Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

Our Italian-style meatballs, or polpettes as they’re known in Italy, are absolutely delicious. These savory morsels can be served as an appetizer, main course or even as a side dish. The combination of meat and spices make them irresistible!

What Minced Meat To Choose for Meatballs?

When it comes to selecting ground meat for your meatballs, you can either choose one type of meat or mix two different types. If you prefer a lighter consistency, consider using chicken, turkey, pork or veal as the base. For heartier and more flavorful meatballs, go for beef and lamb paired together. You can also try mixing ground beef with sausage for an extra depth of flavor.

Whichever type of ground meats you select for this recipe, just ensure that the fat content is at least 15-20% so your meatballs remain moist and tender!

As always when handling raw meats, be sure to sanitize all surfaces and utensils used. Wash your hands before and after touching any raw ingredients.

Should You Fry Meatballs Before Putting in Sauce?

Why not try browning the meatballs before placing them in sauce? If you do, the meatball will develop a delicious outer texture while its inside remains tender and succulent as it cooks in your tomato sauce. All that is needed is a little olive oil heated up in an oven-safe skillet to provide this effect!

Meatballs in tomato sauce

For an easy and delightful dinner, try out these homemade meatballs simmered in a rustic Italian-style tomato sauce. The flavor will be impeccable as the moist and tender morsels simmer to perfection in this savory red sauce! What's more, cooking them directly into the dish allows for maximum absorption of flavors so your meal can burst with deliciousness at every bite.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6
Calories 430 kcal


  • 1 Large Nonstick Skillet 
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Large bowl
  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 Pan


For The Meatballs

  • 1 lb pork and beef mince mixed
  • 1 slice white sandwich bread
  • 40 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian style herbs

For The Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Make Tomatoe Sauce

  • In a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, lightly sauté the garlic in oil with dried oregano and red pepper flakes.
  • Toss in your tomatoe pasta and let it simmer for 30 minutes until cooked through; season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Make The Meatballs

  • For the bread crumbs, take a food processor and pulse your preferred type of loaf until you have small crumb-sized pieces. Subsequently, in a large bowl, let the freshly made breadcrumbs soak for 5 minutes in milk before adding all other ingredients.
  • Make the meatball mix by blending together mince, herbs, egg and soaked breadcrumbs. Then, use your hands to delicately combine until you have formed into small balls of mince. Keep in mind that tenderness is key when rolling the meatballs if you wish to maintain their soft texture!
  • Using your hands, gently blend the ingredients of your meat mixture until pieces of ground beef are still visible and everything is just incorporated.
  • Heat some oil in a pan or nonstick skillet for browning the meatballs. Cook them rapidly to get a golden hue and develop a crunchy crust.
  • Gently lower the meatballs into the tomato sauce, cover the pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Remember to turn them every few minutes during cooking. After that, uncover and continue cooking until they are cooked through - usually another 10 minutes or so.

What Should Meatballs Be Served With?

These Italian meatballs are perfect served with a variety of side dishes. Some classic options include roasted vegetables, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, risotto, polenta or even French fries. For an extra veggie boost, you could also serve your dish accompanied by a side salad of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.

Additionally, these homemade meatballs are delicious when wrapped in pizza dough or soft pita breads with some freshly grated cheese!

No matter what accompaniment you choose to serve them with, you’re sure to impress anyone who takes a bite! Enjoy!