Italian Meatballs

Okay, I know, everyone loves their meatballs

There are so many different variations out there and bragging rights fly around like pollen in spring

I absolutely respect all of it

That being said, I happen to love mine!  So let me share my Italian meatballs.  I normally can’t make these fast enough.  They are gone as soon as I turn my back on them

I’m making a big batch using 3 pounds of ground turkey (you can use whatever ground meat you like), I find the turkey stays super moist and picks up a lot of flavor

Let’s start with the ingredients

 You will need 4 large eggs, 1 cup of plain bread crumbs (more maybe needed to bind as you go), 6-8 ounces of grated Pecorino Romano grated cheese, 4-5 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley, Kosher salt, ground black pepper

I also use 3 pieces of potato bread soaked in about 1/2 cup of milk (just soaked enough to break it up, not to disintegrate the bread), for extra moist meatballs

Add your 1 cup of bread crumb

Whisk your 4 large eggs in a bowl and add them in

Break up your milk soaked potato bread into little bits and add to the bowl

Next up is the Romano cheese

Let the debate begin!

You can certainly use grated parmesan here, not a problem.  However let me chime in

My friends’ Mom made seriously crazy good Italian food

Her secret is “Romano cheese IN the food you’re cooking, Parmesan ON the food after cooking!”

Is this correct?

It has worked for me, you can try it and be the judge

So let’s add in our cheese, salt and pepper

Time to chop our garlic and parsley and add them to the mix

I like to combine all of this by hand

You can use a mixer, however, be careful not to over beat the mixture, this will make your meatballs dense

Just make sure the ingredients are combined well.  If the meat feels too loose to form balls, add more breadcrumb and even more cheese if your feeling adventurous

Okay… now you have a decision, how big do you want your meatballs?

I picked up this trick from my father in law

He uses a measuring cup to keep the meatballs even.  Why fix something that isn’t broken?  I make large meatballs when cooking them in sauce so I use a 1/3 measuring cup

Preheat your oven to 350 F

Place a piece of parchment paper over a sheet pan and start measuring out meatballs.  Don’t worry about the shape yet

We will come back and fix them with a little hand roll after we get them on the pan

With 3 pounds of meat, added ingredients, a 1/3 measuring cup, I was able to yield around 23 large meatballs

So as my Mom likes to say, “If you make them smaller you will get more”, so if you want these for a party, use a smaller measuring cup

Once done rolling, place in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until firm to the touch and lightly browned

Remove and set aside to rest

At this point, you can eat them as they are, or add you can add them into sauce (or learn to juggle)

We had a sauce going so we added them in and simmered them for about 30 minutes to meld all the flavors

Click on this link for our Simple Tomato Sauce




We went a little traditional here and served these over spaghetti

Italian Meatballs


Simply Sundays! ~ Italian Meatballs

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


3 pounds of ground turkey

1 cup of plain bread crumb (more may be needed to help bind the meat)

4 large eggs

3 pieces potato bread (soaked in a 1/2 cup of milk)

6 ounces of grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 cup of fresh parsley chopped

1 pound of spaghetti cooked and drained according to the boxes directions


Place your turkey meat into a large mixing bowl.  Add your 1 cup of bread crumb, whisk your 4 large eggs in a bowl and add them in.  Break up your milk soaked potato bread into little bits and add to the bowl

Add in your grated Pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper.  Peel and chop your garlic and add into the bowl.  Chop your parsley fine and add in as well

Using your hands mix meatballs until the ingredients are well combined.  If the meat feels too loose to form balls, add more breadcrumb and even more cheese.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Using a 1/3 cup measure start scooping meat out onto the parchment paper.  When all the meat is used go back and reshape them into balls with your hands

Place in a 350 F preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until they are firm to the touch and lightly browned.  They can be eaten like this, or simmered in sauce for an additional 30 minutes to meld their flavor

Serve over your favorite pasta

© Simply Sundays 2016
All rights reserved

4 comments on “Italian Meatballs

  1. great recipe. 1/3 cup makes BIG BALLS. Next time I will make them smaller to make more 🙂 I never really followed a recipe before and I had never put cheese in meatballs but now I follow a recipe AND put cheese in my meatballs! I have made them several times and they are always delicious. I usually use a scoop to make meatballs but tried the measuring cup method described above. Made BIG BALLS. But I know they will be delish!

  2. Very lovely!!! 😉 And yes: use cheese in it, over it! I love it!

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