is so simple! The Egg-in-a-hole! We have them nearly every Sunday for breakfast. My girls would eat ’em every day if I’d let them!

  82. postedMar 19, 2012 7:28 AM

    The recipe I have always gotten compliments on is the My favorite Meatloaf.

  83. postedMar 19, 2012 7:29 AM
    Dena Hamlin

    Hmmm fave recipe. Now that is a hard one. I love making her pot roast! Have been dying to try her cinnamon roll recipe! Looking forward to her new book and all the deliciousness that awaits inside!

  84. postedMar 19, 2012 7:30 AM
    Amanda Jertberg

    Chocolate cake!! Yum yum

  85. postedMar 19, 2012 7:34 AM
    Patricia Jenkins

    I just love the Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta! Can’t wait to try the meatballs!

  86. postedMar 19, 2012 7:35 AM
    Laura S.

    My favorite recipe is the spicy whiskey bbq sliders. They are so very yummy and I think they’re even better as leftovers the next day. I just got a kitchenaid mixer, so I’m excited to search for recipes to use it! WAHOO! I’ve been wanting one for sooo long.

  87. postedMar 19, 2012 7:37 AM
    Lauren S.

    I LOVE her jalepeno poppers and her cinnamon rolls recipes. NOM NOM NOM. I love ALL of her recipes to be honest. She is amazing. Thank you.

  88. postedMar 19, 2012 7:38 AM
    Tammy W

    I never tried any of her stuff. Just saw her cookbook at wal mart was gonna buy it but didn’t have the extra money. What a great give a way.

  89. postedMar 19, 2012 7:39 AM

    mmmm.. just made her braised short ribs from her website. they were amazing.

  90. postedMar 19, 2012 7:39 AM

    I really enjoy PW’s recipe for black-eye pea salsa. It’s a favorite in my house. The recipe can be found on her website.

  91. postedMar 19, 2012 7:40 AM

    Well, I’ve never tried any of the Pioneer Woman’s recipes, but her Seafood Pasta looks pretty darn good.

  92. postedMar 19, 2012 7:42 AM

    Love love love her lasagna recipe! I’ve passed it along to so many people because it’s that good! 🙂

  93. postedMar 19, 2012 7:43 AM

    I have been cooking my way through Ree’s cookbook and my favorite recipe so far is the Pot Roast – ohmigoodness, it is the best! If you haven’t tried it you must!

  94. postedMar 19, 2012 7:43 AM

    I love her chicken parm. It’s absolute heaven on a plate.

    Speaking of heaven… maybe I’ll make the PW cinnamon rolls today.

  95. postedMar 19, 2012 7:45 AM
    Laura malone

    My favorite is the chicken salad pasta

  96. postedMar 19, 2012 7:46 AM

    Macaroni and cheese!!

  97. postedMar 19, 2012 7:47 AM
    Stacey Burke

    Red Velvet Sheet Cake

  98. postedMar 19, 2012 7:48 AM
    April @ Angel's Homestead

    We LOVE P-Dubs Restaurant Style Salsa. I make a batch every week to keep on hand. Delicious.

  99. postedMar 19, 2012 7:54 AM

    Yum yum yum I love the Broccoli Cheese Soup on the PW website!

  100. postedMar 19, 2012 7:56 AM
    Therese Lussier

    I love all of her recipes especially the Braised short ribs. Keep up the good work 🙂

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