Best Ever Italian Meatballs

Total Time
1hr 55mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This is a recipe I was given from a lady from Italy. She told me that the secret of mouth watering meatballs is not to cook them before adding them to the sauce, as cooking them in the sauce will not only add more flavor to the sauce, but also to the meatballs. What I do is make these a day ahead of time, with my sauce. Then, I refrigerate it over-night, which makes any fat rise to the top and harden, where it is easily removed. This process also allows all of the flavors to "marry" together, making it especially delicious!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Shape into small meatballs.
  3. Drop the meatballs into simmering sauce. It is important not to stir the sauce for at least 25 minutes. This will allow the meatballs to firm up enough as not to break up in the sauce. Make sure your burner is low enough so that your sauce does not scorch during this process.
  4. Continue simmering until sauce reaches desired consistency and meatballs are cooked through.
Most Helpful

5 5

I've had many varieties of meatballs over the years. My grandmother is Italian. I followed recipe, but doubled it and left out green pepper (which is a huge NO in Italian meatballs) and it was fantastic!!! I'm never making another recipe again.

5 5

These meatballs are by far THE BEST we have ever made or tasted! I'm Hungarian so I take pride in everything I cook, cooking them in the sauce is it's a secret I never knew. I am on my second batch, I got my two kids to help me mix everything together I doubled the recipe! I'm making two batches tonight and freezing one for the next time. I'm actually going to slow simmer an entire meatloaf submerged in sauce this way and then carefully pull it out of my Dutch oven to cool. I will have enough this time around to make meatball subs afterwards and to slice them when they're cool and put them on our homemade pizza! thank you so much Colleen for putting out this recipe my family and friends love it!

5 5

This recipe is amazing. The only thing I found not to my likening was the bell pepper. It gave it extra zest but with the onion garlic and bread crumbs it made the meatballs too chunky. Many people skipped the anise but I found that this ingredient is neccessary to combat the spicy-ness that the cayenne pepper gave. The only other thing I would do is use lean ground beef and pork because much of the fat is left in the sauce since there is no way to drain the oil. I didn't mind the fatty sauce but it make it look orange instead the traditional red of tomato sauce. But that's the brilliance of these recipes is that some of the weird things work for some and others not. It is then up to you to make the final touches to make it your "World's Best".