Meatballs Like Mamma Used to Make: The Ultimate Recipe

Hello there, food enthusiasts! As much as we love indulging in exotic dishes every now and then, there’s something irresistible about classic comfort food. And when it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a good plate of meatballs. Whether you’re throwing a dinner party or just looking for a cozy weekend meal, meatballs are a go-to for most of us. But what makes a perfect meatball, you ask? Well, the answer is pretty simple- it’s the recipe. So, how about we explore the ultimate recipe that makes meatballs just like Mamma used to make?

Meatballs Like Mamma Used to Make

Before we begin, let’s get some facts straight. Meatballs are believed to have originated from Persia, where they were known as Kofta. However, it was the Italians who popularized them, incorporating the dish into their cuisine. Today, meatballs come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, from Swedish meatballs to Vietnamese meatballs. However, the classic Italian-American meatball is our focus here, which we will make with a few tweaks to take it up a notch. So, let’s get started with the ingredients and the process of making meatballs that will transport you right back to your childhood.

Delicious Meatball Recipe to Try at Home

Meatballs are a tasty and versatile food that can be enjoyed as a main dish or as a side to other dishes. Making your own meatballs at home can be a great way to experiment with new flavors and customize the dish to your liking. Here is a recipe for making delicious meatballs that you can try at home.


To make these meatballs, you will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef or pork (or a mix of both)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the meat, you can use any type of ground beef or pork that you prefer. It’s also possible to use a combination of both meats for added flavor.

The breadcrumbs and milk act as binding agents for the meatballs. If you do not have breadcrumbs, you can use cracker crumbs or even crushed cornflakes. As for the milk, any type of milk (whole, skim, or almond) can be used.

The egg helps to hold the meat mixture together and adds moisture to the meatballs.

The Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper are all flavor enhancers that can be adjusted to your liking.


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Use your hands or a spatula to mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Using your hands, shape the mixture into balls. The size of the balls can vary depending on your preference, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for golf ball-sized meatballs.
  4. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to give the meatballs enough space to cook without touching each other.
  5. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and golden brown on the outside.
  6. Once the meatballs are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Serve them on their own or with your favorite side dish.

There are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when making meatballs:

  • Don’t overwork the meat mixture when mixing the ingredients. Overworking the meat can lead to tough meatballs.
  • When shaping the meatballs, make sure they are all roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.
  • If you prefer your meatballs to be crispy on the outside, you can fry them in a pan with a little bit of oil instead of baking them.

Making your own meatballs at home is a fun and rewarding experience. Experiment with different spices and flavors to find your perfect recipe. Serve them with spaghetti and sauce, make a meatball sub, or enjoy them on their own as a snack. Whatever way you choose to eat them, these homemade meatballs are sure to be a hit!

Meatball Recipe Variations to Experiment With

Meatballs are a classic dish that are loved all around the world, and for good reason. Whether they’re served over pasta or on their own, they’re always a crowd-pleaser. But why stick to the same old recipe when you can experiment with different variations? Here, we’ll explore some exciting meatball recipe variations that will take your taste buds on a wild ride.

Spicy Meatballs

If you’re a fan of spicy foods, then you’ll love this recipe for spicy meatballs. To give your meatballs that extra kick, add some red chili flakes or cayenne pepper to the meat mixture. You can adjust the level of spiciness according to your personal taste. The addition of garlic and onion powder will give your meatballs a rich and bold flavor. Make sure to serve these spicy meatballs with a side of cooling yogurt sauce to balance out the heat.

Vegetarian Meatballs

Meatless Mondays just got a whole lot tastier with this delicious vegetarian meatballs recipe. Instead of using meat, these meatballs are made with a combination of chickpeas, oats, and egg as the binder. Add in your favorite herbs and spices, such as parsley and paprika, to give these vegetarian meatballs a flavorful boost. Serve them over a bed of spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a hearty and tasty meal that is both vegetarian and gluten-free!

Sauce and Serving Suggestions

The sauce is what brings the meatballs to life. A great marinara sauce or beef gravy will elevate your dish to new heights. Here’s a recipe for a classic marinara sauce:

  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of diced onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make the marinara sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes.

As for serving suggestions, meatballs can be served with a wide variety of foods. Try serving them over spaghetti or baked potatoes for a classic Italian meal. If you’re looking for something a little different, serve them over rice or with roasted vegetables. You can also make a meatball sub by placing meatballs inside a toasted hoagie bun with some melted mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.


Meatballs are a versatile dish that can be transformed with different ingredients and cooking techniques. Whether you prefer spicy meatballs or vegetarian meatballs, there’s a recipe out there for everyone. Experiment with different sauces and serving ideas to find the perfect combination that satisfies your cravings. So go ahead and get creative in the kitchen, and let your taste buds be the judge.

Thanks for Sharing in the Love of Meatballs!

We hope that this ultimate meatball recipe has inspired you to whip up a batch and share them with your loved ones. There is nothing quite like the feeling of gathering around the table with plates of steaming meatballs, knowing that they were made with care and love. Remember to enjoy the process of cooking and experimenting with different seasonings and meats to find your perfect meatball recipe.

We are always glad to have readers like you stopping by to check out our latest recipes and cooking tips. Don’t forget to visit us again soon for more inspiration in the kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner, there is always something new to learn and try out. So, keep on cooking and spreading the joy of good food!


1. Can I use turkey instead of beef for the meatballs?

Absolutely! Ground turkey can be a great alternative to beef and will give your meatballs a lighter flavor.

2. Should I cook the meatballs in a skillet or in the oven?

Both methods work great, but if you want crispy, browned meatballs, go for the skillet. If you want a more hands-off approach, baking them in the oven is a good option.

3. Can I freeze the meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze the meatballs both before or after cooking. Make sure to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

4. Can I use breadcrumbs instead of oats?

Definitely! Breadcrumbs are a common ingredient in meatballs and work just as well as oats. Choose between plain, seasoned, or panko breadcrumbs to suit your taste.

5. How long do the meatballs last in the fridge?

Cooked meatballs can last for up to 4 days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight container.

6. What is the best way to reheat meatballs?

Place the meatballs in a covered skillet or baking dish and reheat them in a preheated oven or on the stovetop until heated through.

7. Can I substitute ground pork for the beef?

Absolutely! Ground pork can add a delicious flavor and texture to your meatballs.

8. Do I have to use Parmesan cheese?

No, you can substitute Parmesan cheese with another hard, grated cheese like Pecorino Romano or Asiago.

9. How many meatballs does this recipe make?

This recipe makes around 24 medium-sized meatballs, but this can vary depending on how big you make them.

10. Can I add vegetables to the meatball mixture?

Yes, you can add vegetables like onions, garlic, bell peppers, and carrots to the meatball mixture. However, make sure to finely chop or grate them first to ensure they cook evenly in the meatballs.