Italian Meatballs

You know how they say, “Having a kid changes everything”?

Meatball recipe and image by Lacey Stevens-Baier, personal chef of Sweet Pea Chef

Well, I have never really been a “meatball person.” (Stay with me on this…) For some reason, I just didn’t like ’em.

Then, in 2008, I got pregnant and everything changed.  It really did.

Suddenly, I craved meatballs to no end.  I’d make meatball stroganoff, spaghetti with meatballs and meatball subs all the time.  Dustin loved it, as he has always loved meatballs.

Italian Meatballs

During this pregnant meatball frenzy of mine, I put together a pretty darn good recipe for meatballs.  Now that my little girl is 13 months old, I don’t eat meatballs quite as often, but this recipe is a staple in my house nonetheless.

These Italian meatballs come out soft, tender and full of flavor. They are great in spaghetti, with some tomato sauce, in stroganoff…or just by themselves.

I’ve actually used this same mixture for meatloaf as well, which was pretty tasty too.

ASPC on Instagram

If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating it. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #asweetpeachef on Instagram! I LOVE seeing what you come up with. Enjoy!

Italian Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Italian meatballs come out soft, tender and full of flavor. They are great in spaghetti, with some tomato sauce, in stroganoff...or just by themselves.
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 14-16
  • 1 lb. 85/15 ground beef
  • 1 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
  1. Place the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and ¾ cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You can wet your hands with water to ease the process. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
  2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of ¼-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.
  3. **Or, you can bake the meatballs on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Though it is healthier this way, I find this way doesn't leave the meatballs as flavorful and they tend to fall apart more easily.  Figures!


  1. says

    I was also pregnant in 2008 – Layla is 1 and a half now and loves all things meat, especially meatballs, which she just calls Baaaa (because they look like balls).
    I am going to give your recipe a shot. I would like to freeze them though, better to do that when they are raw no?

    • says

      Hilarious! My Jordan loves these meatballs — and pretty much anything else I put in front of her! I actually freeze these often and save them for adding to spaghetti, meatball subs, stroganoff, etc. They freeze really well. What I have done is cook them until they are browned on all sides and cooked almost all the way through. That way, when I reheat them and add them to whatever I’m cooking, they finish cooking very quickly.

      Not sure if you do this already, but I’d recommend laying out the mostly-cooked meatballs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freezing them individually in the freezer before placing them together in an airtight container or bag for storage in the freezer.

      I hope you (and Layla) enjoy the meatballs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: