Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Meatballs in a tomato sauce.

6 servings
Soaking 30 min
Preparation 35 min

Cooking 20 min

310 calories per serving 


1 tbsp canola oil   15 mL
2 slices bread, whole wheat, stale or day-old   70 g
3 cups My Mother's Tomato Sauce (Recipe)   750 mL
60 g mortadella sausage, or ham , finely chopped    
1 1/2 tbsp marjoram, fresh, finely chopped   10 g
1 eggs size large    
600 g ground beef, extra-lean    
1 pinch salt [optional]   0.1 g
  ground pepper to taste    
1/4 cup bread crumbs   35 g

Before you start

These meatballs can be either baked in the oven or fried. They will contain less fat if baked, but they will be tastier and more tender if fried. The Nutrition Facts table on this page assumes that baking will be used.


  1. If using the baking method: Preheat the oven to 205°C/400°F and lightly oil a baking dish. Alternatively, for deep-frying: Preheat a sufficient quantity of peanut oil to 175°C/350°F in an electric fryer or in a large skillet.
  2. Put the bread slices in a small bowl then cover them with water (you may need to put a weight on top to submerge the slices). Let soak 20-30 min.
  3. Meanwhile, warm up the tomato sauce in a large pan over low heat.
  4. Drain the bread well in a sieve, then squeeze it to remove most of the liquid. Finely chop the bread then add it to a bowl. Finely chop the mortadella (or ham) and marjoram, then add them to the bowl. Add the egg and ground beef, followed by salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Using your hands, blend the mixture together until it is just combined well (do not overmix). Form the mixture into small balls (about the size of golf balls), then flatten them slightly and coat them with the bread crumbs. Plan on about 3-4 meatballs per serving.
  6. Baking: Transfer the meatballs to the previously oiled dish, then cook in the middle of the oven 12-15 min until they are golden-brown, turning them once. Deep-frying: Working in batches, deep-fry the meatballs about 4-5 min per side until they are golden-brown, then set them on paper towels to drain.
  7. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the tomato sauce then continue to cook 15-20 min over medium-low heat, turning them once. Serve the meatballs with the sauce.


These meatballs may be served at room temperature. They are ideal for a picnic, served with a few slices of bread.

Nutrition Facts Table

Nutrition Facts

per 1 serving (200g)


% DV*

* DV = Daily Value




16 g

25 %

Saturated 6 g
+ Trans 0.4 g

29 %


95 mg


510 mg

21 %


16 g

5 %


3 g

11 %


6 g


25 g

Vitamin A

30 %

Vitamin C

20 %


8 %


35 %

More info

Servings of Canada's Food Guide

1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to:

Vegetables and Fruit: 1 serving
Grain Products: ½ serving
Milk and Alternatives: 0 serving
Meat and Alternatives: serving

More info


Free :
Added Sugar
Source of :
Calcium, Copper, Fibre, Omega-3, Vitamin C, Vitamin D
Good source of :
Folacin, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E
Excellent source of :
Iron, Manganese, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, Zinc

More info

This recipe is in the following categories: Beef | Lunch box | Main courses/Entrées | Diabetes-friendly | High Iron | Source of Omega-3 | Picnic | Italian

My Mother's Tomato Sauce

My Mother's Tomato Sauce

The tomato sauce is a pillar of Italian cuisine. Even if it is rather simple, there are as many versions as there are Italian families! These recipes are passed on from mother to daughter, each convinced they own the only «true» one and are therefore kept secret. I will share THE true one with you.

1250 ml (5 cups)
Preparation 10 min
Cooking 20 min


3 cups canned tomatoes (diced)   800 g
2 cloves garlic    
1 onions, finely chopped   200 g
1 carrots, finely chopped   100 g
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped   35 g
2 tbsp olive oil   30 mL
2 tbsp butter, unsalted   28 g
1 tsp salt   4 g
3/4 tsp ground pepper   2 g

Before you start

A food processor to chop the vegetables and a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time would make things easier with this recipe.


  1. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in the pressure cooker or in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Cook 4-5 min, stirring a few times: the vegetables must soften without burning. Add the diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. If you are using a pressure cooker, cover, close, and bring to high pressure. Cook 15 min from the time it starts to spatter. (Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine when high pressure has been reached). If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for about 45 min.


This sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze larger quantities.

This recipe is in the following categories: Tomatoes | Sauces & Dips | Halal | Kosher | Vegetarian | Italian

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