Cooking Basics

How to make meatballs

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Bowl of meatballs close up
Saucy meatballs make a perfect supper even better
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Know how to make hearty meatballs that are wonderful with pasta or on their own

Meatballs make the world go, wait a minute.  Meatballs ARE round.  But you knew that. After all, you're here because you want to know how to make meatballs.

And that's exactly what you'll find..two easy, delicious recipes for meatballs.  The first is a traditional Sicillian meatball recipe that's just perfect on its own, on a sandwich or with pasta.

The second recipe in this how to make meatballs tutorial is for Swedish meatballs -- the kind you find at IKEA, only better. These little meatballs are traditionally served with cream sauce and potatoes. I've included the cream sauce recipe, too.

Classic Sicilian Meatballs


Large pot of spaghetti sauce, at a simmer

3 slices of dense, course whole wheat bread (fresh, not stale)
water, to cover bread
5-6 garlic cloves, pressed
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely diced fresh basil leaves  
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup mixed Asiago, Parmigian and Romano cheeses, grated
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 cups canola oil, for frying
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Additional cheese for table


Large mixing bowl
Non-stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron fry pan


  • Soak the whole wheat bread in water in a large bowl until soggy throughout
  • Drain the water, leaving the bread behind in the bowl
  • Add eggs, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper
  • Smash and mix the bread eggs and seasoning together until pasty and smooth
  • Add the meat, nuts, currents and cheese blend
  • Mix with hands until well combined
  • Add bread crumbs a little at a time and mix
  • When mixture holds together well, divide the mixture into three pieces
  • Make each piece into 12 meatballs of about the same size
  • Bring the oil to medium hot in the skillet, and add meatballs.  Cook for about 10 minutes, Cook in batches so all meatballs touch the bottom of the pan to brown
  • Drop fried meatballs into hot sauce, and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Serve in bowls, on sandwiches or on pasta

Better-Than-IKEA Swedish Meatballs

Blogger Jackie from Loving My Domestic Life says these Swedish meatballs are better than the furniture giant.  Her simple recipe makes it easy to enjoy this Scandinavian favorite at home. 


1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
2 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil, for brushing

For the gravy

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add the breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion and garlic until softened.
  • Stir in allspice, salt, and pepper.
  • Add to bread crumb mixture along with milk and Worcestershire sauce and mix to combine.
  • Add ground beef and pork and mix well--hands are a great tool!
  • Brush cookie sheet with coconut oil and roll meat in 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
For the gravy:

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in flour and whisk to combine and let cook for a minute or two.
  • Add in beef broth,Worcestershire sauce, and heavy cream and mix well to combine.
  • Mixture will thicken as it heats through.
  • Make sure to stir occasionally.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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