Go Back Email Link
+ servings

Mega Meat Balls

This is one of the best recipes I know for foolproof, rich, moist delicious Italian style meatballs. The recipe is a bit large but it is worth the time and they freeze really well. If you would like extra sauce for pasta double the sauce recipe and bake as normal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main Courses
Cuisine Beef, Pork Recipes
Servings 30 meatballs


For the meatballs

  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 500 gr ground pork
  • 165 gr white bread slices about 5 or 6 slices
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 50 gr parsley finely chopped
  • 50 gr grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp dried red chile flakes well crushed
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp salt plain white
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • 1.2 dl water approx.

For the sauce:

  • 1-500 gr can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1-500 gr container of passata pasteurised tomatoes
  • 1.2 dl water
  • ½ white onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt plain white
  • freshly grated black pepper be generous


Making the meatballs

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F
  • For the meatballs, combine in a large bowl everything but the bread and water.
  • In a food processor, place all the bread torn up into small pieces and process into rather fine bread crumbs. Add them to the ground meat.
  • After you add the bread crumbs you will have to judge how much more water to add, the mixture should be soft but still be able to hold its shape. Too soft and the meat balls will flatten into patties in the oven. To hard and the meatballs will harden in the oven.
  • Add the water and mix well
  • At this point it is a good idea to make a tiny patty and fry it to see if the seasoning (salt & pepper) is right. It will take a minute or two but I find its worth it.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or something like it, measure out meatballs that are about 60gr or 2oz. The mixture should give you 28 to 30 smallish meatballs.
  • Place all the meatballs into an oven proof dish, be sure that they have a little room around them and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove them from the oven.
  • Reduce the oven to 150°C or 300°F
  • Place the meatballs in another oven proof dish that will just hold them. Leaving behind any fat that has come out of them during the baking.

For the sauce

  • In a little olive oil saute the chopped onion until it becomes translucent, add the garlic and saute for a moment more making sure not to burn the garlic.
  • In a large bowl pour in the tomato's add 1.2 dl or 1/2 cup of water. Then add the fried onions, garlic, and all the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir well and pour over the meatballs.
  • Cover the dish really well (tightly) with some aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and serve as they are with a bit of the sauce or with a bit of pasta.
  • Serve with a little grated Parmesan.


This is a really good recipe and if you are not into spicy food you can leave out the chili but I rarely do, it adds a bit of zing to the dish.
If you would like extra sauce for pasta just double the sauce part of the recipe.
It would seem when you are making these that there is just too much bread crumbs, but its the breadcrumbs that give the meatballs their really moist texture. Don't leave things out! Buy the parsely or oregano (dried) or fennel seeds if you don't have them.
Don't use dried breadcrumbs unless you are looking for hard little belly bombs that will bounce off the walls. They just don't seem to work.
I love this recipe for the taste of the meatballs but the sauce is wonderful. I get dinner for 2 and then at least 4 lunches for work. They taste better the day after or after they have been frozen. Keep some in the freeze for emergency food when company comes unexpectedly. Defrost by leaving them out on the counter. Do not warm in a microwave it will harden them up.
All the preparation for this takes about 45 minutes at the very most. Make them in the morning or the day before you want to use them.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!