Nonna's Famous Italian Meatball Recipe: These Easy Meatballs Melt in Your Mouth by Ann Marie Patitucci

Nonna's Famous Italian Meatball Recipe: These Easy Meatballs Melt in Your Mouth

Every Italian grandma and mom have their own way of making meatballs. This easy meatball recipe is exceptional! The meatballs are soft, moist and perfect with your favorite pasta and sauce. They also make a mean meatball sandwich or meatball casserole.

The Italian meatballs have just a few simple ingredients: dry Italian breadcrumbs, milk, ground beef, onion, fresh garlic, an egg, salt, black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh minced parsley. The breadcrumbs and milk are mixed together and sit for five minutes before being added to the rest of the ingredients. The ground beef meatballs are baked in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. Simple! 

You can freeze these meatballs after cooking, too. Simply let them cool completely, then pop them into a freezer container. You'll have delicious meatballs whenever the craving hits for about 3 months. To cook, thaw the meatballs then put them into a sauce to reheat.

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 cup dry Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, cheese and parsley. Mix to combine, but do not over-mix. 
  3. Roll into 2-inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. 
  4. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 20 minutes. 

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Donna John
Love how simple this recipe is! I don't have a favorite meatball recipe, so maybe this will be it. Trying it soon.
This looks so good 👍
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Nonna's meatballs look amazing. What a hearty helping of pure comfort!

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