Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spicy Italian Meatballs

Everyone should have a good meatball recipe. We’ve tried a few but haven’t found one that really impressed us until we tried this one from Keely Marie’s blog. I have to say, I had my doubts when we were making this. At first the mixture seemed incredibly dry. Then it seemed too wet and sticky. But in the end, it turned out perfectly delicious. It’s not all that spicy, although it does have a nice subtle kick. So often meatballs just taste like bland hamburgers to me, but these have a definite depth of flavor, nice texture, and stand on their own in a plate of spaghetti and sauce. We doubled the batch and have about two servings frozen to make an easy meal later. (Single batch below).

1/2 ground beef
1/2 pound italian sausage (I used Hot)
1 medium onion, diced small
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced small
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (I did half Italian, half panko)
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or basil)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

I admit, I used a jar of sauce instead of being a good little cook and making my own. I felt like focusing on perfecting the meatballs first would be better than trying to juggle too many spoons at once. But hey, if you are ambitious and want to do both, there are a couple great tomato sauce recipes on this site! Here and here

Start, as always, by doing all your prep work and chopping. The veggies will be in the meatball, so dice them pretty small. If they get too big it changes the flavor profile of the meatball, and can also make them harder to stick together. Heat your olive oil in a pan over medium heat and then sauté the onion, peppers and jalapeño for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds before setting aside to cool.

In a separate bowl mix up your meats, breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. This is definitely one of those where you have to use your hands to make sure that it’s totally mixed. No one likes to get a big lump of garlic powder in their meatball! Once the sautéed veggies are cool, add them into the mix and combine well. Add the egg and milk and keep mixing with your hands until the mixture is uniform.  

Your next step is to roll the balls and put them on a greased (or non-stick) baking sheet. I made mine so it they were about walnut size. If you’re going to freeze some, you should roll them out and place them on a separate pan and freeze them. Once they are frozen you can put them in a freezer baggie. Bake the balls for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. I rolled them over halfway through. Once they are cooked you can add them to your sauce and let that warm up for ten minutes or so and they’ll suck up some saucy flavor. Serve over spaghetti and enjoy! Now you can end your search for the perfect meatball recipe.


  1. Our quest for the perfect meatball seems to go on forever. It looks like you've found yours there. I'll give it a try, and hope this recipe ends my long search as well.  ツ

  2. So glad these workout for you! Sorry I am 4 years late to checking out your post. I like to think they are pretty perfect too. :)

    1. I still make them all the time! Very, very good.