Classic Chef John’s Meatballs Recipe

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You love meatballs, and they are delicious, versatile, and practically perfect for any occasion. So, this is the time to make Chef John’s meatballs recipe from scratch.

Chef John's Meatballs Served

It starts with mixing ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, and other ingredients in a bowl and rolling them to form balls. Fry them in a skillet to get a nice, crispy outer shell.

You can use any ground meat or a mix of ground meat you like. Ground lamb, turkey, chicken, veal, or buffalo are good options.

Remember that the fattier the meat you use, the more tender your meatballs will be. If you use turkey, chicken, or lean ground meat, cook carefully, as they can overcook and become tough.

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to make Chef John’s meatballs. This dish is a delicious combination of beef and pork, and it’s sure to please everyone at your dinner table. Check other Chef John’s recipes here.

Other Chef John’s Recipe That You Can Try

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Chef John’s Meatballs?

  • Skillet – Cook the onion and fry the meatballs in a skillet until translucent and brown, respectively.
  • Mixing Bowl – Combine breadcrumbs and milk until it becomes soggy. 
  • Spatula – Toss all the ingredients with a flat-surfaced spatula until pork and beef are well coated.
  • Knife – Chop the veggies with a sharp knife into chunks to add to the meatballs. 
  • Chopping Board – Place the chopping board under the ingredients before slicing them. 
  • Cheese Grater – Grate the parmesan cheese with the help of a cheese grater for a cheesy bite.
  • Whisk – Beat the eggs with the help of a whisk for a smooth texture. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Chef John’s Meatballs?

Preparation TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
20 Minutes1 Hour 15 Minutes1 Hour 35 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Chef John’s Meatballs?

  • Olive Oil – Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent and fry the meatballs until brown.
  • Onion – Onion, when cooked, will add a strong and sweeter taste to the meatballs.
  • Ground Beef – Ground beef is the star ingredient with an umami flavor that browns when cooked.
  • Bread Crumbs – Soak breadcrumbs in milk until the bread becomes soggy to ensure the meatballs are tender.
  • Milk – Milk will help bind the meatballs and provide moisture, preventing them from shrinking and becoming tough. 
  • Ground Pork – Ground pork will provide a sweet taste when combined with the other ingredients.
  • Eggs – Add egg to the mixture because it helps to bind the balls together.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Grate the parmesan cheese in the meatballs mixture to add a gritty texture and a nutty taste.
  • Parsley – Parsley will roast or braise balls.
  • Garlic – Garlic will offer caramelly undertones once you cook them. 
  • Salt – Add salt to the mixture to enhance the flavor of the ingredients. 
  • Black Pepper – Add black pepper to the minced mix to give a rich and hearty flavor. 
  • Italian Herb – Italian herb seasoning will give the meatballs an earthy, piney flavor.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Red pepper flakes will add a slightly sharp and earthy taste with a decent dose of spices.
Chef John Meatballs recipe

Steps To Make Chef John’s Meatballs

1. The Basics

To make meatballs, you’ll need to chop an onion into chunks. Beat one large egg using a whisk. Grate Parmesan cheese with a cheese grater and finely mince the Italian parsley.

Soak breadcrumbs in the milk until the breadcrumbs absorb the milk and become soggy.

2. Cook The Ingredients

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet, add onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent.

Now gently stir beef and pork together in a large bowl. Add sauteed onions, bread crumb mixture, beaten eggs, and grated Parmesan cheese and combine well. 

Add minced parsley and garlic, a pinch of salt and black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes, and mix until coated. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.

3. Shaping The Meatballs

Now it’s time to shape the meatballs. Wet your hands, take a scoop of the mixture, roll it into a ball, and set it on the baking sheet.

Repeat this process until all the meatballs are made. You should have about 8-10 meatballs.

4. Cooking Meatballs

First, heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then, add the meatballs and cook them for about 4 minutes per side or until they’re browned all over.

Once they’re cooked, add your favorite sauce to the skillet and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, serve the meatballs with some pasta or rice on the side. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Calories390 kcal
Total Fat31 g
Cholesterol 91 mg
Sodium617 mg
Carbohydrates 5 g
Fiber1 g
Protein21 g
Vitamin C4 mg
Calcium62 mg
Iron2 mg
Potassium349 mg

How Will Chef John’s Meatballs Look And Taste Like?

Chef John meatball has a smooth, light, and bouncy texture. The fat content in the meatball makes them juicy, and the crust developed on the exterior enhances the flavor. The pork in the meatballs lends saltiness and moisture, while the beef gives umami flavor and uniform texture. 

Recipe Card

Chef John's Meatballs

Chef John’s Meatballs Recipe

Chef John's meatball recipe is easy to make, which guarantees juicy, tender, and flavorful meatballs. We love using a combination of ground pork and ground beef.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Chef’s Delight
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 390 kcal

Equipment

Skillet
Mixing Bowl
Whisk
Spatula
Knife
Chopping Board
Grater

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Ground Pork
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Onion (diced)
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Italian Herb Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ bunch Fresh Parsley (chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Salt

Instructions
 

  • Chop one onion and finely mince the Italian parsley. Beat one large egg using a whisk and grate Parmesan cheese with a cheese grater.
  • Soak breadcrumbs in the milk until the breadcrumbs absorb the milk and become soggy.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet, add onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Now gently stir beef and pork together in a large bowl. Add sauteed onions, bread crumb mixture, beaten eggs, and grated Parmesan cheese and combine well.
  • Add minced parsley and garlic, a pinch of salt and black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes, and mix until coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
  • Wet your hands, take a scoop of the mixture, roll it into a ball, and set it on the baking sheet.
  • Heat oil in a skillet and add the meatballs. Cook them for about 4 minutes per side or until they’re browned all over.
  • Once they’re cooked, add your favorite sauce to the skillet and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Then, serve the meatballs with some pasta or rice on the side. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword Chef John Meatballs, Chef John’s, Juicy Chef John Meatballs
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to serve meatballs?

There are many ways to enjoy these tasty morsels, but my favorite is to enjoy them over pasta. Add a little sauce, and you’re in for a real treat. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try them in a sandwich, and they’re pretty darn good that way, too.

How to know when meatballs are cooked? 

Meatballs are cooked when the outsides are browned and register 165°F in the middle on an instant-read thermometer.

Is it better to bake or cook meatballs?

Baking meatballs will give a little more flavor without adding oil. Make sure you bake them on a heavy-duty baking sheet.

What ingredient holds meatballs together?

Add egg to the mixture because it helps to bind the balls together. Breadcrumbs will also help tie your meatballs, soaking the excess moisture so that the balls don’t fall apart.

What makes my meatballs tough?

If meatballs are packed too tightly and compactly, they’ll turn out tough, rubbery, and chewy. Oil your hands so the mixture won’t stick to them, and gently and quickly form the meatballs. 

Conclusion

Believe it or not, making your meatballs is easier than you think. With this easy and delicious dish, you’ll be impressing your friends and family in no time.

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