Super Tender Italian Meatballs. Loaded with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and garlic. They melt in your mouth and are incredibly tender. Takes less than 30 minutes to make!
For my birthday my boyfriend and I visited this amazing Italian Restaurant in Philadelphia. They served the most amazing meatballs. So good that as soon as they were gone we had to order more. They were loaded with Parmesan cheese and were slightly under baked. One thing came to my mind. I need to make these at home.
They took a little experimentation but I think I came pretty darn close. The meatballs turned out super tender, moist and loaded with Parmesan cheese.
The trick to these meatballs is the buttermilk. It adds tons of moisture to the meatballs and helps bind everything together. I make my own buttermilk by combining milk + lemon juice and letting it sit for 5 minutes until curds start to form. As for the meat I use a blend of beef and pork. I always steer clear of the lean meat when I am making meatballs.
I sear the meatballs first in a really hot pan to get a nice crust on the outside. Then I bake them in a 350 degree oven for only 10 minutes. They will come out slightly under baked. They do continue to cook after they come out of the oven. You can always keep them in the oven for a couple minutes longer or add them to your sauce and allow them to simmer. (If you are worried about them being cooked all the way through.)
Another trick for tender meatballs is to not overwork the meat. I combine the ingredients with my hands just until it’s combined. That’s it.
The mixture will be wet. Let it stand for a couple of minutes. This makes it easier to roll. It makes 16 pretty nice size meatballs. I like to make my meatballs about the size of golf balls. Keep in mind they will shrink a bit while they cook.
Serve with your favorite tomato sauce, a big pile of spaghetti and dig in!
Love these Italian Meatballs? Here are some more meatball recipe to try:
- Thai Red Curry Chicken Meatballs
- Teriyaki Beef Meatballs
- Turkey Meatballs with Arugula and Mushrooms
- Asian Style Chicken Meatballs
Super Tender Italian Meatballs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ cups bread, cubed (I used a day old baguette)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. You will see curds at the top.
- Add bread to a small bowl and pour the buttermilk over the bread. Allow the bread to soak up all the milk and mix a little with your hands. Add the bread mixture to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile add olive oil to a small skillet. Add in onion and sauté until tender about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in garlic and sauté for one minute.
- Add onion and garlic to the bowl with the bread along with the beef, pork, cheese, eggs, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Combine the mixture using your hands just until combined. Try not to over work the meatballs. The mixture will be wet. Let stand for a couple of minutes before rolling.
- Roll out 16 meatballs. I make them the size of golf balls.
- Drizzle a skillet with olive oil. Over high heat sear the meatballs on all sides to brown. About 1-2 minutes on each side. (If meatball sticks to the pan give it more time before flipping). Also be careful when flipping meatballs they are pretty fragile.
- Place meatballs on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. They will be slightly undercooked on the inside but they will continue to cook as they come out of the oven. If this is an issue leave in the oven for longer (5 minutes) or simmer in tomato sauce for a few minutes.
- Serve the meatballs immediately with your favorite tomato sauce and pasta.