Best Ever Italian Meatballs

"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!"
photo by Irishcolleen photo by Irishcolleen
photo by Irishcolleen
photo by Gee M.P photo by Gee M.P
photo by Irishcolleen photo by Irishcolleen
Ready In:
1hr 55mins
16 Meatballs




  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Shape into small meatballs.
  • 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.
  • Continue simmering until sauce reaches desired consistency and meatballs are cooked through.

Questions & Replies

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  1. jemcomeau
    My review is for those who, like me, may not have all the ingredients so the recipe was modified. Used all ground beef, no fresh herbs but substituted dried, omitted anise and green pepper. I cooked the meatballs in the sauce as directed but couldn't fit them all in the pan so baked the remaining ones - those in the sauce came out better. Didn't touch it for 25 minutes, turned them, simmered another 10-15. The sauced meatballs (12) were much larger than the size of a golfball and the baked ones (14) about the size of the golfball - so with 1 1/2 lbs. of meat, this makes quite a bit. Simmering them softens the onion where baking doesn't allow enough time for the onion to mellow. I'll use all fresh herbs next time - which I always prefer.
  2. Gee M.P
    This recipe is AMAZING! I omitted the anise because I didn't have it but it turned out yummy anyway. I've read the other reviews to leave out the green peppers so I'll try that next time. Also, the sausage I used for this was the Jimmy Dean sage flavor (it was all I had) which itself is seasoned to perfection so I also went easy on the salt. DELICIOUS!
  3. Fran G.
    Definitely the best meatballs ever! I use a bit more mince, almond instead of wheat flour, and exclude both the anise and capsicum. I've also made in bulk and frozen the meatballs to good effect. Thank you so much for this recioe!
  4. boiling_pans
    I've read and re-read the recipe and still can't find anything relating to the sauce. Where's the sauce ingredients and instructions? Anyone out there can help me? Thanks.
  5. Sylvia E.
    I made these meatballs with a couple changes and they were fantastic! I omitted the green pepper and did not use the anise seeds. I also put the meatballs in a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes before putting them into my sauce. Then I simmered them in the sauce for about 10 minutes. I was hesitant about dropping raw meat into my sauce. My family really enjoyed them. This is now my meatball recipe. Thanks for sharing!


  1. kitty.rock
    Very tasty meatballs - I used hot italian sausage in place of the ground pork and used grass-fed beef. I did not use the anise seeds. Made these in my mother's sauce and it all turned out beautifully. Served over gluten-free brown rice pasta. Thanks for posting - made for Spring PAC 2012.



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