Homemade Italian Meatballs

Our Homemade Italian Meatballs or polpettone are so good and so versatile.  Meatballs may seem so basic but oh how dreadful most of them are! Dry, rubbery, hard and full of filler, store-bought prepared meatballs are destined to leave you dissatisfied.  The solution is to make them yourself!  Our recipe for Homemade Italian Meatballs yields moist, chewy, soft and meaty (they are meat balls after all) meatballs which are easy to make; you’ll be so pleased with the result.  Make a batch of Homemade Italian Meatballs to serve in Quick Tomato Sauce or Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce, as a main course with vegetables on the side or in Argentine Meatball Stew.

Homemade Italian Meatballs

Prep Time: 1 hours, 10 minutes, Cooking Time: 35 minutes, Total Active* Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes. Yields approximately 48 golf ball size meatballs.

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  • 1 small Onion, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
  • 6 Parsley stalks, leaves and stems, rinsed
  • 1 lb ground Pork
  • 1 lb ground Beef (recommend 73/27 or 80/20 blends)
  • 1 large Egg
  • ½ cup Plain/Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 4 Tbs grated mixed Parmigiano and Romano Cheeses
  • ½ Tb coarsely-ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 Tb dried Oregano leaves
  • ½ Tb dried Thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp ground Sage
  • 1 ½ tsp dried Basil leaves
  • OR 2 ½ Tbs salt-free dried Italian Herbs Seasoning*
  • 4 Tbs Cooking Oil (Olive/Canola Oil blend recommended) for frying the meatballs


Homemade Italian Meatballs


  1. Chop the onion into quarters and the parsley stalks into 2 or 3 pieces each. Combine the onion with the garlic cloves and the parsley in a small food processor and blitz them into a loose puree.
  2. Add the ground pork and ground beef to a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, break and beat the egg with a whisk and add to the mixing bowl with the pork and beef.
  3. Add the pureed onion/garlic/parsley mixture to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add the bread crumbs, grated cheeses and seasonings to mixing bowl.
  5. Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water and rinse with cold water. Gently mix the contents of the mixing bowl with your hands until all ingredients have been combined; do not overmix or the meatballs will be very dense and hard.
  6. Using your hands, scoop a small amount of the mixture and form a golf ball size meatball. Place the meatball in a container and continue until all of the mixture has been formed into meatballs, separating the layers of meatballs with waxed paper.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow them to set prior to cooking; omitting this step will cause the meatballs to break apart when cooking them.
  7. After the meatballs have set, pour the cooking oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Working in batches, fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides.  Remove the cooked meatballs to a bowl using a slotted spoon or spatula and continue until all the meatballs have been cooked.
  8. Use Homemade Italian Meatballs as you will; if saving for future use, allow them to cool down so you can handle them before transferring them to an airtight container and freezing them.


  • Active Time does not include refrigeration time to allow the formed meatballs to set.
  • Dry Italian Herb Seasoning is a salt-free mix of assorted dried herbs associated with Italian cooking, usually a mix of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage. It is readily available at supermarkets and the big-box grocery stores too, often it’s organic too; make sure that it is salt-free.  Alternatively, you can make your own by combining those dried herbs.
  • Form Homemade Italian Meatballs to be the size of golf balls, basically two tasty bites, but feel free to experiment with different sizes to suit your needs and preferences.
  • We recommend frying Homemade Italian Meatballs prior to adding them to tomato sauce and other dishes, though my great-uncle Louis would only add raw meatballs to his bubbling marinara sauce, cooking them in the simmering sauce. Fried Homemade Italian Meatballs will also keep in an airtight container in the freezer for a week before degrading in quality.
Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce with Homemade Italian Meatballs

Marjoram Marinara Pasta Sauce with Homemade Italian Meatballs