A meatball recipe that rivals that of your favorite Italian restaurant! These meatballs always come out amazingly tender, deliciously flavorful, never dry and they’re always sure to impress! Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to make them perfect every time.


Tastiest Homemade Meatball Recipe

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a pasta bowl cradling perfectly cooked, twirled and tangled, steaming spaghetti coated in a vibrant, garlicky, San Marzano marinara sauce, all piled high and layered with homemade meatballs throughout! Talk about comfort food at its proudest!

Serving platter with tall stack of homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

This easy recipe gives you a few different options (homemade sauce or store-bought, fried or baked) and it’s my idea of the best meatballs.

So what makes the best meatballs? Here are my thoughts and tips:

Using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Fresh meats (not previously frozen), fresh herbs, fresh bread crumbs, fresh aromatics. Everything is fresh here except the aged parmesan but of course that’s that’s for good reason.

Use a blend of meats for best flavor. I use beef and pork because that’s what accessible to me and at a reasonable price. But if you can get veal use 2/3 lb beef 2/3 lb pork and 2/3 lb veal.

Don’t use low fat percentages of meats. The fat makes the meatballs tender. Stick with 80 or 85% lean.

Properly flavoring and seasoning the mixture. We aren’t making hamburger balls to serve with ketchup. Adding herbs, garlic, and onions gives them that delicious Italian flavor we crave. And of course don’t skip the salt and pepper meat needs it!


  • 2 cups (5.2 oz) fresh bread crumbs*
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, then more if needed
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef**
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion***
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, only if using the fried method


  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together bread crumbs and milk while adding more milk 1 Tbsp at a time to moisten bread fully. Let rest while you prep ingredients (or at least 5 minutes).

  2. To breadcrumb mixture add beef, pork, eggs, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, parmesan and season over top of ingredients evenly with salt and pepper (I only use 3/4 tsp salt if I plan on using jar sauce to coat since it can be salty).

  3. Gently toss mixture and break meat up with fingertips until ingredients are evenly mixed.hape mixture with greased hands into even size meatballs, about 1 1/4-inches each (or about 38g).

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