Meatballs Recipe

Written by CMP on October 26, 2008

It took me a long time to get my meatballs to come out tasting anywhere close to those my mom made when we were kids - and still does today. It's not that she held back on the recipe, but perhaps I was just trying to find my own way.

I use a mix of pork, veal, and beef while my mom uses all beef. And I've added fresh herbs and replaced the seasoned bread crumbs with plain. I have, however, stuck with the store-brought bread crumbs. I refuse to head down that "old-world" path of soaking Italian bread in milk and then squishing it into the meat mixture. My mother's recipe for meatballs, and HER mother's recipe for meatballs used store brought breadcrumbs. It was good enough for them, and it's good enough for me.


  • 3 Lbs Mixture of Ground Beef, Pork, and Veal (about 2:1:1 ratio)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese (or a mixture of the two)
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup (packed) Fresh Basil Leaves (about 20-30)
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Oregano
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 2 Eggs (beaten lightly)
  • 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Into a food processor, place the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano. Pulse until the herbs are well chopped and everything is combined.

Dump the mixture from the food processor into a large mixing bowl, then add the meat, eggs, and olive oil. Using your hands (there's no other way, really), mix the whole mess together until just combined. Try not to over work the mixture.

Form the mixture into ball a little smaller than a tennis ball and place on baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then open the oven and turn each meatball over once, and cook for another 20 minutes. At this point, I like to add the meatballs to the slow pot of tomato sauce I've had simmering for an hour or so. I also use a few of these to start that pot of sauce (read my homemade tomato sauce recipe).

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