Italian Meatballs
Italian Meatballs
Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

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Due to dire poverty and political corruption more than 4 million Italians immigrated to the United States from 1880 to 1920. They brought with them their desire for freedom and land along with their culinary inventiveness and ingenuity.

In New York City Italians now had access to an inexpensive supply of meat, fresh bread, dried pasta, canned tomatoes, New Jersey fresh vegetables, and the concept of Spaghetti and Meatballs was born.


Over the years I have tried dozens of Italian Meatball recipes, but the family controversy seems to always comes down to the use of breadcrumbs or 2-day old Italian bread soaked in milk (a panade). A panade is a milk-and-bread paste that's folded into ground meat before shaping it into meatballs; the bread starches absorb milk to form a gel that coats and lubricates the meat, keeping it moist and tender. I like the Panade method. Try it both ways and you decide. 

PREPARATION: 1 ½ hours – Makes about 100 (1-tablespoon) Meatballs (freeze what you do not use).

EQUIPMENT: French chef knife, Cutting Board, Kitchen Machine food cutter, large stainless Mixing Bowl, Large stainless steel baking sheet.


  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (Jimmy Dean or Johsonville)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated #1 cutting cone.
  • 2 whole eggs beaten.
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (or panade)
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 large onion minced.
  • 7 cloves garlic minced.
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 400ᵒF.

In large mixing bowl, combine ground chuck, pork, veal, and Italian sausage and mix well to combine.

Add the cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs or panade, parsley, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powder. Mix thoroughly, and form into meatballs.

  • Ice cream scoop size about 50
  • 1 tablespoon size about 100
  • ½ tablespoon size about 200

Note: Typically, I bake 150 Tablespoon Size Meatballs and 40 or 50 ½ tablespoon size uncooked Meatballs for Wedding Soup.

Place meatballs on large stainless steel baking tray and bake for 25 to 35 minutes (depending on size) until lightly browned. NOTE: For Italian Wedding Soup the meatballs will be cooked in the soup.

Meatballs can be vacuumed sealed frozen for future use.

To Serve: Spoon Italian Meatballs and sauce over pasta or serve with risotto or serve on Italian bread for meatball sandwich.

NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN PER SERVING: Calories 280; Fat Grams 13; Carbohydrate Grams 19; Protein Grams 21; Cholesterol mg 52; Sodium mg 473.

THE POINT SYSTEM: Calorie Points 4; Protein Points 3; Fat Grams 13; Sodium Points 20 ½; Fiber Points 1; Carbohydrate Points 1½; Cholesterol Points 5.