Recipe: Ina Garten’s Meatballs

by Cate on April 29, 2016

Juicy, tender, and oh so easy to make, these are meatballs you’ll want in your life.


This week has seriously been a bit of a blur.

Madeline makes her First Communion tomorrow, and there has been a rush of last minute activities.

Finding a cross topper for the homemade cake she requested for dessert.

Mani/pedi appointments with one of her best friends.

Figuring out the menu for the after-party.

Rehearsal at the church.

Coordinating rides and drop-off times for the friends going with us.

Trying on that special dress one last time.

Hair cuts tonight.

A sleepover with the same bestie since they’re making Communion together tomorrow.

We have affectionately called this week Communion Week.

It’s much like the flurry of activity right before you get married. So much excitement, and fun, and nerves.

But very much all good times.

Madeline is positively gleeful about tomorrow, and a wee bit nervous, but seriously cannot wait.

Pictures to come!


So in periods like this, I am forever grateful for a well-stocked freezer and the fortitude to (sometimes, but not always) think ahead.

I made a new recipe for a client that yielded me a dozen Egg Cups, which is perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast.

I made two Broccoli Pies (one to keep, and one to repay a favor), which makes a delicious and easy lunch.

And meatballs.

These meatballs.

I originally made them to celebrate #NationalMeatballDay last month. More specifically, I made a ginormous batch of them for our Girl Scout dinner, and saved some for Nick to have as part of a sandwich that night for his own dinner. AND I froze a bunch of them, which means dinner during this crazy COMMUNION WEEK has been made that much simpler. Truth be told, I don’t usually use a recipe for meatballs (THEY’RE NOT THAT HARD), but did this time, and they’re awesome.

Juicy, tender, easy, and everything you want a meatball to be.

Make a bunch for dinner tonight and stash some in the freezer for when you have a crazy week and need a little extra help. Whether served with pasta (which is what I did for the Girl Scouts’ dinner), or stuffed in a hoagie roll with tomato sauce and piled with mozzarella, and then broiled until the cheese is all melty and divine … these meatballs can be your little God-send too.


Real Meatballs
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten and Food Network


1/2 pound ground veal (I don’t eat veal, so added more beef)
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed) (I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (I used whole wheat bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used dried parsley)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.

Add meatballs to marinara sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jackie July 28, 2019 at 11:10 am

Theses look good! I want to make them need a substitute for the pork and beef. What can I use with a half pound of ground turkey to achieve the same moistness of your combination of meat?


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