How To Cook Meatballs & Italian Meatball Recipe

My first official cooking guide for all of you, woohoo!

First, let me start off by saying this. I am not a professional cook. I have no degree. I have no chef-ing experience. I just love to cook and create my own variation for recipes – and have a desire to share them with all of you. I haven’t poisoned my husband yet with my cooking, so I take that as a good sign.

Now I’m putting together these cooking guides so you can know step-by-step how I go cooking some of our go-to meals. Since I’ll be plugging some of my recipes in my free weekly meal plan service, I figured I would give you some guides that zoom into the complicated process on cooking particular foods. Like meatballs.

Meatballs have always been a Sinko family classic Well, actually Small family classic since the Italian roots are all on my mother’s side…and my Grandma is the one with all of the meatball expertise. I remember on Friday nights mom and grandma would make a huge pot of sauce and meatballs, and the rest of the weekend I was eating meatballs as my afternoon snack.

When Oliver and I first started dating, one of our favorite things to do together was cook dinner. We would pick out a meal, grocery shop, head to one of our apartments and spend a few hours bumping hips in the kitchen. So romantic, amirite?

As we picked meals to cook together, one of the things that Oliver couldn’t help but notice is how I always lean towards an Italian style dinner. What I couldn’t help but notice was the fact that those Italian style dishes (basically everything and anything that called for minced garlic, which he hates) were just classics in my home. Thanks, Grandma (no but really, thank you). Oliver tried hard to broaden my horizons, and still does, but I tend to still go for the same recipes.

And after I made these meatballs for him the first time, he never objected ever again. Seriously, they are that good.

Alright I’m done showing off – here’s how you make these heavenly meatballs.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ pound of ground pork*
  • ¼ cup of plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • Garlic salt or powder**

*My grandmother mixes ground beef, pork, and veal in her meatballs. However – that’s mad expensive. The meatballs taste perfectly fine with just ground beef, but if you’re feeling into it, adding the ground pork gives it a little something special.

**If you don’t have garlic salt, throw in ½ teaspoon of garlic powder to the mix. If you do, save the garlic salt for later. Will explain soon.

Alright people, we’re cooking here, so it’s time to get down and dirty. I’m talking take off all your rings, watches, and extra jewelry and mix this bad boy with your hands. It’s just way easier, plus you’ll be rolling them soon anyways.

My mom loves to make her meatballs probably double this size, but she cooks hers for hours inside a pot of sauce. I find this portion above is easier to cook in a frying pan for a faster meal, which is how we will be cooking our meatballs in this guide.

With this portion of meat I was able to roll 30 meatballs. However, a pound of ground beef usually makes between 18-22 depending on how small/big you make them.

Next heat up a 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan on medium-high heat. Make sure the entire bottom service is well covered in oil, they just cook better that way. Add the meatballs next – but do yourself a favor and do 10-15 at a time. Easier to flip.

Once you add the meatballs to the pan sprinkle with garlic salt! I totally forgot to add garlic powder one night to my recipe, so I sprinkled garlic salt on top of my meatballs instead. I am never, ever, going back. It’s so good.

The meatballs cook quickly, so keep an eye on them! Add them to the pan, and make sure to flip them around every 30 seconds. Watch to make sure all sides are browned. It should only take you 3-5 minutes to cook the meatballs before removing them onto a plate.

Now here’s the deal. The meatballs are going to feel a little squishy still, and you’re going to contemplate if the inside is cooked all the way. Trust me on this – your meatballs taste way better when they are squishier and fluffier. You don’t want hard-as-rock meatballs, yuck. And yes, if they are a tad pink that’s okay. If they are very, very pink (like raw pink), give them another minute or two on the pan.

And there you have it! A delicious plate of meatballs. Oliver and I enjoy them on a bed of pasta (not spaghetti, I loathe spaghetti), and the cheapest tomato basil marinara sauce we can find that isn’t Ragu.

For a quick copy & paste into a recipe book or Paprika, here is a shortened version of the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ pound of ground pork*
  • ¼ cup of plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • Garlic Salt

*optional

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except garlic salt to a ball and mix with your hands.
  2. Roll the balls up (30 for 1.5 pounds of meat, 18-22 for 1 pound). Attach tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb for a good representation of the meatball size.
  3. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook only 10-15 meatballs at a time. Sprinkle meatballs with garlic salt once added to frying pan.
  5. Continue to flip meatballs every 30 seconds so all sides are brown. Meatballs should cook in no more than 5 minutes.