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Juicy Meatballs Recipe

The Best and Most Tender Meatballs in a Delicious Homemade Tomato Sauce

This is one of those dishes that it’s impossible not to love. Here, I share essential tips on how to make juicy and delicious meatballs. The meatballs are sauteed to perfection and then simmer into a homemade easy tomato sauce. You can bake the meatballs instead of sauteing if that is your preference. Either way, they are delightful!
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Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 25 -30 Meatballs
Calories: 126kcal


Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • A handful of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • piece italian bread toasted, remove exterior and then cut it into small pieces (notes for substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch sprinkle over meatballs (look at notes)
  • 2 tablespoons oil to saute

Homemade Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ small onion diced
  • 1 small carrot diced
  • a single stick of celery diced
  • 1 roasted pepper
  • 1 ½ can tomatoes I used whole tomatoes and chopped tomatoes. However, you can use just one type.
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • cup red wine This is optional but highly recommended.
  • ½ cup water


First, let’s start making a delicious homemade sauce.

  • Roughly chop ½ small onion, a small carrot, a single stick of celery and two roasted peppers. Then, in a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of oil and add the onions, carrots, celery, and roasted pepper. Stir to combine.
  • To infuse a nice flavor into the sauce, I decided to use a splash of red wine. This is optional but highly recommended. Stir to combine.
  • Add 1 ½ can of tomatoes. In this recipe, I used 1 can of whole tomatoes and ½ chopped tomatoes. However, you can use just one type.
  • Next, add ½ cup of water, and add spices. I'm using 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and let it cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat. Adding water if needed.
  • Place the immersion blender into the middle of the cooking pot. Submerge the immersion blender below the surface moving around, and up and down, to blend the ingredients for 45-60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Continue cooking for an extra 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, let's prepare the meatballs:

  • Cut the bread into small pieces, and place it in a mixing bowl. Add ½ cup whole milk or water, 1/4 of a cup of parmesan cheese and mix until well combined; set aside. Next, mince 4 cloves of garlic and finely chop a handful of parsley and set them aside as well.
  • In another mixing bowl, combine the ground meats. (I'm using beef and pork), with the bread combination,1 egg, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. I use my clean hands for this want to incorporate all the ingredients gently.

It’s time to roll the meatballs:

  • Scoop out the meat into a tray. I use an ice cream/ cookie scooper to make things easier and make sure all meatballs are similar in size. (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Gently, using your hands, shape the scooped meat mixture into balls (approximately 1 ½ inch), and place them back onto the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the meatballs with cornstarch. Adding cornstarch will create a crispier browned exterior and maintaining the meatballs from falling apart in the sauce.
  • Once all the meatballs are ready, it's time to cook them.
  • In a skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil, sautee the meatballs until there are browned on all sides. (I did 3 batches in about 15 minutes).
  • Then, add the meatballs into the sauce and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  • If you want to go an extra step, boil some spaghetti and combine the pasta with meatballs and the sauce. Add some fresh basil and parmesan cheese, and dinner is on the table. Enjoy


  • A great trick to avoid the meat sticking to your hands in the rolling process is to wet your hands, so I suggest keeping a bowl of cold water next to you.
  • I have another trick for you, sprinkle the meatballs with cornstarch. Adding cornstarch will create a crispier browned exterior and maintaining the meatballs from falling apart in the sauce.
  • Do you know that one of the secrets to Juicy meatballs is adding white bread to the mixture? Let me know in the comment section below if you have any other tricks to make juicy meatballs.
  • To make these meatballs, I use a piece of Italian bread and then cut it into small pieces ( you can substitute with 4  slices of white bread, make sure to remove the edges of the bread). Combine with milk or water and let it soaked for a few minutes ( at least 5 minutes).  After the bread is completely moist throughout, mash with a spoon until the mixture very soft. This is called Panade. Add that to the meat combination, and you will not regret it. This will make the meatballs juicy and tender.  So any leftover bread you have at home, don’t throw it away. Instead, use it to make breadcrumbs. 


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 426IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg