Classic easy Italian meatballs recipe with a bit of spice. The addition of ancho chili pepper, to a mainly traditional recipe, offers a deep flavor profile making your meatballs special, and not too spicy.
Seems to be that every culture has a variation of the meatball. If we asked, most would think meatballs originated in Italy. Given the Italians are great at making meatballs, they were not the first.
Classic Italian style meatballs often are made with Beef, Pork & Veal. The Pork offers a nice addition of fat and moisture. The Veal is very tender and has a meaty sweetness that pairs well, $$$. Veal is costly and a luxury protein. Today in our recipe we are using Ground Chuck and Sirloin. Sirloin beef is known for its flavor profile. Takes the beefiness up a few notches.
Cooking the Italian Meatballs
Wow, there is a lot of ways to cook Meatballs. I personally enjoy braising them in a flavorful Tomato sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes (Sauce Recipe Attached To Printable Recipe Card Below). San Marzano tomatoes are said to be the very best tomatoes in the world, originating from Italy. San Marzano tomatoes are easy to find in most grocery stores these days. Highly suggest you give them a try 🙂
Cooking Meatballs Methods
- Sou Vide (airtight bag cooked in a warm water bath)
- Microwave ( gross- but hey it's a method )
So pretty much you can cook Meatballs anyway your heart desires.
Watch Our How-To Video:
Easy Italian Meatballs
What's your favorite way? Did I miss a method? Leave your comments below if you like. Love to hear your thoughts.
Italian Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound Ground Chuck
- 1 pound Ground Sirloin
- ½ large Onion Vidalia Onion works great
- 2 ½ tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 tablespoon Dry Oregano
- ½ tablespoon Thyme
- ½ tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- ½ tablespoon Cumin
- 28 Parsley leafs Sprigs
- ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese Italian Blend works great
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- ½ tablespoon Garlic Salt
- 1 tbps Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper To Taste
- 1 or 2 whole Eggs
- 24 oz San Marzano Tomatoes canned
- 12 oz Can of Fire Roast Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic ( If you can't find just use Fire Roasted tomatoes
- 2 tbps Tomato Paste
- ¾ large Onion Helps to puree in a food processor
- 1 medium Poblano Pepper de-seeded and Ribbed ( Helps to puree in a food processor with the Onion)
- 2 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 tbps Sea Salt
- ½ tbps Black Pepper
- 1 tbps Dried Oregano
- ½ tbps Dried Thyme
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder / Or Chipolte Powder (hotter)
Making the Flavor Base
- In a food processor add;- MEATBALL INGREDIENT LISTAdd in the onion and dried ingredients, (leafy dried ingredients are best if you rub them in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils). Also, add a few parsley leafs (12), be sure to keep some parsley for presentation/garnish once you're done.
- Blend/Pulse till you have a smooth mixture
- In a large mixing bowl add one or two eggs and whip them to combine
- Next step add in your Base/Paste mixture and combine both together.
- Add the Chuck and Sirloin Beef and lightly break up, next add Bread Crumbs, Cheese, Salt & Pepper and additional chopped Parsley ( 18 Leafs- Sprigs ) ( Chopped ), salt and pepper
- Combine ingredients, take your time, and try to not overwork the meat.
Shaping the Meatballs
- Add a portion into the palm of your hand and start rolling around in your hands till you reach a shape you like. Using the heat from your hands with help seal the Meatballs ( Your hands give off enough heat to melt a small amount of the fat in the Beef ) Happens while shaping naturally.
- Place them on a cookie sheet or large plate. Once the meatballs are shaped, place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up.
Making the Tomato Sauce
- In a food processor add onion and poblano pepper, plus olive oil( add enough olive oil to bring to a paste), and pulse to a paste
- Transfer paste into a pot on medium-high heat and sweat for 2-3 minutes
- Add in all of the canned tomatoes with herbs, sugar & salt + pepperCombine, then add in the tomato paste. Start with a small amount and add as much as you like. Just be sure to taste test along the way.
- Cook for at least one hour, longer helps deepen the flavor
Cooking The Meatballs
- Few different choices.1) Fry them in a skillet with oil olive to brown, then transfer to a cookie sheet and bake until cooked through2) Fry them in a skillet with oil olive to brown, then add them straight to the tomato sauce to cook and braise until fork tender.