) Delicious & Easy Homemade Meatballs Recipe

Picture this: it’s Sunday afternoon, and the kitchen is filled with the inviting aroma of slow-simmering tomato sauce. You can hear the clatter of pots and pans as they’re pulled off the stove and jostled around the table. The table, in turn, is laden with platters of tender braciole, meatballs, and short ribs in a rich, flavorful gravy.

If this sounds like your idea of heaven, then you’re going to love our Sunday Meatballs recipe. These authentic Italian meatballs are made with a blend of beef and pork, seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne for a subtle kick of spice. They’re simmered in a thick tomato-based sauce until they’re tender and juicy, perfect for soaking up onto a generous pile of spaghetti or crusty bread.

These homemade meatballs are an essential part of a classic Italian-American Sunday supper. They’re savory, comforting, and delicious – everything you want on a lazy Sunday when there’s nothing else to do but relax with loved ones over a good meal.

In this recipe article, we’ll show you how to make these delicious Sunday Meatballs step by step. Even if you’re new to making meatballs from scratch or haven’t cooked much Italian food before, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. With our handy tips and tricks for perfect results every time, you’ll be whipping up Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs in no time.

So dust off your apron and roll up your sleeves – it’s time to get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sunday Meatballs
Sunday Meatballs

If you are anything like me, then you love a good, hearty home-cooked meal. And what’s better than an authentic Italian meatball recipe? My Sunday Meatballs recipe is not only simple and easy to follow, but it is also bursting with flavor that will have your taste buds dancing.

Firstly, the combination of beef, pork and Italian sausage creates a balance of different meaty flavors that work together perfectly. I always recommend using lean meats for this recipe to prevent the final product from being too greasy. The garlic cloves and brown sugar also add their distinctive tastes to the mix.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is the sauce! The Sunday Sauce is a long-standing family recipe that has been passed down for generations. It’s made with San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, and a blend of spices such as chili powder, cumin and cayenne. This sauce pairs perfectly with the meatballs and truly enhances their flavors.

But the best part? This meal is so versatile! You can serve it on top of spaghetti for some classic Italian spaghetti with meatballs or as a standalone dish. You could even make sandwiches with the leftover meatballs—which will surely become one of your new favorites.

Trust me when I say that this recipe makes for the perfect Sunday supper. It has been tried and tested and has never failed to please my family or guests—people even come back for seconds! So why not give it a try? Your taste buds are sure to thank you later.

Ingredient List

 Get ready for the ultimate Sunday comfort meal!
Get ready for the ultimate Sunday comfort meal!

Before you start cooking, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for the perfect Sunday meatballs recipe:

  • 1 pound ground beef (lean)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

For the Sunday sauce:
– 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes (preferably)
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
– Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Note that authentic Italian Meatballs use ground beef and pork to create a balanced flavor profile. Adding just the right amount of breadcrumbs gives a tender texture while holding everything together. Don’t forget the garlic, parsley and cheese which is an important combination of flavors that creates a delicious aroma. For the tomato sauce or Sunday sauce, use canned whole San Marzano tomatoes for the best taste. Incorporating red pepper flakes is optional for that touch of heat.

The Recipe How-To

 Homemade meatballs are easier than you think!
Homemade meatballs are easier than you think!

Now that you’ve got all the necessary components listed in the ingredient list, it’s time to dive into the main event: making those meatballs. Follow these steps to create perfect Italian-style meatballs that will make your grandma proud.

Prepping Your Ingredients

The first thing you’ll want to do is preheat your oven to 400°F. Then, finely dice two garlic cloves and set them aside. Next, combine 1 pound of ground beef, 1/2 pound of ground pork, and 1/2 pound of ground sirloin in a large bowl. Add in 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Mix well until everything is combined.

Spicing Things Up

To give your meatballs the perfect kick, add in some spice. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne. Be careful if you don’t like spicy food. Use less chili powder or cayenne.

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

Once your meat is mixed and spiced up, it’s time to roll those babies into meatballs. Using your hands, form the mixture into 2 inch balls (or whatever size you prefer).

Half-Baked Harvest Secret Technique

Now, this isn’t required but for extra flavor, try the Half-Baked Harvest secret technique! Heat up some olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Carefully place each meatball into the hot pan and brown on all sides (this should take about 5-7 minutes). Once done, remove from heat.

Putting It Together

In a large baking dish, spread an even layer of sauce on the bottom. Carefully place each meatball onto the sauce so that they are all touching (but not too tightly packed). Pour additional sauce over the top (use as much as you like). Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Cook Time

Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving them up.

Follow my recipe for some outrageously delicious homemade Sunday Meatballs!

Substitutions and Variations

 Forget about store-bought, these meatballs are the real deal.
Forget about store-bought, these meatballs are the real deal.

While the original recipe for Sunday Meatballs calls for a specific set of ingredients, there are some substitutions and variations you can try to give your dish your own unique twist. Here are some ideas:

– Meat: The recipe calls for a mix of ground beef and pork, but you could also use ground turkey, chicken, or lamb, depending on your preferences. You could also try using different cuts of beef, like ground sirloin, or to add more flavor, try using Italian sausage.

– Garlic: This recipe uses four garlic cloves, but if you’re a garlic lover, feel free to add more! If you’re not a fan of garlic, you could reduce the amount or even omit it entirely.

– Spices: In addition to the cumin, chili powder and cayenne called for in the recipe, you could add other spices like oregano, basil or smoked paprika to give your meatballs more depth of flavor.

