Juicy Italian-Style Meatballs: A Mouthwatering Recipe

Maybe you’ve heard that Frank Sinatra loved spaghetti and meatballs. What you may not know is that he had his own recipe, one passed down from his mother, Dolly. These aren’t just any meatballs; these are Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs, a recipe with a special flair of Italian-American heritage. And with my step-by-step guide, you too can make these iconic meatballs in the comfort of your own kitchen.

But why this recipe? After all, there are countless meatball recipes out there. Well, Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs are different – they have history, culture and tradition behind them. With a mix of ground beef and pork blended with breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, garlic and eggs mixed together to create the perfect bite of savory deliciousness. Whether served with spaghetti or on their own, these meatballs will become your go-to dish for any occasion.

But don’t take my word for it; try it yourself! Once you taste Sinatra’s version of the classic meatball recipe, you’ll never want to make anything else. So delve into the origins of one of America’s greatest entertainers by following this recipe and making Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs in your own kitchen today!.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Frank Sinatra's Meatballs
Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs

If you’re a fan of classic Italian-American dishes, then you absolutely must try Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs Recipe. Not only is this recipe a delicious and hearty meal, but it also has an intriguing cultural history that will make you feel like a part of Frank’s inner circle.

Made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork, this recipe produces tender and juicy meatballs that are rich in flavor. The garlic cloves, pepper, and salt add depth to the dish, while the breadcrumbs provide the perfect texture. The eggs and water bind everything together for that perfect indulgent bite.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its special spice; it’s seasoned with the aura of Frank Sinatra himself. The meatballs are a personal favorite of Frank Sinatra and his wife Nancy. In fact, this dish was often served at their dinner parties, where guests were entertained by Frank’s singing talent.

By preparing this recipe, you get to carry on the tradition of great food, music and revelry initiated by the Sinatras. These meatballs have been enjoyed across generations and continents, making it an international sensation among the likes of Italian pasta favorites.

So why not take your dinner party to the next level by serving up some Sinatran tangy meatballs? This timeless recipe embodies a refined elegance that will surely make any guest thrilled to be present in your kitchen.

Ingredient List

 Frank Sinatra's Meatballs: The perfect recipe for a classic Italian dish!
Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs: The perfect recipe for a classic Italian dish!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the iconic Frank Sinatra’s meatballs recipe. You can find everything at your local grocery store or supermarket, and most likely have them already in your pantry.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Italian Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Italian tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

The original recipe by Mrs. Frank Sinatra used ground beef solely but when Frank shared the recipe with his late chef pal Patsy D’Amore, they swapped out a third of the beef for pork for added moisture and to create a more balanced flavor profile. The meatballs are perfectly spiced with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. For the Italian tomato sauce, we have simple ingredients such as olive oil, garlic cloves, canned Italian tomato sauce, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

These meatballs simmered in homemade red sauce are ideal over pasta or as part of Sinatra’s famous hero sandwich. They’re an absolute pleasure to enjoy with friends and family!

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to party like the Rat Pack with these mouthwatering meatballs!
Get ready to party like the Rat Pack with these mouthwatering meatballs!

Now that we have prepared our ingredients, let’s start making the meatballs. This recipe makes approximately 24 meatballs.

Step 1: Make the Meatball Mixture

In a large bowl, mix together 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork until they are well-combined.

Step 2: Add in the Flavorings

Next, add in 1 clove of garlic minced, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly with your hands.

Step 3: Give it a Whirl

Put the mixture into a food processor for about 30 seconds to make sure all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. This step helps make sure that you do not overwork the meat when you form them into balls later on.

Step 4: Make Meatballs

Scoop out tablespoon-ish portions of the mixture and form them into 2-inch balls. Once all meatballs have been made, pour two cups of olive oil in a large pan and turn up to medium heat. Once olive oil is hot enough, drop in meatballs until they’re browned on all sides, but not cooked all the way through. Do this process gradually to avoid overcrowding and taking too much time to cook all balls. Remove balls from pan with tongs onto a plate with paper towels.

Step 5: Add Tomato Sauce

Use a large pot or Dutch oven and combine one can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes, minced garlic (two cloves), italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste . Stir over medium heat and let simmer while adding browned meatballs back in the pot. Let everything cook together for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 6: Serve

Serve fresh Sinatra Spaghetti meatballs with your choice of pasta or other dishes like spaghetti squash. Don’t forget to top it off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an extra touch of flavor!

With these simple steps, you can easily recreate Frank Sinatra’s famous recipe for spaghetti and meatballs just like he used to enjoy it himself.

Substitutions and Variations

 The ultimate comfort food, these meatballs are perfect for any occasion, from game day to family dinners.
The ultimate comfort food, these meatballs are perfect for any occasion, from game day to family dinners.

If you’re looking to switch up this classic meatballs recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can try.

First, consider swapping out the ground beef and pork for ground turkey or chicken. This will result in a lighter and healthier version of the dish without compromising on flavor.

For those who follow a vegetarian diet, try substituting the meat with finely chopped mushrooms or lentils. You can add extra breadcrumbs to help hold everything together.

If you want to add some extra heat to the dish, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the meatball mixture or using spicy Italian sausage in place of the ground pork.

Another way to mix things up is by changing the seasoning. For example, instead of using grated parmesan cheese, try using pecorino romano or asiago cheese. You could also add other herbs such as basil or oregano.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with different sauces to serve with your meatballs. While traditional tomato sauce works well, you could also try a creamy alfredo sauce or even an Asian-inspired sweet and sour sauce.

