Monster Meatballs


Monster Meatballs

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Course Appetizer, Main Course
Servings 12



  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion 1/4 inch dice
  • salt
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground veal
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup water

Chef Jill's Marinara Sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth homemade or store bought
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • fresh basil chiffonade
  • fresh mozzarella slices
  • black olive slices


  • Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow it to cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley and bread crumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do 1 final really good squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The mixture should taste really good! If it doesn't it is probably missing salt. Add more. Add more anyway.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Shape the meat into desired size. Some people like 'em big, some people like 'em small. I prefer meatballs slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to your big pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, they can be frozen for later use. Serve with pasta and sauce or just eat them straight out of the pot! YUM!
  • Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant and onions turn translucent. Add the tomato paste and sauté 1 minute to “wake it up!”.
  • Carefully add in the fire-roasted tomatoes and sauce. Stir to combine. Add the chicken broth and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
  • Simmer, uncovered over low heat for 30 minutes or all night if you have time. Stir occasionally to prevent burning or sticking.
  • Sprinkle with fresh basil. Taste for seasoning, adjust as needed.


To make these monstrous, simply add one slice of cheese to the top of each meatball and then top it with a slice of black olive to make “eyes”.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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