Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hr | Total time: 1 hr 15 mins | Servings: 25

Meatballs are so famous that it’s hard to choose which recipe to follow. There are thousands of meatball recipes and most of them are great. But there is this specific recipe that stuck. This Bobby Flay’s Italian Meatball Recipe quickly captured my heart with its 3-meat combo, Parmesan cheese, and homemade marinara sauce. As for me, these meatballs have the perfect texture, flavour, super tender, plus they can hold their shape.



1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

1/2 lb ground veal

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated into a powder

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/4 c. Italian breadcrumbs, preferably homemade

1/4 c. parsley, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

Homemade Sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 Spanish onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and sauteed

56 ounces crushed tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 bunch parsley

1 pinch red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 basil leaves, sliced into strips

How to make Bobby Flay’s Italian Meatball


Make sure to use a big enough pot to accommodate the marinara sauce and meatballs. Brown the meatballs first in the pot. In the same pot, cook the sauce for added flavour.


Step 1: In a large bowl, gently combine the meatball ingredients except for the oil. For tender meatballs, ensure not to overwork the meat.

Step 2: Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.

Step 3: In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.

Step 4: Before adding the meatballs to the pot, roll them again.

Step 5: Cook the meatballs in batches for a couple of minutes on both sides.

Step 6: Set the cooked meatballs aside while preparing the sauce.

Homemade Sauce:

Step 1: Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the same saucepan you use to brown the meatballs. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes until soft.

Step 2: Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Step 3: Add the crushed onions, then the bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Step 4: Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Decrease the heat to a light simmer, then add in the meatballs. Toss to coat.

Note: Right in the pot, smooth the tomatoes some more using an immersion blender. Alternately, you can do this in a regular blender.

Step 5: Simmer for about 45 minutes, covered.

Step 6: Take the bay leaf and parsley out of the pot before serving, then, stir in the basil.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy!


Instead of using veal, you can use equal parts of ground pork and beef.

You can serve this with pasta, simply combine it with a pound of spaghetti. Or enjoy with garlic bread.

If you like, you can add about 3 to 4 tbsp red wine to the sauce. I use either Chianti, Pinot Pior, and Merlot as they all work great!

Slow Cooker:

If desired, you can brown the exterior of the meatballs in a skillet.

Heat the sauce for 6 to 7 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high, covered. Reduce the heat to warm, if the sauce starts to bubble.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg