Meatballs in Marinara Sauce - Weekend at the Cottage

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and garlic, tossing to coat. Add the chili flakes and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs, including the cooled onion-garlic mixture, into a large bowl. Bring the ingredients together gently by hand. Using a ½ to ¾ of a cup of the meat mixture, shape into balls.
  3. Heat the marinara sauce in a large pot. Reduce to simmer. Place the meatballs into the sauce cover and cook for 20 minutes. Using tongs, turning the meatballs over and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Serve with pasta or desired sides and garnish as indicated.
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Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

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Tender meatballs made with onion, Parmesan, oregano, garlic and parsley served in a rich marinara sauce…

  • clock icon
    60 MIN
  • 8 SERVINGS
Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Everyone loves MEATBALLS IN MARINARA SAUCE!

There are many things that make this homemade meatballs recipe so fabulous, and the results are something we know everyone will love.
Remember too, knowing how to make meatballs really works when you’re entertaining weekend guests because they can be served a whole bunch of delicious ways, as you’re about to find out. If you’ve got company coming, this recipe is for you.

This dish falls under the category of essential recipes, so we suggest you keep it at the ready. PIN it to a favourite Pinterest board and why not bookmark the page while you’re at it. You can also SAVE and SHARE this recipe on your favourite socials plus, SEND it to a friend, they’ll love you for it!

Here’s why you need to make our MEATBALLS IN MARINARA SAUCE soon:

Ingredients for Meatballs

THE PITCH

One look at the photo of ingredients and you’re probably thinking, “Hmmm, that looks simple enough.” Rightly so, it’s not about having a ton of different ingredients, rather, just the right ones.

All of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl

You’ll notice two varieties of ground meat used in the recipe, ground beef chuck, and ground veal. If tracking down ground veal poses a problem, you can swap it out for ground pork or just use ground beef.

Meat mixture formed into balls ready to be cooked

SOFT BALLS

One of the things that makes this recipe so memorable is the softness of the cooked meatballs. This is accomplished by the way we cook them (more about that below) and these two other super-important points.

Onions and garlic sautéed with chili flakes

First, we discovered that gently cooking the onion and garlic to soften them before adding to the meaty mix helps yield a much more tender meatball. In a way, cooked veggies blend better with all of the other soft ingredients.

Second thing: be gentle! Try to gently incorporate the ingredients, not jam them together. When forming the actual meatballs, work delicately; they need to be shaped into balls, not compressed. We’re not making snowballs, after all! (sorry, Canadian humour)

A glorious pot of Marinara Sauce

MARINARA SAUCE

Click HERE for our homemade MARINARA SAUCE recipe or, click the image on the left to watch our 1-minute video on how to make it. It’s so easy to make, you’ll be amazed that something so darn delicious comes together in less than 30 minutes. The key is cans of sweet, succulent San Marzano tomatoes. I’ll attach links to purchase in the Amazon section below.

The sauce is also wonderfully versatile and works well in other applications, like when we used it to make our VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS.

Marinara Sauce

Another great thing about the sauce is that you can make it in advance as we did. It freezes well, so you can use it as part of your next weekend make-ahead meal.

Ingredeints for Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Lastly, the chunky consistency is thick enough to hold the weight of these meatballs when you place them in the sauce to cook, as we suggest. Place the raw meatballs into a big pot of this simmering sauce, cover, and let them slow cook. You’ll be left with richly flavoured, juicy and tender meatballs, second to none.

Garnish with grated Parmesan, black peper and chili flakes

SIDELINES

I’m going to give you a few options on how to serve this delectable dish, but before I do, a friendly reminder on a few things I always place out on the side. These meatballs welcome a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, as well as chili flakes.

Because they’re so saucy, I often serve our ROASTED GARLIC CHEESEBREAD with them as well. It all works really well together.

Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

LET’S EAT!

This recipe has a happy ending. In fact, it has a bunch of endings! We’re going to let you decide how to enjoy these MEATBALLS IN MARINARA SAUCE. If a simple meal is needed, serve one or two to each guest with a side of veggies or salad. Meatballs on their own are lovely.

Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

If you find a crowd is en route, as we often do, you’ll need to feed a bunch of hungry peeps. Let’s hear it for spaghetti and meatballs! Cooking off a pot of pasta and ladling on the meatballs and tomato sauce – truly, perfection on a plate.

Tender meatballs served with veggies and garden salad

Lastly, on the rare occasion when you have leftovers, you can make smart little meatball sammies with sautéed onions, peppers and cheese. Warming them up in a sandwich maker is the perfect finish.

A plate of Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Because this oft-requested meal is so easy to make, how about we add dessert to the mix too? For that, see if you can make ANNA OLSON’S SMORES, our gorgeously creamy TIRAMISU or, our WHISKY CAKE. Ending a meal with a simple dessert is the perfect sweet idea.

MEATBALLS IN MARINARA SAUCE is the foundation of your next great meal!

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Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

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Products used in this recipe

Just click on the below links to purchase items through Amazon.com and add them to your collection. Happy shopping!

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs:
  • lb ground beef chuck
  • 1 lb ground veal or pork
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • The sauce:
  • 8 cups marinara sauce
  • To garnish:
  • chopped parsley
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and garlic, tossing to coat. Add the chili flakes and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs, including the cooled onion-garlic mixture, into a large bowl. Bring the ingredients together gently by hand. Using a ½ to ¾ of a cup of the meat mixture, shape into balls.
  3. Heat the marinara sauce in a large pot. Reduce to simmer. Place the meatballs into the sauce cover and cook for 20 minutes. Using tongs, turning the meatballs over and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Serve with pasta or desired sides and garnish as indicated.

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