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3-2-1 Italian Meatballs

These Meatballs call for 3 pounds of beef, 2 pounds of pork, and 1 pound of veal, which I find to be the perfect combination to make delicious, tender, and versatile meatballs. This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, or eat some now and freeze the rest for later.


  • 3 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 lbs Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb Ground Veal
  • ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp pepper


  • On a sheet pan or a large bowl, break apart the ground beef, pork, and veal, and mix together lightly.
  • In another bowl beat the eggs, then add remaining ingredients, stirring thoroughly.
  • Combine the egg mixture and the meat mixture and blend lightly with your hands until just combined. Be careful to not over mix so the meatballs will be tender.
  • Line 3 half sheet pans with foil to make for easy clean-up. You can make the meatballs as big or small as you want. Here I’m using a heaping 3 Tbs scoop (a little over ¼ cup of meat) to portion meatballs and place on the sheet pans. This recipe makes approximately 45-50 meatballs using this method. Roll the meatballs in your hands once they are all portioned. Place the meatballs in the refrigerator for at least an hour to give them time to firm up and the flavors a chance to marry.
  • You may either fry the meatballs in a skillet or bake them in the oven. For the skillet method place enough oil in your skillet to cover the bottom of the pan and fry turning frequently until all sides are browned and the meatballs are cooked through. For the oven method, preheat your oven to 375°, or if you have a convection oven preheat to 350° on the convection setting. Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees. Rotate pans once after 10 minutes of baking to ensure even cooking. If you like your meatballs very crispy then turn the broiler on for just a few minutes to get the meatballs extra brown, rotating pans so all of the meatballs get crisp.
  • Enjoy!!


You can freeze the the meatballs either before or after cooking by laying them on a sheet pan and put the entire sheet pan in the freezer.  Once frozen (about an hour or so) you can put them in a zip top bag and freeze until you are ready to use them.
These meatballs are great on their own as an appetizer, and in a sandwich or slider, covered with marinara and provolone or mozzarella cheese.  You can also cut them up and use as a pizza topping, or just simmer them in a big pot of marinara and serve on top of a big pile of spaghetti!