Bobby Flay’s Meatball {and sauce!} Recipe

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Bobby Flay's meatball recipe

Oh man, you know a meatball is good when you can get your one-and-a-half year old toddler to devour them. If you put these meatballs on one side of the room, and her prized Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal on the other, I’m fairly certain that she’d choose the meatballs. Well played, Bobby Flay… well played.

Perhaps it’s the triple meat combo. Perhaps it’s the way they cook to perfection in my trusty dutch oven. (That thing conducts heat so well.) Whatever it is though, we all just love them. With spaghetti, in a sub, as a snack on their own with a sprinkle of cheese on top… you just can’t beat them.

Can you freeze these meatballs?

Yes. You can either freeze them before cooking them in the sauce, or after. If you freeze them before, just drop the frozen meatballs into some sauce and let them simmer until they’re all cooked and heated through, about 80 minutes. 


Anything I can pop out of the freezer and turn into a meal in less than 30 minutes gets a gold star from me. All I have to do is boil a pound of spaghetti, drop these suckers into some sauce, and wa-bam. Dinner is served. Thank the Lordy Lord Lord.

What is the best meat for meatballs?

The fat content in the beef that you use depends on what other meats are included in the meatballs. In this particular recipe where ground pork and ground veal are also being used, both of which contain a higher fat percentage than ground beef, 90% lean is a good proportion to use for the ground beef. Otherwise, 70% lean is a good choice if solely using beef.

I do highly recommend Bobby’s homemade marinara sauce too. If you want to get really fancy you can use some of your very own canned tomatoes from the garden. Whoa baby.

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5 from 5 votes
Servings: 20 meatballs
Bobby Flay's Meatball and Sauce Recipe
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Meatball Recipe, Meatballs

With a combination of 3 meats in a homemade marinara sauce, these tender meatballs are full of savory flavor that will put any pasta dish over the top.

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork *see notes
  • 1/2 pound ground veal *see notes
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped and sautéed
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
Homemade Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 56 oz. plum tomatoes and their juice pureed in a blender
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 basil leaves sliced into strips
  1. Combine all ingredients, (except the oil), in a large bowl until well-combined. Roll into 1+1/2 inch balls.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sautee pan or dutch oven over medium heat and add the meatballs. Let them fry, cooking on each side until lightly browned, but not cooked all the way through. About 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the meatballs to tomato sauce and let them simmer on medium low heat for about 45 minutes.
Homemade Sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic until they’re softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the pureed tomatoes and juice, the bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat back down to a light simmer, and add the meatballs.
  4. Cover the pot and let them simmer for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and parsley prior to serving and mix in the basil. Serve, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • You can substitute the veal and/or pork with ground beef or ground turkey if preferred.
  • To serve with pasta, combined with 1 lb. of spaghetti. This is also great with a side of garlic bread!
  • Be sure to check out the video of this recipe at the top of this post! 
Nutrition Information
Calories: 128, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 64mg, Potassium: 312mg, Carbohydrates: 5g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 8g, Vitamin A: 15.4%, Vitamin C: 15.5%, Calcium: 3.7%, Iron: 4.8%
With a combination of 3 meats in a homemade marinara sauce, Bobby Flay's Italian meatball recipe is sure to quickly become your favorite! | The Cozy Cook | #Meatballs #BobbyFlay #Meat #ItalianFood #Italian #SideDishes #Pasta #Spaghetti #GroundBeef #MarinaraSauce #BestMeatballRecipe #ComfortFood #Dinner