The well-seasoned meatballs are easy to make, but a set of extra hands will make shorter work of this step. Plan to start simmering the sauce while you shape the meatballs which can be made from ground lamb, ground beef, or a combination of the two. For juicy, tender meatballs it’s best to combine ground beef and ground pork together.

Ground beef on its own can be tough and dry, adding pork will give you juicier meatballs with a softer texture. Finely dice the onion and press fresh garlic for the meat mixture to infuse more flavor and again, it will create the best texture overusing powdered onion and garlic. Adding fresh herbs will give you more flavor in the meatballs as well rather than dried herbs. Fresh ones are more potent than dried ones.

Once you’ve soaked your bread and squeezed as much liquid out as possible, you combine it with your meat, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, and seasoning. You want to mix it until just combined. Either bread crumbs or milk-soaked bread can be used. Milk-soaked bread is much better because there is something about this old traditional way of making meatballs that creates tastier, more tender meatballs. Fill your cast iron skillet almost an inch full of extra virgin olive oil and heat.

Cook the meatballs in batches. Cook for three minutes and then flip, cooking the second side for an additional two minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet after finishing them then put your skillet back into the heat, add your sauce, and let it simmer until ready. The most classic way to serve Italian meatballs is of course, over spaghetti.


  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (32-oz.) jar marinara sauce, or homemade marinara


  1. In a small bowl, stir bread crumbs with milk until evenly combined. Let sit for 15 minutes, or while you prep other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to combine beef, pork, sausage, onion, and garlic.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, then gently stir in breadcrumb mixture, eggs, Parmesan, and parsley until just combined. Form mixture into 1” balls.
  4. In a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Working in batches, sear meatballs on all sides to develop a crust.
  5. Set meatballs aside, reduce heat to medium-low, and add sauce to skillet.
  6. Bring sauce to a simmer then immediately add meatballs back to skillet.
  7. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes more.