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+ servings
Italian meatballs sprinkled with Parmesan cheese being scooped by a wooden spoon.
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5 from 40 ratings

Bobby Flay's Italian Meatball Recipe

Bobby Flay's famous Italian Meatball Recipe has a 3-meat combo that you can make on the stove top or in the Crock Pot. Simmer the meatballs in his homemade marinara sauce and serve with spaghetti or in a sub!

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Meatballs

  • Gently combine all meatball ingredients, (except the oil), in a large bowl, don't overwork the meat, we want tender meatballs.
  • Roll into 1+1/2 inch balls.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Give each meatball a final roll and add them to the pot.
  • Brown them in batches, for a few minutes on each side. They won't be cooked all the way through.
  • Remove and set aside until the sauce is prepared, then simmer them in the sauce for 45 minutes.

Homemade Sauce

  • 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.
  • Add the garlic and heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes.
  • Add the bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat back down to a light simmer.
  • Add the meatballs and toss them with the sauce.
  • 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.)
  • Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf and parsley prior to serving. Stir in the basil. Serve, and enjoy!

Video:

Notes

  • You can use equal parts ground pork & beef if you prefer that over using veal.


  • I like to add a splash (3-4 Tablespoons) of red wine to the sauce as well. Chianti, Pinot Pior, and Merlot are great options.

  • Slow Cooker:
    • Brown the outside of the meatballs in a skillet for added texture if desired. This is optional.
    • Cover the with sauce. Heat them on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
    • If the sauce begins to bubble, decrease the heat to warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 97kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 286mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 225IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1mg