Maria's Italian Meatballs

Maria's Meatballs with red gravy in a white serving bowl

Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
232 Calories
10g Fat
9g Carbs
24g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 232
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 248mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 24g
Calcium 75mg 6%
*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.)

These authentic Italian-style meatballs are perfect for your favorite spaghetti sauce or marinara and pasta. Shape and bake these well-seasoned meatballs and simmer them with the sauce on the stovetop or slow cooker. 

From Maria: "This is my Italian mother's recipe for meatballs. Everyone always loves them and you can adjust the seasonings to taste."

The meatballs are shaped and then broiled, but they may also be baked at 350 F for about 20 to 30 minutes.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (85% to 90%)
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (see the tips and variations for homemade)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water (or enough to moisten; see instructions)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium onion (finely minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • spaghetti sauce or marinara (homemade or ready-made)

Steps to Make It

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Don't add all of the water at one time. The mixture should be moist but not so that the meatballs fall apart.

  2. Shape meatballs to desired size and place on the oiled rack of a broiler pan. Moisten your hands with water as you work to keep the meatballs from sticking. Alternatively, line a large baking pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire cooling rack in the pan.

  3. Broil about 4 inches from the heat source for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the tops are nicely browned. Turn the meatballs over and broil the other side. 

  4. When the meatballs are browned on all sides, add them to a medium saucepan with spaghetti sauce and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

  5. Serve the meatballs and sauce over hot cooked spaghetti, linguini or another kind of pasta.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.