Family Meatballs With Brown Gravy

Family Meatballs With Brown Gravy

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Chill Time: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
414 Calories
27g Fat
7g Carbs
34g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 414
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 134mg 45%
Sodium 683mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 554mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Using ground meat is a great budget-friendly trick to feed many while spending less. Our comforting, savory meatballs are a family-friendly dish that goes with any side dish you have at hand. Although they require a little time investment, they can be made in bigger batches to freeze and have at hand for a last-minute dinner. Rice, veggies, noodles, and the classic mashed potatoes are perfect sides to these meatballs, and who doesn't love meat and potatoes?

Our well-seasoned meatballs with gravy use a combination of ground beef and pork alongside milk, egg, breadcrumbs, onions, and bell peppers in a classic American recipe. The meatballs are browned and then cooked in beef broth for added flavor. A simple and creamy gravy adds a delicious finishing touch.

We recommend not skipping the chilling time, as refrigerating the meatball mixture keeps the fats cold, preventing them from melting before cooking. That fat keeps the meatballs from drying out when they're cooked for a juicy and tender result. Other spices such as paprika, oregano, or cumin can be added to the meatball mixture, and ground chicken or turkey can be used in lieu of half the beef and half the pork for a leaner, tri-meat meatball.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1/2 pound ground pork

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or bacon drippings, or shortening

  • 1/2 cup beef broth

  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Family Meatballs With Brown Gravy ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with the milk, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, bell pepper, ketchup, parsley, salt, and pepper.

    ground beef and pork with the milk, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, bell pepper, ketchup, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Shape the mixture into large meatballs of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

    shape into meatballs

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Place the meatballs in a dish; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    meatballs in a glass container

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.

    skillet with oil

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  6. Brown the meatballs, turning carefully to brown all sides.

    meatballs cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  7. When the meatballs are firm and well browned, add the beef broth.

    meatballs cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  8. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.

    meatballs cooking in a covered skillet

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  9. With a slotted spoon, remove meatballs and place in a warm bowl or platter and keep warm.

    meatballs removed from skillet with slotted spoon

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  10. For the gravy, mix the flour and water together in a small bowl.

    flour and water mixture in a bowl to make gravy

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  11. Add the water-flour mixture to the pan drippings. Cook, constantly stirring, until thickened.

    gravy cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  12. Serve the meatballs with the gravy spooned over top.

    Family Meatballs With Brown Gravy on a plate

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  13. Enjoy!

How to Store Meatballs

  • Properly stored, cooked meatballs will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Refrigerate meatballs within 2 hours of cooking. Store in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Freeze meatballs in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Properly stored, they will maintain the best quality for 3 to 4 months. Kept constantly frozen at 0 F, the meatballs can keep indefinitely, although they may start to lose some flavor over time. Cooked frozen meatballs can be thawed and kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking.

For Great Meatballs Every Time

Say goodbye to dry and crumbly meatballs. Here are a few tips you can use every time to ensure your meatballs stay flavorful, juicy, and tender:

  • Season your meat. Many cooks fear seasoning the meat when using packaged beef broth as they think the result might be too salty. If you prefer, it's better to use low-sodium broth and truly season the meat to avoid bland meatballs.
  • Use spices and herbs. There's nothing more disappointing than a meatball with no colors or textures inside. Green herbs and bold spices add flavor and color to the meatballs and make them as pretty as they are delicious.
  • Use eggs, but not too many. Eggs are a binder but don't add moisture. When using too many eggs, the meatballs become cakey and dough-like—dry, and simply un-chewable.
  • Shape the meatballs into similar-sized balls. If shaped in all sizes they'll cook at different rates, yielding meatballs that could be too tough or raw in the middle.
  • Brown the meatballs to retain more moisture. This essential step is often disregarded, but it's key to achieving a dreamy, perfect meatball.