Since I started cooking, I always made meatballs by winging it from my head. I like them with a lot of flavor and SOFT, not hard!

I know everyone has their own favorite version of Italian meatballs! !

Some people like to add onions, some people add raisins, which I like too. My way of doing them has evolved into this recipe that I use all the time since it gets a lot of compliments.

Certain things my Mother always said about meatballs stuck with me…. Use LOTS of parsley, and WET YOUR HANDS to roll them. Wet them before each one!

I finally wrote down what I do quite a few years ago, and it was not easy getting the spices right when you are used to just sprinkling them! With it written down they will come out the same way every time for me and for other people.

My dear friend Donna, a fabulous cook and baker, taught me a long time ago to use pieces of Italian bread instead of bread crumbs. I like that method so much! It helps make them soft and moist, and I like tasting the small pieces in the meatball.

I’ve gotten many compliments on these meatballs, and I hope you try to make them!

So here is one of my prized recipes, with a moving slideshow below to show you the steps.


My Italian Meatballs-Soft and Tasty!
Delicious Italian Meatballs, with a few techniques!
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Prep Time1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 37
Calories: 167


  • Roasting Pan with a Crisper Tray


  • 1 pound Italian Bread Loaf, seedless
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup parsley, heaping, use curly or flat parsley
  • ½ cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds ground beef, 80% lean
  • 1 pound meatloaf mixture, ground beef, pork, and veal


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line the bottom tray of your pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  • Cut the crust off of the Loaf of Italian bread. Discard or save it to make bread crumbs.
  • Pull apart small pieces of the inside of the bread and put the bread pieces in a small bowl. You will get about 3 or 4 cups of bread pieces.
  • Pour about 2 cups of water over the bread pieces to completely them. Set this aside to let the bread soak.
  • In a large bowl, put in the ground meat.
  • Take a fistful of the soaked bread, SQUEEZE hard to get water most of the water out, and put it in the bowl with the meat. Keep doing this to finish all the bread pieces. Mix the bread and ground meat all together until all large pieces of bread are completely mixed in well.
  • Add in the eggs, parsley, Romano cheese, garlic, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix this with your hands until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
  • Fill a small bowl with water. DIP a meatball scoop into the water, then scoop into the meat mixture. Place the formed meatball on the tray of the pan.
  • WET YOUR HANDS, THEN ROLL THE MEATBALL a few times so it smooths out into a firm, tight ball shape. The meatball scoop makes the meatball sizes all the same, but it does not really make them firm enough. So do not skip this step!
  • Place the meatball on the tray of the pan. Repeat this process, dipping the meatball scoop into the water and wetting your hands each time. Just that little bit of water helps in softening the meatballs. It's not too much water, not too little! Just right!
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Then using tongs, flip the meatballs over and bake for another 15 miniutes.
  • Add the meatballs to a tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, or up to 60 minutes. These are delicious plain, or with a brown gravy too!


YOU CAN USE a regular roasting pan if you don’t have a roasting pan with a crisper tray that has holes like mine. It is fine.  I just like less grease while baking them.
YOU CAN USE an oven broiler pan also, as long as the grates are not too big.  Having a pan with holes on the top tray just helps the meatballs not cook in its own grease in the oven. 
YOU CAN USE a wire rack inside a roasting pan.
 ALTERNATIVELY YOU CAN fry them in oil in a frypan on the stovetop,  or cook them in an air fryer.
YOU CAN USE 3 pounds of ground beef instead of part ground beef and meatloaf mixture. 
FREEZE THEM!   I freeze cooked meatballs, in a tomato sauce or plain in freezer containers.  They are good to freeze 3 or 4 months.  Thaw the container overnight in the refrigerator. 
Serving: 37g | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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