Classic Meatballs

Classic meatballs

This recipe for classic meatballs was passed down to me from my mother. Mom was a pretty darn good cook who had a lot of mouths to feed and not a lot of money.  There were rarely any fancy or exotic ingredients in our meals (think canned pineapple as exotic for a reference point).  But what she cooked always just tasted amazing.  Dad was a butcher and was always in charge of bringing home the meat.  (I was tempted to say bacon there but resisted.)  Henry (my dad) would bring home whatever meat was on sale that week or if mom wanted something in particular, he’d cut it himself so we always had delicious meat.  But like I said, we didn’t have a lot of money so ground beef appeared…a lot.  Back then no one was afraid of e-coli so we’d often steal pieces of raw chop meat, put a little salt on it and gobble it down, with mom yelling at us to get out of the kitchen.  This meatball recipe is super simple and most likely invented out of necessity, using what’s in the pantry to go with the meat.

Directions for classic meatballs

Ingredients for classic meatballs

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, mixing with your hands.

Add ingredients for classic meatballs to mixing bowl

Roll the meatballs in your hands to the size you desire.  My kids love really big meatballs so these were about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  The larger they are, the longer they take to cook thoroughly.  No matter what the size, be sure not to crowd the pan and turn them frequently so they cook evenly and keep their shape.

Fry classic meatballs

If you love some spaghetti sauce to go with these meatballs, try this Instant Pot spaghetti sauce.


Classic Meatballs

  • Author: Kathleen
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Meatballs
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian



1.5 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil for skillet


Using your hands, combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
Shape meatballs in a circle about 1″ in diameter.
Heat olive oil on medium.
Add meatballs, being sure not to crowd.
Turn meatballs as they brown, heating through.

Keywords: meatball, meatballs, classic meatballs, beef meatballs

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