Marinara Meatballs
Dinner Recipes

The BEST Meatball Marinara Recipe

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hearty meatballs in marinara sauce over a bed of classic spaghetti noodles. This is a classic, family favorite dish.

What makes it so special? Is it the succulent beef meatballs? Is it the perfectly seasoned marinara sauce? Is it the combination of the two?

The answer is all of the above. These meatballs are so special because they are packed with flavor. The beef is juicy and seasoned perfectly, while the marinara sauce is both sweet and savory. Combined, they make for a heavenly dish that will leave you wanting more.

You can also try Beef Ragu & Cavatappi, Bacon Carbonara Pasta, Slow Cooker Beef Ragu, Homemade Italian Meats Pizza and more…

What Makes these Meatballs so Special?

The key to these amazing meatballs is the quality of the meat used. Fresh ground beef, pork, or turkey make for the best meatballs, as the fat content keeps them juicy and tender. In addition, seasoning the mixture with salt, pepper, and garlic brings out the flavor in the meat. All of these ingredients come together to create the perfect flavor and texture.

The marinara sauce is just as important as the meat itself. The tomatoes should be slightly sweet and rich, while the herbs give the sauce a slight kick. Using a combination of oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme can make the sauce far more flavorful than simply using one herb.

What’s in this Meatball Marinara Recipe?

For the Meatballs

2 lb Ground Beef, lean (you can substitute for pork or veal)

2 large Eggs

1 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp Finely chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley

2 cloves Garlic

2 cups Breadcrumbs

1 cup Extra virgin olive oil, for frying

For the Marinara Sauce

1/4 cup Olive Oil

3 tbsp Minced Onion

2 cloves Garlic

2 can of 28 ounce Italian crushed tomatoes

Fresh Basil Leaves

Pinch of Oregano

Kosher Salt and Pepper to Taste

How to Make this Crazy Easy Meatball Marinara Recipe

When it comes to marinara meatballs, this recipe is the best one you will ever try. It combines juicy, properly seasoned beef or pork with a rich and flavorful marinara sauce that will have your taste buds exploding.

Plus, the entire process is so easy, you won’t have any trouble whipping the dish up in no time. Not only that, but the recipe can be adjusted to fit anyone’s tastes. If you want it spicier, add a few extra red pepper flakes.

If you want to pump up the flavor, add extra herbs or a splash of white wine. It is completely up to you!

Step 1: Make the Marinara Sauce

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté just until softened. Add tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.

Add the basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute more.

Step 2: Make the Meatballs

In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, eggs, cheese, parsley and minced garlic, then salt and pepper as desired. Add the bread crumbs and mix well. Slowly add water until the mixture is moist; 1/4 cup at a time. Shape into 1½ -inch meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches and taking care not to crowd the pan, add meatballs and fry until undersides are brown and slightly crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and brown the other sides, about 5 minutes more. Transfer cooked meatballs to paper towels to drain, then add to the marinara sauce. Mix gently and serve over a bed of pasta.

Marinara Meatballs

Marinara Meatballs

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hearty meatballs in marinara sauce over a bed of classic spaghetti noodles. This is a classic, family favorite dish. 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Minced Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cans 28 ounce Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 6 Fresh Basil leaves
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste

For the Meatballs

  • 2 lb Ground beef, lean Can substitute for pork or veal
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 cup reshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 cups Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil, for frying

Instructions
 

Make the sauce:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté just until softened. Add tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.
  • Add the basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute more.

Make the Meatballs

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, eggs, cheese, parsley and minced garlic, then salt and pepper as desired. Add the bread crumbs and mix well. Slowly add water until the mixture is moist; 1/4 cup at a time. Shape into 1½ -inch meatballs.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches and taking care not to crowd the pan, add meatballs and fry until undersides are brown and slightly crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and brown the other sides, about 5 minutes more. Transfer cooked meatballs to paper towels to drain, then add to the marinara sauce. Mix gently and serve over a bed of pasta.
Keyword beef, comfort, fall, holiday, Italian recipe, meatballs, pasta, weeknight, winter

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50 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried many meatball recipes before, but this one stands out from the rest. The combination of ingredients is unique and creates a flavor explosion in every bite. The blog post accompanying the recipe was also very informative, providing useful tips and variations. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try!

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