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Chef John’s Italian Meatballs

Chef John’s Italian Meatballs

Who doesn’t love a plate of delicious, homemade Italian meatballs? They are juicy, flavorful, and make for the perfect comfort food. In this article, we will dive into the world of Chef John’s Italian Meatballs, exploring their origin, preparation, and some FAQs that might pop up in your mind.

The Origin of Chef John’s Italian Meatballs

Chef John is a renowned Italian chef known for his authentic and mouthwatering dishes. His Italian meatballs have gained popularity worldwide due to their unique combination of ingredients and the love and passion that Chef John puts into his cooking.

The Secret to Perfect Italian Meatballs

Chef John’s Italian meatballs are all about balance and flavor. He believes that the key to perfect meatballs lies in the quality of the ingredients used. From the ground meat to the breadcrumbs, everything is carefully selected to ensure the best taste and texture.

Quality Ground Meat

When it comes to making Italian meatballs, Chef John prefers a mix of ground beef and ground pork. This combination adds depth and richness to the meatballs, making them incredibly flavorful. The meat is seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, including garlic, oregano, and parsley, to enhance the taste.

Perfectly Soaked Breadcrumbs

An essential ingredient in Chef John’s Italian meatballs is breadcrumbs. These breadcrumbs not only act as a binder but also add moisture to the meat mixture. Chef John recommends soaking the breadcrumbs in milk before adding them to the meat mixture. This step ensures that the meatballs turn out tender and succulent.

The Magic of Parmesan Cheese

One ingredient that sets Chef John’s Italian meatballs apart is Parmesan cheese. The cheese adds a nutty and tangy flavor to the meatballs, making them incredibly delicious. It also helps bind the meatballs together, giving them a perfect texture.

Preparing Chef John’s Italian Meatballs

Now that we know the secret behind Chef John’s Italian meatballs, let’s dive into the preparation process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making these delectable meatballs:

Gather Your Ingredients

To make Chef John’s Italian meatballs, you will need:

  • Ground beef and ground pork
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Milk
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Marinara sauce

Mix and Shape the Meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, soaked breadcrumbs, minced garlic, oregano, parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.

Once the mixture is ready, it’s time to shape the meatballs. Take a small portion of the mixture and roll it into a ball between your palms. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used up.

Cooking the Meatballs

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook them until they are browned on all sides. This will give them a nice crust and seal in the flavors.

Once the meatballs are browned, transfer them to a plate and set them aside. In the same skillet, add marinara sauce and bring it to a simmer. Return the meatballs to the skillet and let them cook in the sauce for another 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

FAQs About Chef John’s Italian Meatballs

1. Can I use different types of meat in the meatball mixture?

Yes, you can experiment with different combinations of meats, such as beef, pork, veal, or even turkey. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.

2. Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can make the meatballs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to cook, simply follow the cooking instructions in the recipe.

3. Can I freeze the meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze the meatballs. Once they are cooked and cooled, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you want to enjoy them, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them in a skillet with marinara sauce.

4. Can I use store-bought marinara sauce?

While Chef John recommends making your own marinara sauce for the best flavor, you can use store-bought marinara sauce if you’re short on time. Just make sure to choose a high-quality brand for the best results.

5. Can I bake the meatballs instead of frying them?

Absolutely! If you prefer a healthier alternative, you can bake the meatballs in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Just make sure to lightly grease the baking sheet before placing the meatballs on it.

6. What can I serve with Chef John’s Italian meatballs?

Chef John’s Italian meatballs are incredibly versatile. You can serve them with pasta, as a topping for pizza, or even in a meatball sub. They are also delicious on their own as an appetizer.

7. Can I use a different type of cheese instead of Parmesan?

While Parmesan cheese adds a unique flavor to the meatballs, you can substitute it with other hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano or Asiago. Just make sure to choose a cheese with a similar texture and flavor profile.

8. Can I use gluten-free breadcrumbs?

Yes, if you are following a gluten-free diet, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead. There are several brands available in the market that offer gluten-free options.


Chef John’s Italian meatballs are a culinary delight that brings the flavors of Italy to your plate. With the right combination of ingredients and Chef John’s secret techniques, you can create a batch of mouthwatering meatballs that will satisfy your cravings. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to indulge in

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Chef John's Italian Meatballs

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • cup of breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ bunch of fresh parsley , chopped
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Italian herb seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes


  • Chef John's Italian meatballs are flavorful and tender, and they are baked instead of fried for easy cleanup. Below are the step-by-step instructions and ingredient list for the Italian meatball recipe:
  • Ingredients for Italian meatballs:
  • - Breadcrumbs soaked in milk
  • - Olive oil
  • - Onion
  • - Ground beef and pork
  • - Eggs
  • - Parmesan cheese
  • - Parsley
  • - Garlic
  • - Salt
  • - Black pepper
  • - Italian herb seasoning
  • - Red pepper flakes
  • Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Soak breadcrumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until onion is very tender, about 15 minutes more.
  • Gently stir together beef, pork, soaked breadcrumbs, onions, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl using a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
  • Form the mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and arrange them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15
Keyword Beef, Collections, dinner, Dishes, Ground, Healthy, Heart, Italian, Main, Meatball, Pork, Recipes, Special
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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