These are my go-to meatballs. Why?, you ask.

  1. Because they are so quick to prep. 
  2. Because I bake them. I don’t like to babysit meatballs on the stovetop. 
  3. The Cheeses…Parmesan and Ricotta. It’s all about the cheese, really the cheese should be number one.  Don’t dare skip the cheeses, the ricotta is actually my secret weapon.  You see, the mild and creamy consistency of fresh ricotta gives these meatballs a great, juicy texture and wonderful flavor. 

Say goodbye to all those dry, sad meatballs, and behold….some meatballs baked to juicy PERFECTION!  

Italian Meatballs

Great juicy, flavorful Italian-style meatballs with a touch of ricotta that you bake in your favorite marinara sauce. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 pound Ground beef 80/20
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (In a pinch, I've used small curd cottage cheese.)
  • 2 tablespoons Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated, divided Save a 1/2 cup for garnish
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • extra olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 1 24 oz. jar favorite pasta sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish  or wire rack and tray. (See note.) 

  2. In a medium sized bowl  combine all of the ingredients except the extra olive oil, parsley and pasta sauce.  Mix thoroughly by hand until ingredients are completely combined. Be careful not to over mix.

  3. Coat your hands in  a little olive oil, and using your hands form mixture into 8 large or 12 medium meatballs. 

  4. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish. Bake for  20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. 

  5. While the meatballs are cooking, heat the pasta sauce in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan. Pour the tomato sauce over them. Return the meatballs to the oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes.

  6. Garnish with chopped parsley, salt and pepper, the additional shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Recipe Notes

To bake meatballs, I like to use a rack placed on a tray, so the grease can drip and it  helps keep the shape of the meatball . Generously spray the rack with cooking spray.


Serving Size: Makes 8 large meatballs - 2 per serving

adapted from chef Fabio Viviani/Mom's Meatballs


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