Bobby Flay's Meatball and Sauce 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!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Bobby Flay's Meatball Recipe, Meatball Recipe, Meatballs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 25 meatballs
Calories 97 kcal
Author Stephanie



  • 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 into a powder
  • 4 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs preferably homemade
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Homemade Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped and sauteed
  • 56 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 basil leaves sliced into strips
US Customary - Metric


  1. Note: Use a large enough pot to hold the marinara sauce and the meatballs. We're browning the meatballs in the pot first and cooking the sauce in the same pot after for extra flavor.


  1. Gently combine all meatball ingredients, (except the oil), in a large bowl, don't overwork the meat, we want tender meatballs.

  2. Roll into 1+1/2 inch balls.

  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat.

  4. Give each meatball a final roll and add them to the pot.

  5. Brown them in batches, for a few minutes on each side. They won't be cooked all the way through.

  6. Remove and set aside until the sauce is prepared, then simmer them in the sauce for 45 minutes.

Homemade Sauce

  1. Use the same saucepan as you used to brown the meatballs. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they’re softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic and heat for 1-2 minutes.

  3. Add the crushed tomatoes.

  4. Add the bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

  5. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat back down to a light simmer.

  6. Add the meatballs and toss them with the sauce.

  7. Note: Use an immersion blender right in the pot if you prefer to smooth out the tomatoes more. (This can also be done in a regular blender.)

  8. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

  9. Remove the bay leaf and parsley prior to serving. Stir in the basil. Serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead Meatballs/Slow Cooker Method.

Nutrition Facts
Bobby Flay's Meatball and Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 140mg6%
Potassium 286mg8%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 225IU5%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.