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Meatballs al Forno.

Meatballs al Forno

  • Author: Nadine
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings (2-3 meatballs) 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Entrées
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


These meatballs al forno are packed with flavor and baked to perfection in the oven. They’re made with a hearty tomato sauce and are best served with a side of Caesar salad and toasty bread.



For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef, we use 90% lean ground beef sirloin
  • 1 lb (454 g) ground pork
  • 3/4 cup (114 gbreadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried Italian parsley 
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup (140 g) yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup (119 ggreen bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup (64 gtomato paste
  • 1 28-oz (794 g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cup (430 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (12 g) fresh basil, chopped, loosely packed


For the Meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then add the beef and pork to a large mixing bowl. Don’t mix it just yet.
  2. In a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs, herbs and spices, and parmesan. Mix to combine.
  3. In another small bowl or in a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and milk until fully combined.
  4. Pour half of the breadcrumb mixture onto the meat followed by the egg mixture.
  5. Using your hands (with food gloves), mix the meat to incorporate the spices and egg mixture. Give it a few mixes then add the remaining breadcrumbs and mix until thoroughly combined. Be careful to overwork the meat.
  6. Begin rolling your meatballs into 1.5-2 inch (4-5 cm) spheres. Once you’re done rolling, you should have 20 meatballs. Set them aside on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. In a deep oven-safe skillet, heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, lining them around the pan. Brown each side for 2-3 minutes then remove them from the pan and set aside on a baking sheet.

For the Sauce:

  1. Reduce the heat slightly so that it’s in between medium-high and medium. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until softened and fragrant.
  2. Add the spices (minus the fresh basil) and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste then add the crushed tomatoes, 2 tbsp of olive oil, water, and fresh basil. Stir to combine.
  5. Return the meatballs to the sauce and cover with a lid.
  6. Place the covered pan in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
  7. Top with freshly grated parmesan and serve warm.


Make sure the pan you’re using is oven-safe and that it’s deep enough to hold the sauce and meatballs.

Be careful not to overmix the meat. Doing so will make the meatballs tough and dense.


  • Serving Size: 2 meatballs with sauce
  • Calories: 410
  • Sugar: 5.9 g
  • Sodium: 653.8 mg
  • Fat: 26.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.3 g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g
  • Protein: 22.6 g

Keywords: meatballs al forno, baked Italian meatballs