Forget about frozen meatballs. Making homemade meatballs is a breeze and so much more flavourful! Dust off your cast iron skillet and learn how to make your own meatballs from scratch. Today I’ll be sharing a recipe for Italian-style meatballs!
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HOMEMADE MEATBALLS RECIPE VIDEO
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DUST OFF YOUR CAST IRON SKILLET
First off, you don’t need a cast-iron skillet to make these homemade meatballs. If you’re finishing off the meatballs in the oven, however, I do recommend using an oven-safe skillet. The reason I recommend cast iron? Because I’m a hardcore fan and think cast-iron cookware is the bee’s knees. It’s easy to work with, it lasts forever, and it’s toxin-free. If you’ve never cooked with castiron ware, I recommend starting here.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE HOMEMADE MEATBALLS?
Whenever I make meatballs and burgers, there’s always a simple formula I follow:
Pick a meat, any meat! In the recipe below, I use beef, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I encourage you to play around and build these meatballs into your own special creation. Make your homemade meatballs with pork, lamb, turkey, chicken, venison, or whatever you darn well please.
Breadcrumbs are optional, but I like how they hold everything together. Panko breadcrumbs are an excellent option as well, but for the most part, I use homemade breadcrumbs. I always keep a canister of stale sourdough bread that would otherwise be discarded and whirl it through a food processor. If you want more nifty kitchen tips like that, check out my frugal kitchen rules.
Here’s my formula: one egg per pound of meat. Easy, right?
Unless you have an allergy or can’t stand the flavour, include some minced garlic or onion in the recipe.
This is where all the fun begins! I sometimes crack open my Flavour Bible for extra inspiration. I almost always include herbs in the mix. Fresh herbs are my favourite, whether that’s chopped up parsley, chives, dill, oregano, basil, or whatever moves my spirit. If I don’t have fresh herbs, I have quite the herb and spice collection to keep me going. Other seasonings I like to play around with include Worcestershire sauce, chilli flakes, ginger, mustard, hoisin sauce and capers, to name a few. Heck, I even include cheese!
HOW DO I MAKE HOMEMADE MEATBALLS?
Now that we have all of the ingredients assembled, let’s make some homemade meatballs!
PREHEAT THE OVEN
This step is optional, for there are two ways to finish the meatballs. One is to transfer the skillet into the oven and bake them. The second is to simmer the meatballs in tomato sauce for a half hour. If you go the route of finishing the homemade meatballs in the oven, you’ll want to preheat it to 375ºF/190ºC.
MIX THE MEAT
Combine all of the ingredients together (save the cooking fat). I hope you’re not afraid of getting messy!
FORM THE MEATBALLS
One pound of ground meat yields around 12 meatballs. Of course, this all depends on how big or small you make them. Smaller meatballs will have a shorter cooking time, and larger meatballs will need to cook longer. I don’t really measure my meatballs. I just grab a handful of meat and try to keep my meatballs as uniform as possible.
HEAT THE SKILLET AND SEAR
If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, be sure to heat that beauty up before attempting to sear the meatballs. You want that skillet good and hot, or the meat will stick! For the cooking fat, use something that has a high smoke point. I love using lard, but if you’re averse to using animal fats, avocado oil would be my next pick. Coconut oil also does well with high temperatures, but it will impart its flavour to your meatballs.
FINISH IN THE OVEN OR SIMMER IN SAUCE
After the meatballs are seared, pop them in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or simmer them in tomato sauce for 30 minutes. It’s that easy!
POSSIBLE FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS FOR HOMEMADE MEATBALLS
For me, the most classic flavour combination includes parsley, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. It’s what I use in my cast-iron burger recipe. Themes are fun to play around with, too, for example, I have another burger recipe made with pork and shrimp that was heavily influenced by Asian flavours. Both of these recipes can be easily turned into meatballs, but here are some other combinations to inspire you:
Beef: finely chopped pickles, mustard, onions and Worcestershire sauce
Lamb: shredded carrots, garlic, coriander, cumin, and thyme
Pork: bacon, garlic, oregano, and rosemary
Turkey: basil, feta, and shallots
THANKS FOR DROPPING BY THE KITCHEN!
If you’ve never made your own meatballs before, I hope you have fun with your first batch! Whether you use my recipe, one of my flavour ideas, or create your own, I hope you’ll let me know how they turn out in the comments below!
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HOMEMADE MEATBALLS INGREDIENTS
1 lb ground beef
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp cooking oil or fat
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS INSTRUCTIONS
1.Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC.
2. Mix all of the ingredients together, save the cooking fat and season to taste.
3. Heat the oil or fat in a 12″ cast iron skillet.
4. When the skillet is hot, sear the meatballs.
5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can also finish the seared meatballs by simmering them in a tomato sauce for 20-30 minutes.
PRINTABLE HOMEMADE MEATBALLS RECIPE CARD
- 12" Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp cooking oil or fat
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC (unless you finish the meatballs by simmering them in a sauce).
- Mix all of the ingredients together, save the cooking fat and season to taste.
- Heat the oil or fat in a 12″ cast iron skillet.
- When the skillet is hot, sear the meatballs.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can also finish the seared meatballs by simmering them in a tomato sauce for 20-30 minutes.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Love and gratitude,