How to Make Tender Juicy Meatballs

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This is our go-to meatball recipe. It’s quick to make, calls on ingredients we always have on hand, and the recipe guarantees juicy, tender, and flavorful meatballs. The recipe calls for one pound of ground meat. The meat you choose is up to you. We love using a combination of ground pork and ground turkey.

Makes about 35 meatballs

YOU WILL NEED

1/2 cup (35 grams) bread crumbs, we prefer panko or homemade bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk, dairy or non-dairy

1 large egg

1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 pound ground meat, use beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or a combination; we prefer a 50-50 blend of pork and turkey

1 to 2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil, for cooking; try avocado oil, grape seed oil, and vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

    • PREPARE MEATBALL MIXTURE

Stir breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl, and then let sit for 5 minutes. Add the egg, cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended.

Add the ground meat and use a fork or your fingers to gently mix everything until combined. For the most tender meatballs, try your best not to over mix.

Wet your hands, and then form the mixture into ½-inch balls. You should get about 35 meatballs. A small cookie scoop is useful for portioning out the meatballs. Raw meatballs can be refrigerated overnight and baked the next day. You can also freeze the raw meatballs and store up to three months. To freeze them, form the meatballs, and then place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until the meatballs are firm. Transfer frozen meatballs to an air-tight, freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to three months.

Heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone baking mat.

Place formed meatballs onto the baking sheet, leaving a little space in between each meatball.

Lightly spray the top of the meatballs with cooking spray or brush with oil.

Bake until they are cooked through, the outsides are browned, and they register 165°F in the middle on an instant-read thermometer; about 20 minutes.

        • OPTION TWO: COOK MEATBALLS ON STOVETOP

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a wide Dutch oven or nonstick pan over medium heat.

Place the meatballs down into the hot oil and cook until they are cooked through, the outsides are browned, and they register 165°F in the middle on an instant-read thermometer; about 15 minutes. Depending on the shape or size of the pot, this might need to be done in two batches.

          • STORING

Cooked meatballs will last in the fridge when stored in an airtight container for three days. Cooked meatballs can be frozen for up to three months. Store them in an airtight, freezer-friendly container.

ADAM AND JOANNE’S TIPS

  • Cooking tips for using a slow cooker, pressure cooker (Instant Pot), air fryer, and convection oven are in the article.
  • Dairy-free meatballs: Substitute the milk for unsweetened dairy-free milk and the cheese for 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
  • Gluten-free meatballs: Substitute the bread crumbs for crushed gluten-free cereal or crackers
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We included 8 ounces of turkey and 8 ounces of pork for the meatballs.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: Serving Size 5 small meatballs (recipe makes about 35) / Calories 189 / Total Fat 11g / Saturated Fat 3.8g / Cholesterol 74.4mg / Sodium 396.7mg / Carbohydrate 6.9g / Dietary Fiber 0.4g / Total Sugars 1.4g / Protein 15g

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