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+ servings
italian meatballs

Italian Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Steven Pennington
Meatball recipe that could give Grandma a run for her money. Must try Recipe...
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Tomato Sauce CookTime 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 42 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 20



  • 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

Tomato Sauce

  • 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;
    Add 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

Combining Ingredients

  • 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 + pepper
    Combine, 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 through
    2) 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.



Tomato Sauce - Once you add your onion and poblano pepper into the pot heated to medium high, for greater flavor add into ½ cup of your favorite red wine and cook off the alcohol. About 3 minutes. Next add in 2 to 3 Tbs of tomato paste.
Keyword Classic Italian Cooking, Easy Italian Meatballs, San Marzano Tomato Sauce
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