Italian Meatballs

77 Reviews
96% would make this recipe again

Meatballs in a tomato sauce.

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Soaking : 30 min Preparation : 25 min Cooking : 20 min
340 calories/serving


1 tbsp canola oil 15 mL
1 1/2 slice bread, whole wheat, stale or day-old 55 g
2 cups My Mother's Tomato Sauce 500 mL
40 g mortadella sausage, or ham, finely chopped
1 tbsp marjoram, fresh, finely chopped 7 g
1 eggs size large
400 g ground beef, extra-lean
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
3 tbsp bread crumbs 24 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

per 1 serving (110 g)


% Daily Value




18 g

28 %

Saturated 6.2 g
+ Trans 0.4 g

33 %


110 mg


530 mg

22 %


17 g

6 %


3 g

12 %


6 g

Net Carbs

14 g


26 g

Vitamin A

31 %

Vitamin C

19 %


9 %


36 %


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


1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Food Group Exchanges
Starches ½
Vegetables 1
Meat and Alternatives 3
Fats 3

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77 Reviews (74 with rating only) 96% would make this recipe again
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My Notes

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  • I replaced oregano by rosemary and it turned out great
  • use my large pan with the copper bottom
  • leave under the grill 3 minutes instead of 1 to get a golden crust

Top Reviews

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october 20, 2021 | I would make this recipe again

Followed the recipe with the exception of using dried marjoram. Overall, it was a good dish. Made it with 'My Mother's Tomato Sauce' like it called for. Would probably use sauce in a jar next time as the 'home made' has no more flavour than the jar'ed stuff.

Useful 0
june 11, 2011 | I would make this recipe again

really good, but the tomato souce is time consuming, so I'd make a big batch next time. would also add more seasoning

Useful 0
january 23, 2009 | I would make this recipe again

These went over very well in my house, especially with my 2 year old.

Useful 0

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