Chef John's Italian Meatballs

Chef John's Italian Meatballs

Homemade meatballs are a very easy to make, and since we skip the very messy step of pan-frying these before they hit the sauce, it becomes downright simple. Here I use a standard half-beef/half-pork mixture. You can substitute water or beef broth for the milk, if preferred.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 30 persons



  1. Step 1

    Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Step 2

    Soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; stir in onion. Cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until onion is very tender, about 15 minutes more.
  4. Step 4

    Gently stir beef and pork together in a large bowl (do not overmix). Stir onions, bread crumb mixture, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian herb seasoning, and Parmesan cheese into meat mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
  5. Step 5

    Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  6. Step 6

    Using wet hands, form meat mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange onto prepared baking sheet.
  7. Step 7

    Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.