– Sauce: If you prefer a chunkier tomato sauce, use canned diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes. You could also try adding grated Parmesan cheese to your sauce for added richness.

– Breadcrumbs: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you have dietary restrictions. You can also swap out breadcrumbs with cooked quinoa, oats or even almond meal if you prefer.

– Heat: If you like spicy food, feel free to increase the amount of cayenne called in the recipe. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food at all then just skip it altogether.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation—so try mixing and matching different ingredients until you find a variation that suits your taste buds perfectly.

Serving and Pairing

 A plate of hot spaghetti and meatballs is the ultimate comfort food.
A plate of hot spaghetti and meatballs is the ultimate comfort food.

These hearty and flavorful Sunday Meatballs are a classic Italian-American dish that pairs well with a variety of sides and drinks. Serve them with hot boiled spaghetti, garlic bread, or mashed potatoes for a complete feast. You could also try serving them over creamy polenta or steamed rice to mix things up.

To elevate your meal to the next level, you might want to consider pairing these meatballs with a full-bodied red wine such as a Chianti, Barbera d’Alba, or Sangiovese. The tannins and acidity of these wines complement the richness of the sauce perfectly without overpowering the dish.

If you prefer beer or non-alcoholic beverages, opt for an amber ale or porter to bring out the earthy flavors in the meatballs. If you’re looking for something refreshing and light, a glass of sparkling water or iced tea can be a great option as well.

Whatever you choose to pair it with, these mouth-watering meatballs and tangy Sunday sauce are guaranteed to be the star of your next dinner party or family gathering. Get ready to impress your guests with this deliciously hearty and authentic Italian-American meal!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Make a double batch and have leftovers for the week.
Make a double batch and have leftovers for the week.

Making a batch of delicious meatballs for your Sunday supper can be quite time-consuming. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to make these meatballs ahead of time, so you can have them on hand to serve when needed. Luckily, these Sunday meatballs are ideal for making ahead of time.

Once you have prepared the meatballs as directed in the recipe, allow them to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place the meatballs into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. If you’re not planning on using the meatballs during that time frame, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 1 month.

Reheating the meatballs is quite simple. To reheat the refrigerated meatballs, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet covered with foil. Heat for approximately 8-10 minutes or until warmed through. If you’re reheating frozen meatballs, thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating following the same process.

If you prefer to reheat your Sunday sauce and serve it alongside these homemade Sunday Meatballs, simply heat up the sauce in a saucepan over low heat before serving. Another idea is to store some of the sauce separately and pour this over your heated-up meatballs as required.

There you have it – warm and delicious homemade meatballs ready at your fingertips!

Tips for Perfect Results

 These meatballs are perfect for adding to pasta, sandwiches, or on their own.
These meatballs are perfect for adding to pasta, sandwiches, or on their own.

To ensure the perfect outcome for the Sunday Meatballs recipe, it’s important to keep in mind a few key tips. Here are some suggestions from personal experience that can elevate your homemade meatballs to restaurant-quality.

Firstly, resist the temptation to overmix the meat mixture. Overmixing can make the meatballs tough and dense, which is not what we want. Mix the ingredients together just enough to combine them.

Next, use breadcrumbs judiciously. Too many crumbs can create dry meatballs. In this recipe, I use a 1:1 ratio of breadcrumbs and ground meat (1 lb each). Additionally, try using fresh bread crumbs rather than dried ones, as they will better absorb moisture.

When shaping your meatballs, aim for uniformity in size. This ensures that they will cook evenly and that all guests receive a fair portion. Aim for golf ball-sized meatballs and always roll with wet hands to prevent sticking.

Another pro tip is to brown the meatballs before adding them to the sauce. Browning adds another layer of flavor and texture to the final dish.

Lastly, let the meatballs rest in the sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows them to absorb some of the sauce’s flavor and juices.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating impressive Sunday Meatballs that will impress family and friends alike.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Sunday Meatballs are the perfect comfort food for any occasion or meal. This authentic Italian dish brings family together and fills your heart and stomach with warmth and joy. Whether you are hosting a party or preparing a weeknight dinner, this recipe is a sure hit for any occasion. You can easily adapt the recipe based on your taste, dietary restrictions or portion size needs, and you can also get creative with serving and pairing options. Additionally, you can save time and energy by making it ahead of time or storing it for later enjoyment.

With this recipe in your recipe box, you can impress your guests with your culinary skills and show them that you are a master of homemade meatballs. And who knows? You might even start your own family tradition of cooking Sunday Meatballs every week, just like Nonna used to make them. So go ahead, put on some Tony Danza, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and get cookin’!

Sunday Meatballs

Sunday Meatballs Recipe

Seems I always have a half-ful bottle of Major Peters Bloody Mary mix in my fridge... Here's a great recipe if you do too! This recipes uses frozen meatballs, but one of my favorite homemade meatball recipes is recipe#225660
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 20.2 kcal


  • 3 1/2-4 cups bloody mary mix (I like Major Peters for this recipe because its thicker than clamato juice)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like spicy)
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 -3 lbs frozen meatballs


  • Place frozen meatballs in crock-pot.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring remaining ingredients to a boil until sugar has dissolved. Pour mixture over meatballs and give a quick stir to coat meatballs.
  • Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 4gCalories: 20.2kcalCarbohydrates: 4.5gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.3gSodium: 12.2mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 3.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beginner Cook, Christmas, Easy, Inexpensive, Meat, Potluck, Spicy, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You