Meatballs With Any Meat Recipe (2024)



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I have adapted the Alton Brown way of baking them. Roll in fine bread crumbs, place in greased muffin tin. Forms a nice crust keeping plump and moist.


Saturate the panko (or other) breadcrumbs in milk to avoid having them dry out the meatballs, build depth, and also help bind.

Rob galiardo

Ok here are some secrets to great meatballs. One, add 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese per pound of meat. Two, mix ground veal, pork, and beef. And lastly, do not bake, fry, sauté or broil. Roll up the meatballs and allow to cook in a simmering sauce. These meat balls will be melt in your mouth soft and I guarantee the best meatballs you've ever eaten.. The author is correct on ratio.. One egg and half cup breadcrumbs per pound of meat. and 1/4 cups grated Romano. Enjoy!


I bake my meatballs, using a rack to keep them from getting greasy from melted fat. They brown all over, especially if you use a relatively high temperature--400 degrees or so. Cook your vegies before adding them to the meat mix, unless you like them crunchy. My favorite is a mix of onions and fennel. Timing depends on how big you like your meatballs and how hot your oven is.


Baked at 425° about 10 minutes.


When using ground turkey or chicken breast I will add olive oil to the mix to up the fat content with a healthier fat. The extra fat helps captures the flavor of the spices. The other option with poultry is to use thighs that have a higher fat content to begin with.


To make the meatballs more evenly sized, I pat the meat into a rectangle and cut into even sized squares. Then roll into balls. You could also use a smallish ice cream scoop, but that involves washing it, which is devilishly difficult to do with all the moving parts.


For Gluten Free: Polenta/Chickpea Flour or a combination; works very well.

Also, try a Thai twist: add finely chopped fresh Thai/Italian Basil, Cilantro, fresh Chilies, fish sauce, bit of brown sugar. Tastes fantastic! I pop them in a Red Curry with Coconut Milk, served with Steamed (Brown) Basmati Rice or Wasabi Mashed Potatoes: Yumm!


Americas Test Kitchen uses potato flakes in place of bread crumbs and it works well.


I used oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs.


Another thought to add:

I've been making meatballs in the oven for decades as described below – – I'd never go back to frying them.

Baking them at 375° on convection is FAR superior to broiling them. If you have a convection feature, definitely use it for baking/browning meatballs. Broiling meatballs can go wrong in a couple of minutes if you're not careful. It can also result in a charred exterior combined with a semi-raw interior. Convection baking is easy and foolproof.


With the black pepper, garlic and parsley options, exactly as I have made them for years, though I add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano, and can't recall when I didn't double the recipe.....the best.


Baked at 425ºF for ~10 minutes.


Uncooked and then frozen, they will stick to each other and get misshapen. Cooked and frozen, they will keep their shape, and unstick from each other more easily, and besides, they'll be so easy to use on a weeknight. I am using the micro less and less, so I heat them in a pan with just enough water to steam them a little bit.


I use panko in my turkey meatballs; it is lighter in texture than regular crumbs. Because turkey doesn't have a lot of taste I add a bit of chipotle ketchup and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to kick it up, along with minced onion.

venison adm

And 1 small yellow onion diced. Uncooked for nice crunchy texture


Bake 425 convection 7 minutes and turn for 5-7 minutes


Adding a little milk to the crumbs made them more moist, as Peter suggested 6 years ago.


I made these with Impossible plant-based meat and Just Egg. I think broiling works better than baking for Impossible - delicious and my guests didn't know they were plant-based until I said something. No slaughterhouse, no cholesterol, and a fraction of GHG emissions compared with cow or other mammal meat; awesome.


ground turkeyGround oats 1/2 cAlmond milk-1/3c?Parmesan Kraft 1/2 cupSpicesGood! Very tender maybe a little less oats and turkey


Really easy, fast and delicious. Panko and milk is key! I turn baking sheet and meatballs 1/2 through cooking time for more even browning and distribution. Learned better to undercook a little than to overcook-- can always cook more (and when reheated may cook more), but once overcooked...well, smother it in a yummy sauce. Great recipe, ENJOY!

Rebecca Brindza

Used two onions and gf bread crumbs, baked in oven and turned out great!


I made it with half beef and half pork. They were great.


Cooked on 1/20/24. I’m late to this party. The ricotta was dated, so I subbed milk. The balls were roasted in the convection oven . Addd cumin, garam masala, garlic, s and p, scallion. It tasted like the Kona from home.


Could you sub tofu?


I sub impossible burger for my vegetarian wife- works perfectly! I wouldn't try tofu, not a similar texture


These were so delicious. I made beef meatballs and used cumin and fresh basil. Since I eat GF, I put flaked oats in the food processor and ground them smaller and used them instead of breadcrumbs. They turned out great!

Lee Norris

Suggestions to drop uncooked meatballs into a sauce you are cooking work only if this is the only purpose for the meatballs. When I make meatballs I make a lot and freeze them for future meals. That means baking them (some people fry, but that's way too much work and fat), spreading them out on a baking tray, freezing, then bagging them for longer-term storage.Why would you want to do all the work of making these little balls only to plop them into a sauce meant for one or two meals?


Cook at 400 for about 15 minutes. Using rack.Use 1/4 cup parm.Make two pasta dishes to accompany:1. vodka sauce with big macaroni we already have2. marinara rigatoni with cheese and spinach

Tom D

Seared in a pan on medium heat until crispy. Flipped and seared the other side. Then finished in the oven at 375 for several minutes until cooked through.


