clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
cover photo.

Best Meatball Recipe EVER (Polpette)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 25 reviews

These nutritious homemade meatballs are the perfect meal to make on a Sunday afternoon and freeze for weeks to come! This is another tried and true simple, flavorful and mouthwatering recipe from my Nonna.

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Units Scale

Polpette (meatballs)

  • 1 pound of 80-85% lean ground beef
  • 2 slices of stale bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Breadcrumbs (for rolling the meatballs by hand)
  • Extra parmigiano for serving

Sugo (sauce)

  • 1 large can (28 oz) good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, whole


Make Sugo: 

Make Polpette: 

Cook your favorite pasta or gnocchi, as directed by the package, to serve with meatballs. You can also eat without the pasta and serve it on yummy bread. Try with Easy Polenta Recipe. Generously top with parmigiano and serve hot!


Make Meatballs Ahead of Time

I always make a double batch of the meatballs and freeze them for a busy weeknight.

To freeze meatballs: Place them on a baking sheet in one layer so they aren’t touching, and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container with a tight lid. Freeze for up to 2 months. Add frozen meatballs to the broth when ready to use and simmer until warm. You can also add them to homemade tomato sauce.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Cuisine: Italian