Whatever substitutions or variations you choose to make, just be sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly to ensure that your meatballs cook through evenly.

Serving and Pairing

 Give your guests a taste of Old Hollywood with these legendary meatballs named after the legendary Frank himself.
Give your guests a taste of Old Hollywood with these legendary meatballs named after the legendary Frank himself.

Now that you’ve made these mouth-watering Sinatra spaghetti meatballs, it’s time to serve and savor them. A classic way to enjoy these savory meatballs is to serve them over a generous portion of al dente pasta. Thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta are traditional choices, but you can use any type of pasta you prefer.

To top off your dish, use the Sinatra marinara sauce recipe, which I recommend making ahead of time. Another option would be to purchase your favorite pasta sauce and heating it up on the stove while the meatballs are cooking.

When serving, don’t forget to sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese over the top of the dish. It brings out the flavors and adds an amazing finishing taste!

For a perfect pairing, try pairing this meal with garlic bread or a Caesar salad with a tangy vinaigrette. The garlicky notes in both of these sides complement the meatballs and pasta really well.

If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to pair with your meal, I recommend opting for a light-bodied red wine like Chianti or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Or, for non-alcoholic options, consider serving iced tea, sparkling water with lemon or lime slices.

No matter what you choose to pair with Sinatra spaghetti meatballs, you’re sure to have a delicious dinner that will delight everyone’s taste buds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These meatballs are so good, they're practically singing
These meatballs are so good, they’re practically singing “Fly Me to the Moon!”

Once you try Frank Sinatra’s meatballs, it’s hard to resist the temptation of cooking them frequently. Luckily, with proper planning, you can make a big batch of them ahead of time and store them for future meals!

To prepare ahead of time, follow the recipe instructions and cook the meatballs as per desired size. Once they are fully cooked, let them cool down before storing them in plastic containers or zip-lock bags. Label each container with the date when it was prepared so that you know when to consume it by.

If you need to store them for a short period, keep them in the refrigerator for up to three days. However, if you want them to last longer or use them for future meals, you can freeze the meatballs for up to three months. Make sure to thaw frozen meatballs overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or using.

When it comes to reheating, place the meatballs in a microwave-safe container and heat on high for 1-2 minutes on top of damp paper towels to prevent dryness. Alternatively, reheat them on the stove with tomato sauce, or add it to a pot of simmering spaghetti sauce and let it cook until heated through.

Remember that proper storage and reheating techniques are crucial to preserve food quality and avoid any health hazards. By following these guidelines, you can always have Sinatra spaghetti meatballs ready for any day of the week!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Add a touch of Italian flair
Add a touch of Italian flair

Cooking meatballs requires finesse and patience, but the effort is worth it when your guests rave about your creation. Here are some tips to make sure you get perfect results every time:

1. Mix the Meat Thoroughly: To ensure all ingredients blend together, mix the meat mixture thoroughly during the preparation stage. The best way to do this is to use your hands.

2. Don’t Overmix the Meat: While it’s important to mix the meat well, it’s also essential not to overwork the mixture. Overworking the meat can cause it to become dense and tough.

3. Use Bread Crumbs Wisely: Bread crumbs help provide texture and structure to the meatballs, but too much can cause them to crumble. Use them wisely and mix them just enough for a good consistency.

4. Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding your pan will cause steaming instead of browning on your meatballs. Work in batches if necessary.

5. Make a Test Batch First: If you’re trying out a new recipe or using different ingredients, make a test batch first before committing to making a large batch.

6. Use Fresh Parmesan Cheese: High-quality ingredients make for better-tasting dishes, so opt for fresh parmesan cheese to pack more flavor into each meatball.

7. Add Water as Needed: Meatballs sometimes dry up during cooking; adding moisture from water can help keep them tender and juicy.

8. Don’t Skip The Resting Stage: Like any dish that needs time to mature in flavor, resting is needed for meatballs too. Giving your balls at least 10-15 minutes of rest before serving can help set their flavor and make them more enjoyable.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to serving up some of the best Frank Sinatra’s meatballs ever made!

Bottom Line

So there you have it – Frank Sinatra’s famous meatballs recipe! As the scribe for a home chef who loves throwing parties, I can tell you that this recipe is perfect for your next get-together. The mixture of ground pork and beef, along with the grated Parmesan and garlic cloves, creates a savory and delicious flavor that simply cannot be beaten.

If you’re a fan of classic Italian cuisine or just looking for something new to try, this recipe is definitely worth testing out. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also a crowd pleaser that everyone will enjoy.

As Sinatra himself would say, “The best revenge is massive success,” so why not serve up these meatballs at your next party and watch as they disappear in no time?

Frank Sinatra's Meatballs

Frank Sinatra’s Meatballs Recipe

These look like good meatballs! I have to say, though, everything looks good to me with the name Frank Sinatra by it! 😉
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian-American
Calories 664 kcal


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup grated Italian cheese
  • olive oil, for browning


  • Mix the eggs and water together.
  • Add in the salt, pepper, garlic and bread crumbs into egg mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the last 3 ingredients, and mix well.
  • Shape into balls, and then brown on all sides in olive oil over medium heat.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 235gCalories: 664kcalCarbohydrates: 10.8gProtein: 54.4gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 16.1gCholesterol: 380.5mgSodium: 1196.1mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Meat
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