Best meatballs I’ve ever made

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Meatballs With Any Meat Recipe (2024)


What is the best meat for meatballs? ›

Most meatballs served in marinara sauce are made with a mixture of beef and another ground protein, like pork sausage or veal—or all three. Pork gives the meatballs extra flavor, and veal helps keep them moist and tender.

What binds meatballs together? ›

Egg: A lot of meatball recipes add egg to the mince mixture because it helps to bind the balls together. Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs also help to bind your meatballs. If the mince mixture is quite wet, breadcrumbs will help soak up excess moisture so that the balls don't fall apart.

What do you put in meatballs so they don't fall apart? ›

Add a lightly beaten egg, but not too much. Egg acts as a binder for the ingredients, but you only need a small amount. One small egg will do for one pound of minced meat. Alternatively, if you're following an egg-free diet, you could soak fresh bread in milk, squeezing out any excess milk, to use as a binder.

What's the difference between meatballs and Italian meatballs? ›

American meatballs are the biggest in size, with Italian and Swedish meatballs following on the depth chart. Italian meatballs call for seasonings like grated parmesan and oregano, while Swedish ones use seasonings like nutmeg and allspice. While it doesn't sound like a huge distinction, you'll notice it in the taste!

What is the secret of a tender meatball? ›

Egg and breadcrumbs are common mix-ins to add moisture and tenderness. Another binder option that people swear by is a panade, which is fresh or dry breadcrumbs that have been soaked in milk. “The soaked breadcrumbs help keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking,” as food writer Tara Holland explained in the Kitchn.

What meat are Italian meatballs made of? ›

These classic Italian-American style meatballs are huge and pillowy soft! They're made with ground beef and pork, loaded with herbs and cheese, and served with a traditional tomato sauce.

What does adding milk to meatballs do? ›

When it comes to adding liquid to meatball mixtures, milk is often used for its versatility, depth of flavor, and richness. Without the use of milk, you may be faced with a plate of dry meatballs. Milk adds a certain level of moisture that helps produce perfectly tender meatballs.

How do you make meatballs not rubbery? ›

Add moisture.

Since the protein in meat makes it shrink when cooked and can result in tough meatballs, you want some insurance against that. Eggs and binders like breadcrumbs mixed with milk all help with keeping meatballs tender and moist, so don't skip any of these.

Should I add egg to meatballs? ›

You only need a small amount of egg – it's there only to help the cooked meatball retain its shape, and shouldn't detract from the meat's flavour or texture. Filler ingredients like breadcrumbs or flour are important too because they stop the meatballs becoming dry.

What can you use in meatballs besides breadcrumbs? ›

Rolled Oats

Oats are the perfect substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatballs or meatloaf. While they aren't ideal for a crispy coating, they add the right amount of texture to bind meat, eggs and flavorings together into a delicious Italian-inspired feast.

What makes meatballs stick together better? ›

Most meatball recipes call for a bit of starchy filler, such as dry breadcrumbs, oatmeal, or soaked bread, which is meant to keep the meatballs tender, hold everything together, and help add bulk.

Why do my meatballs fall apart when I cook them? ›

Because meat shrinks when cooked, mince proteins are likely to separate and crumble unless bound together. Whether it's breadcrumbs or egg (or both), or simply salt, binding the mince is a crucial step in maintaining the softness of your meatballs while preventing them from falling apart.

Are meatballs better baked or fried? ›

Baking will result in meatballs with a crunchy exterior, though the caramelisation achieved from frying will be superior. Baked meatballs take the least amount of effort, as you'll only need to turn them once or twice throughout the cook and you can make a larger batch at once.

What are Sicilian meatballs made of? ›

Sicilian meatballs, on the other hand, are typically made from a combination of ground beef and ground pork, along with ingredients like garlic, onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, and sometimes even pine nuts and raisins. They are often served in a tomato sauce or a sweet and sour sauce made from vinegar and sugar.

What makes Swedish meatballs different from regular meatballs? ›

While both varieties include ingredients such as grated onion and panade (milk-soaked bread) or bread crumbs, plus the usual salt and pepper, Swedish meatballs traditionally use spices like allspice, nutmeg, white pepper, and sometimes ground ginger as flavoring.

What is the best meat percentage for meatballs? ›

Best Kind of Beef for Meatballs

In this recipe, ground pork and ground veal are also being used, which contain a higher fat percentage than ground beef, so 90% lean is a good proportion to use. Otherwise, 70% lean is a good choice if using just beef.

Is chuck or sirloin better for meatballs? ›

Because ground chuck has a higher fat content than leaner ground beef from the sirloin or round steak, it holds together better when cooking. This makes ground chuck ideal for shaped meat staples like meatballs or meatloaf, where you want the meat to hold its shape.

Is beef or pork better for meatballs? ›

Both ground beef and ground pork are commonly used for making meatballs. The choice ultimately depends on personal preference and desired flavor. Ground beef tends to be more traditional and typically results in a heartier, beefy flavor, while ground pork can add a bit more tenderness and moisture to the meatballs.

What are authentic meatballs made of? ›

Ground beef, pork and veal are the most common choices in Italy when making meatballs. Some prefer just one, others a mix. It's really up to you. We definitely recommend staying away from chicken or turkey, though.


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