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Big Spicy Meatballs

Photo: Dana Gallagher
Prep time 20 mins
Other time 40 mins
Yield Makes 16 large meatballs (Serving size: 1 meatball)
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.


  • 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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  1. 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.