Meatballs can be fried or baked to get a little browned, and there's no doubt they are quite delicious. However, I set out in search of meatballs that slow cook in red sauce like Italian grandmas make them. And here they are. Tender Italian meatballs, infused with old-world flavor by slowly simmering in the sauce.
Italian grandmas - God love 'em.
I'm not sure there's even a drop of Italian blood in my family, but I'll tell ya what: I sure as heck do love Italian cuisine! And who doesn't love meatballs?
So many recipes call for browning meatballs in oil first, then finishing in the oven before adding sauce. I was looking for more infused flavor and found a recipe that called for dropping the raw meatballs in sauce and letting them slowly simmer for hours. I remember reading in a couple different places that many Italian grandmas did the same. Yes! That's what I wanted.
I took what I liked from a few different recipes online and have been making these old world Italian meatballs ever since. You can make them with a beef & pork mixture as well - and I've done both for clients - but the chicken & turkey are actually more tender and my personal favorites.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup whole milk (whole)
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated (½ cup = 2.5 oz)
- 1 pound ground chicken 93% lean
- 1 pound ground turkey 93% lean
- Make a large pot of red sauce, and have it simmering and ready to go.ORPreheat oven to 350 degrees F.
SLOW COOK IN RED SAUCE
- Mix all meatball ingredients (in order) in a large bowl by hand.
- Using leveled-off 1.5 ounce (3 tablespoons) scoop, form about 48 meatballs and drop into sauce.
- Simmer for 2-3 hours, only stirring occasionally and very gently, until internal temperature of meatballs reaches 165 degrees F.
- Serve over pasta or nestle meatballs in some Italian rolls and cover with grated cheeses.
BAKE IN OVEN
- Using leveled-off 1.5 ounce (3 tablespoons) scoop, form about 48 meatballs.
- Place meatballs on parchment-lined baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes until golden brown and center of meatballs reaches 165 degrees F.
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