Big Spicy Meatballs

Big Spicy MeatballsRecipe
Photo: Dana Gallagher
This freezer-friendly meatball recipe makes Italian night a breeze. You can make the meatballs just before using, or make them in a large batch and freeze them for later. These delicately-spiced meatballs get their bold flavor from Italian seasoning, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.


Makes 16 large meatballs (Serving size: 1 meatball)

Recipe from

Real Simple

Recipe Time

Prep: 20 Minutes
Other: 40 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calcium 151 mg
Calories 342
Caloriesfromfat 61 %
Carbohydrate 4 g
Cholesterol 121 mg
Fat 23 g
Fiber 0 g
Iron 2 mg
Protein 28 mg
Satfat 9 g
Sodium 627 mg


2 pounds lean ground beef
2 pounds ground pork
1 medium onion, minced
2 slices soft bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups ricotta


Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients, 1 cup of the Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons of the pepper. Mix just to combine. Shape the mixture into 16 to 18 large meatballs (each should be about ¾ cup of meat). Place on a baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta with the remaining Parmesan and the remaining pepper; set aside.

Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes in upper third of oven. Remove from oven and turn on broiler. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto each meatball. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until the ricotta just starts to brown. Serve the meatballs with jarred marinara sauce.

To Freeze: Omit the ricotta mixture. Place the baked meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour. Transfer to resealable freezer bags and return to the freezer. Store for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Thaw the meatballs overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Place them in a baking dish, cover with foil, and heat in a 350° F oven for 20 minutes. Top with the ricotta mixture and broil as described above. Serve on top of the warmed pasta sauce.