When we were researching for our #8isEnoughQuestions interview with Chef Fabio Viviani, we came across this video of him making Italian Meatballs…

After watching the video, we noticed some similarities and differences with our own Italian Meatball recipe. Our recipe evolved from an old family recipe and is now one of our family’s favorites. It’s really easy, tastes great, and all the kids love to help make them. So try it for yourself and let us know what you think!



48 1.3-1.5 oz meatballs


  • Step #1 – The mix
    • Preheat your oven to 375F
    • Grab a large mixing bowl and add your ground beef (hint: you can swap some ground beef with other meats, but we like ground beef best – typically 85% or 90% lean)
    • Add to the mix
      • 2 1/2 cups bread crumbs (we love Panko)
      • 1 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 TBL garlic powder
      • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
      • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
      • 1/2 cup diced onion (green onions are a nice substitute as well)
      • ~30 basil leaves chiffonade or 4 tsp dried basil (fresh is best, but dried is okay – that’s what we used here)


  • Step #2 – The eggs
    • Add four eggs to the mix being careful to keep them somewhat separate (makes it easier for the next step)

Ready to mix!

  • Step #3 – Mix the mix
    • Work the mix by hand to bring everything together
    • Mix and shape until you have a giant meatball with an even distribution of onion, basil, egg, etc.

Giant meatball

Step #4 – Shape the meatballs

  • Place your giant meatball on one of the cookie sheets
  • Divide your giant meatball by half (approximate) to make 2 very very large meatballs and place one on each sheet
  • Divide the 2 large meatballs by half (approximate) to make 4 very large meatballs (2 on each sheet)
  • Divide the 4 very large meatballs by half (approximate) to make 8 large meatballs (4 on each sheet)
  • For each very large meatball, split into 4 or 6 meatballs depending upon desired size (we typically go smaller with 6 meatballs per large meatball so they cook faster and are a little more manageable for the kids) and arrange on the cookie sheets



Step #5 – Bake

  • Place the meatballs in the oven
  • Bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through (note: Chef Viviani and many chefs cook their meatballs directly in the marinara sauce and others may fry them, but for our family, we find it is faster, more flexible, and more efficient to just bake them separately)

Ready to serve!

Step #6 – Serve

  • Remove meatballs from oven
  • Serving ideas
    • Classic – meatballs with pasta and marinara sauce
    • Sub – meatballs with marinara, cheese, sub roll
    • Kid favorite – plain meatballs with ketchup or mustard


If you’re still looking for ideas, check out our other recipes such as Cheesy Herb Green Onion Potatoes, Sugary Spicy Roasted Delicata Squash, or Sally Lunn Bread.

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