Grandma’s Homemade Meatball Recipe

Homemade Meatball RecipeI know everyone has their own favorite meatball recipe, but this one is close to my heart. I have great memories of Sunday nights at my grandmother’s house, eating these meatballs in long-simmered marinara sauce.  You may thing you’ve had delicious meatballs before, but if you haven’t had my grandmother’s homemade meatball recipe, you need to fry some up for yourself.

Yes, I said fry. You can bake them for a more healthful preparation, but they won’t be just like grandmas.  At the risk of sounding like Paula Deen, some things — potatoes, bacon, oreos — just cry out to be fried. Hey, at least this recipe uses heart-healthy olive oil!

Grandma’s Homemade Meatball Recipe

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 slices day-old Italian bread, crumbled into coarse crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp good quality grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1/2- 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Whisk together the eggs and bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the garlic, parsley, basil, cheese, salt, and pepper to the egg mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined
  2. Add the egg mixture to the ground beef in a large bowl. Combine all ingredients manually — that’s right — you have to get your hands dirty!
  3. Form the mixture into balls, roll them in a light coating of olive oil, and pan-fry.
  4. Place them on a paper towel on a plate
  5. Serve with red sauce and pasta
Homemade Meatball Recipe
Note: these meatballs can easily be frozen if you have the fortitude not to eat them all in one sitting. I often make a double or triple batch and keep them in the freezer for making meatball subs. They’re easy to thaw; just toss them in a pan (or the slow cooker!) with some sauce and they’ll thaw pretty quickly.


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