March 11, 2023
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Lucy's Italian Meatballs

Lucy’s Italian Meatballs

  • Author: Liz
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


SCRUMPTIOUS…these meatballs are light and fluffy and not greasy…one secret is to use the torn up bread crumbs of good Italian or white bread (French will work too but don’t tell any Italian you did this).  The bread doesn’t have to be finely torn or cubed…its Rustica!  Another secret is to use the air fryer to brown the meatballs.  If you don’t have an air fryer, no worries!  You can brown them in a saute or fry pan, just limit the amount of oil you use.  Use a nonstick pan so that the amount of oil is minimized. Ideally an olive oil spray should be used if you are not air frying.  My number one taste tester totally approved of this recipe and wants MORE MEATBALLS PLEASE!  After I air fried them, I put them in a pot with some pasta sauce, served with spaghetti.  Yum!


  • 2 lbs ground beef (I used chuck)
  • Generous 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup plain Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 TBL fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (don’t use grated)
  • 1 tsp finely minced (or squeeze tube) garlic
  • 3/4 cup WARM water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 large egg


  1. Grab a medium large mixing bowl and combine the ingredients in the order listed.  Use your hands to mix thoroughly but lightly.
  2. If air frying, pre-heat the air fryer to 400 degrees.  If frying, prepare the nonstick pan with a light coating of olive oil spray.
  3. Roll the prepared meat into meatballs of about an inch round.  Place in the air fryer.  Fry for five minutes, flip the meatballs and fry another five minutes.  If working on the stove top, brown the meatballs on both sides for six to eight minutes each side on medium to medium high heat.
  4. Place the meatballs in a saucepan and cover with your favorite pasta sauce.  Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy with pasta, or make a meatball sandwich, or serve as an appetizer.  Don’t forget the Chianti!


I suddenly realized that I was short on my favorite jarred pasta sauce.  I dug around the frig and found some pizza sauce I had used to do a flatbread pizza, threw that in there with a bit of water…it was awesome!  The pizza sauce has a more concentrated flavor and made a great workaround!  (Don’t tell my husband, lets keep this our little secret LOL)

As it was just the two of us, I made about eight or ten meatballs and put the rest of the meatball mixture in the freezer for our next spaghetti dinner :)

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: main course
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Meatballs, Italian, pasta dish, main course, spaghetti, italian meatballs



Head Cook

I’ve always loved cooking, and spent many years working on the food & beverage side of the hospitality industry, which served to increase my interest in food, wine and entertaining.

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1 Comment

  1. Marilyn Sigler

    Meatballs sound so good, I’ll make then when I return to Mi.
    What the heck are you doing up at 2:00an?


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