Bobby Flay’s Meatball Recipe
Bobby Flay’s homemade meatball and marinara sauce recipe is easy to make ahead of time and can be prepared on the stove top or in the slow cooker. It’s perfect for pasta, subs, or as a side dish!
Be sure to try this Copycat Texas Roadhouse Steak Rub Recipe next!
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, or the way they cook to perfection in my trusty dutch oven. (It conducts heat so well and allows the meatballs to cook evenly.)
I also 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.
The Best Meat for Meatballs
-A combination of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal makes for a very flavorful meatball, however solely ground beef can be used, or ground beef along with one of the other aforementioned meats.
-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.
Meatballs freeze well and can be frozen before or after they’ve cooked in sauce.
If you freeze them before they are cooked in sauce:
- Place the raw molded meatballs on a plate or tray and flash freeze them 20 minutes. This will prevent them from sticking together.
- Store them in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for 3-4 months.
- When you’re ready to cook them, drop the frozen meatballs into some sauce and let them simmer until they’re all cooked and heated through, about 80 minutes.
If you freeze the meatballs after cooking them in sauce:
- Place them in a freezer bag or airtight container along with some sauce once they’ve cooled.
I like to prepare these meatballs 1-2 days ahead of time:
- Assemble all of the meatballs. Sear them in a cast iron skillet with olive or vegetable oil to brown the outside and firm up the edges so that they hold up well in the slow cooker.
- Let them cool and refrigerate them in an airtight freezer bag until ready to serve. Note: They will require additional cooking to ensure that the middle is sufficiently cooked.
Reheating on Stove Top or in Slow Cooker:
- Please the meatballs in a large saucepan and cover them with marinara sauce.
- Heat simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, with the lid cracker slightly.
- Place the meatballs in a slow cooker and cover them with marinara sauce.
- Heat them on low for 2+ hours prior to serving.
- If the sauce begins to bubble, decrease the heat to warm.
Rao’s Homemade Marinara is always my sauce of choice when using jarred marinara sauce.
Storing Meatballs in the Refrigerator
- Cooked meatballs should be stored in an airtight container and will remain good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Storing Meatballs in the Freezer
- Meatballs maintain their best quality for the first 3-4 months in the freezer, but can still be cooked and eaten after that time.
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Bobby Flay's homemade meatball and marinara sauce recipe is easy to make ahead of time and can be prepared on the stove top or in the slow cooker. It's perfect for pasta, subs, or as a side dish!
- 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* See notes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 56 oz. canned 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
- Combine all ingredients, (except the oil), in a large bowl until well-combined. Roll into 1+1/2 inch balls.
- 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.
- Add the meatballs to tomato sauce and let them simmer on medium low heat for about 45 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic until they’re softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and juice, the bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat back down to a light simmer, and add the meatballs.
- Cover the pot and let them simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and parsley prior to serving and mix in the basil. Serve, and enjoy!
- *Use enough oil to cover about 1/3 of the meatball. You can use less than the cup that is indicated in the recipe.
- 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!
Make Ahead Meatballs/Slow Cooker Method.
- I like to prepare these meatballs 1-2 days ahead of time. After assembling them, I like to sear them in a cast iron skillet to brown the outside and firm up the edges so that they hold up well in the slow cooker.
- Let them cool and refrigerate them in an airtight freezer bag until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, place them in a slow cooker and cover them with marinara sauce. Heat them on low for two hours or more prior to serving.
- If the sauce begins to bubble, decrease the heat to warm.