Italian Meatballs with Red Sauce |

I have been eating meatballs since I was a kid. My mother would make them weekly and we would always gobble them down. However, over the years I have come to realize that not all meatballs are created equal. There are so many different kinds of meatballs out there, and so many different sauces to go with them.

If you’re an Italian, chances are that you cook red sauce. If you’re a little more adventurous, and have a sense of adventure, you might try using meatballs. If you’re a little daring, and really want to go out of your comfort zone, you could even try using poultry instead of beef. This recipe is my take on traditional Italian meatballs. They’re not too spicy, they’re not too rich, and they’re not too heavy, meaning that they’re perfect for a light meal or appetizer. It takes a little more time to prepare dinner than a dish with red sauce, so I usually make this dish on a Sunday for the rest of the week.

Before the holidays, you may have played around with versions of meatballs that included turkey or red meat, but for many, they will remain a classic dish made with pork. That said, there’s no reason not to try something different this year. Today we’ll be making marinated, oven-cooked Italian meatballs with red sauce. They’re delicious, easy to make, and can be served as a main dish, on top of pasta, or with a simple side salad.. Read more about fresh tomato sauce for meatballs and let us know what you think.


Italian Meatballs with Red Sauce pinterest image

I have a strong desire for traditional dishes at times. After all, that’s why I created this site in the first place. If I didn’t include a recipe for Meatballs from Italy with Red Sauce in my archives, I’d be remiss. These meatballs are great with spaghetti or on their own as an appetizer. I like how the soft, juicy inside contrasts with the crunchy outside, which soaks up all of the crimson sauce.

Ground meats, spices, and bread crumbs are used to make these meatballs from scratch. It’s then finished up with a delicious crimson sauce and cooked to perfection.

If you like this dish, you may also like my Spicy Italian Meatballs, Cheesy Meatball Parmesan, or Easy BBQ Meatballs.

Italian Meatballs with Red Sauce in a white bowl with a napkin.


What are the ingredients in Italian meatballs?

Ground meats such as ground beef and ground pig are often used to make Italian meatballs. This mixture provides the meatballs their unique taste while also helping to balance the fat level. Don’t get me wrong: all beef meatballs are wonderful, but adding a combination of meats adds a layer of complexity to the taste.

A mix of spice and breadcrumbs are added to the meatballs in addition to the ground meat. This will keep the meatballs wet while maintaining their form.

A fork lifting up an italian meatball.

What causes meatballs to become tough?

  • They’ve been cooked too long.
  • They’re prepared using beef that’s much too thin.
  • The meatballs were a little too jumbled together.
  • Breadcrumbs and milk were in short supply in the meatballs.

Italian Meatballs with Red Sauce in a white bowl.


Meatballs: How to Cook Them

Cooking Italian Meatballs with Red Sauce may be done in three ways.

  1. Place all of the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375°F, or until golden brown and cooked through. If you want a simple cleaning and a hands-off approach, this technique is ideal. This may not be the technique for you if you like a crispy exterior.
  2. Cook all meatballs in a large cast iron skillet with cooking oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees. This technique produces the crispiest outsides, but it requires twice as many dishes to clean. (Meatballs may also be cooked fully in a frying pan.)
  3. Cooked in Sauce: Place uncooked meatballs in red sauce and cook for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking. If you want juicy, delicious meatballs, this is the technique to use.

Required Ingredients

  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 1 pound beef (ground)
  • 1 pound pork (ground)
  • 1 Onion Minced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Needed Equipment

  • Bowl for mixing
  • Spoon Made of Wood
  • Board for cutting
  • Knife of a Chef
  • Baking Tray

Storage Suggestions

Refrigerate for up to four days in an airtight container. To reheat, warm in the microwave or on the stovetop until well heated.

Freezer: Keep frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container. To reheat, thaw in the microwave and then heat until well heated.

Frozen Meatballs: Meatballs may be prepared ahead of time and frozen after shaping. Place the formed meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 6-8 hours, making sure they don’t touch. Place meatballs in a freezer-safe ziploc bag and freeze for up to two months.


Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs


Michelle Boulé is a French actress.


With this recipe for Italian Meatballs, you can make a traditional Italian American favorite. For a delicious dinner, serve with spaghetti or simply the meatballs.


5 out of 1 vote


Recipes to Pin




15-minute prep time

Time to cook: 20 minutes

35 minutes total




Course Description:

American cuisine



8 servings

calorie count: 465 kcal




Spoon Made of Wood




Saute Pan


Dutch Oven Lodge




StandardMetric in the United States



  • 12 CUP OF MILK
  • 1 pound beef (ground)
  • 1 pound pork (ground)
  • 1 minced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Eggs
  • 14 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Crushed Red Tomatoes, 28 oz
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon basil





  • Combine milk and bread crumbs in a large mixing basin. Allow it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl with the milk and bread crumb mixture until just combined. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and bake meatballs for 20 minutes, or until browned on both sides. When the chicken is done baking, combine it with a red sauce.


  • While the meatballs are baking, combine the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan and sauté over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is transparent. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, then add the meatballs. Enjoy with spaghetti or on its own!



calorie count: 465 kcal 21g carbohydrate 25 g protein 31 g fat 10g Saturated Fat 1 gram of trans fat 124 milligrams of cholesterol 324 mg sodium 730 mg potassium 3 g of fiber 7 g sugar 473 IU Vitamin A 15 milligrams of vitamin C 114 mg calcium 4 mg iron




The term “Italian Meatballs” refers to a kind of



Once upon a time, when I was a very little girl, I loved Italian meatballs. When I was much older, and working on my culinary skills, I decided to make my own meatballs and sauce. I have to say these are the best meatballs I have ever made. They are very tasty and very filling. I can make a whole batch of them and have leftovers for several days. My family loves them, and they are really easy to make.. Read more about italian meatball sauce recipe and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret to good meatballs?

The secret to good meatballs is to use a mixture of ground beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, and eggs.

Is it better to cook meatballs in sauce or oven?

Cooking meatballs in sauce is better than cooking them in the oven because it saves time.

What is Italian red sauce called?

Italian red sauce is called Pomodoro in Italy.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • italian meatball sauce recipe
  • how to cook meatballs in sauce
  • italian spaghetti sauce
  • how long to cook meatballs in sauce
  • meatball sauce

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.