4.34 from 3 votes

The Ultimate Meatball Recipe

 April 14, 2023

Meatballs are a classic dish that is delicious when served alongside spaghetti, on top of a nourish bowl, or simply eaten by themselves. But with hundreds of meatball recipes out there, what if I told you that I have come up with The Ultimate Meatball Recipe to meet ALL of your meatball cravings?! It’s true! This recipe is a long-time family favorite that uses a combination of beef and pork, alongside a special seasoning to create the absolute perfect flavor.

A plate of spaghetti, sitting on a countertop, topped with the ultimate meatballs and marinara sauce

Friends, my boys are at the ages where they have become picky eaters. Despite the fact that I spent the early days of their childhoods introducing them to all types of foods, they still are the types of kids that just want to eat mac n’ cheese, chicken fingers, and cheeseburgers. Why all kids are like this, I truly have no idea!

So when one of them requests something *outside* of the scope of traditional kid’s food, I rush to my kitchen to make it. The other day, my youngest son, Hunter, requested this meatball recipe, so naturally I SPRINTED to the kitchen to make it happen. He proudly proclaimed that these were his favorite meatballs ever, so I think they will be on permanent rotation here in the Modic household!

These meatballs are tender, juicy, and melt-in-your mouth thanks to the combination of both ground beef and ground pork. They are perfect for serving over spaghetti, adding to your favorite salad for a boost of protein, or even serving up as the perfect appetizers! You truly can’t go wrong with this meatball recipe, which is why I refer to them as the ULTIMATE meatball recipe!

What You Need to Make This Classic Meatball Recipe

  • Ground Beef & Pork: The secret to making these meatballs is to use a combination of ground beef and ground pork. The two meats together add the best flavor, so be sure not to skip out on using both of them!
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko bread crumbs add texture to these meatballs and help them stay together. If you prefer, you can also substitute these out for gluten-free breadcrumbs instead.
  • Onion: You’ll need one onion for these meatballs! I recommend using a yellow onion here.
  • Fresh Parsley: Fresh parsley not only adds a pop of color to these meatballs, but also adds the best flavor.
A baking sheet topped with raw meatballs, sitting on a countertop next to a pot filled with marinara sauce and a few of the meatballs
Place each of your formed meatballs onto a baking sheet. Then, add your pasta sauce to a deep saucepan, on the stove and bring it to a gentle simmer. Once the pasta sauce is simmering, add your meatballs to the pan and place the cover on top. Do not touch the pan for 25 minutes.
  • Garlic: I highly recommend using fresh garlic here, for the best flavor.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano:  Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano is the perfect way to add flavor to any recipe, and is SO MUCH better than traditional parmesan cheese. You can find fresh Parmigiano, imported from Italy, at Trader Joe’s!
  • Allspice: Allspice may seem like a unique ingredient to use in a meatball recipe, but don’t knock it until you try it! Its warm, spicy, nutty flavor adds the perfect addition to these meatballs. In fact, now I don’t make meatballs without it!
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper: A pinch of sea salt and black pepper add the perfect flavor to these meatballs.
  • Eggs: You’ll need 2 eggs in order to hold these meatballs together. Unfortunately egg substitutes don’t work well here, so you’ll want to use two farm fresh eggs!
  • Marinara Sauce: The key to getting the best flavor to these meatballs is to cook them low and slow in marinara sauce. You can use any marinara sauce that you’d like, but I love the Fody foods brand!
  • Spaghetti: There is no better way to serve meatballs than with classic spaghetti! You can use any spaghetti that you’d like, be it traditional or gluten-free!

How to Make These Filling & Delicious Meatballs

To make these meatballs, start by adding all of your meatball ingredients to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients until they’re well-combined, then roll them into evenly-sized meatballs. Place each meatball onto a baking sheet, then repeat until all of your meatballs are formed.

Then, add your pasta sauce to a deep saucepan, on the stove and bring it to a gentle simmer. Once the pasta sauce is simmering, add your meatballs to the pan and place the cover on top. Do not touch the pan for 25 minutes.

Once the 25 minutes are up, remove the cover and gently stir to cover all the meatballs in the sauce. Finally, serve them over cooked spaghetti, and enjoy!

Oven-Baked Method For Cooking These Meatballs

And if you prefer to cook these meatballs in the oven, then the good news is: you absolutely can!

To prepare these meatballs in the oven, simply preheat your oven to 350 F. After the meatballs have been formed and placed onto the baking sheet, bake them for 20-22 minutes, until they’re no longer pink inside.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Gayle McLeod
A plate of spaghetti, sitting on a countertop, topped with the ultimate meatballs and marinara sauce

The Ultimate Meatball Recipe

4.34 from 3 votes
Nicole Modic
SERVES 8 Servings
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Meatballs are a classic dish that is delicious when served alongside spaghetti, on top of a nourish bowl, or simply eaten by themselves. But with hundreds of meatball recipes out there, what if I told you that I have come up with The Ultimate Meatball Recipe to meet ALL of your meatball cravings?! It's true! This recipe is a long-time family favorite that uses a combination of beef and pork, alongside a special seasoning to create the absolute perfect flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Pound Ground Pork
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs you can also substitute for gluten-free breadcrumbs!
  • ½ Onion finely diced
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • ¾ Cup Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated, plus more for topping
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Jar Marinara Sauce of choice
  • 1 16 Ounce Package Spaghetti of choice

Instructions

  • Start by adding all of your meatball ingredients to a large bowl.
  • Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients until they're well-combined, then roll them into evenly-sized meatballs. Place each meatball onto a baking sheet, then repeat until all of your meatballs are formed.

Stovetop Method:

  • Then, add your pasta sauce to a deep saucepan, on the stove and bring it to a gentle simmer.
  • Once the pasta sauce is simmering, add your meatballs to the pan and place the cover on top. Do not touch the pan for 25 minutes.
  • Once the 25 minutes are up, remove the cover and gently stir to cover all the meatballs in the sauce.
  • Finally, serve them over cooked spaghetti, and enjoy!

Oven-Baked Method:

  • To prepare these meatballs in the oven, simply preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • After the meatballs have been formed and placed onto the baking sheet, bake them for 20-22 minutes, until they're no longer pink inside.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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4.34 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. 3 stars
    Not a fan of the all spice, in a lamb kabob or Middle Eastern food it’s great, not in Italian red sauce. There was a recipe for “ultimate meatballs” on internet that was excellent. Shouldn’t pilf someone’s recipe Or recipe name.

  2. These are good – I’m dairy free so I left off the cheese. The all spice was a tad strong for me. Which could be bc I threw off the flavor profile with no cheese. Just FYI if you’re sensitive to all spice or it’s not your fav, I’d adjust that down some. These baked beautifully and aren’t dry at all.

    • Thank you for your note on this, Tricia! I appreciate you sharing your experience, and I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe!

  3. Give this recipe a whirl asap because I can promise you that it will be in your regular rotation. These meatballs are packed with flavor AND SO EASY to make! And easily gluten-free if you need or prefer. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed these meatballs, Beth! Thank you so much for making them, and for leaving such a kind review!

  4. My kids’ new favorite! We have an egg allergy in our house, and I found that using either flax eggs or aquafaba works in this recipe. Highly recommend this meatball recipe for those family comfort food nights 🙂

    • Woohoo! I am so glad that this recipe worked well for you, and with an egg substitute! Thank you so much for your review, Kelley!