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Preparation time: 10 minutes,
Cooking time: 40 minutes,
Portions: 8

Italian homemade meatballs, true classic which you can easily prepare at home and it will still bring out much needed Italian vibes. Let’s cook with us today at Hana’s Recipes!

Italian homemade meatballs

Imagine that all of a sudden, you came across this recipe for Italian meatballs and wondered if it is the right meal to prepare today for your family members or coming visitors. Here are a few reasons why you should consider making such delicious homemade meatballs:

  1. Meatballs can be served in various ways, such as with tomato or dill sauce or together with the steamed cabbage. This versatility allows you to customise the dish according to your current preferences and lets you play with the food each time you make it.
  2. The recipe consists of minced pork (based on your needs possibly even chicken, turkey or beef), rice, eggs and different spices. Such a combination of diverse food items will provide you with a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and essential nutrients.
  3. As mentioned in the previous point, Italian homemade meatballs are known for the use of various spices. Mixing together garlic, ground cumin, ground black pepper as well as ground red pepper adds strong flavours and overall aroma to the dish itself.
  4. While the recipe does involve several steps, they are straightforward and easy to follow. For instance, boiling the rice, frying the onions or mixing the ingredients together are all simple tasks that don’t require advanced culinary skills from your side.
  5. You can easily adjust the size according to your preferences or the number of people you’re hosting at the table. This is an advantageous flexibility the recipes carries.
  6. Italian homemade meatballs are also convenient to eat on the go and to pack for lunches and picnics outside. They can be either served on their own as a snack or incorporated into various dishes such as pasta, sandwiches, soups or salads.
  7. Very importantly, meatballs are a budget-friendly option for implementing protein into your everyday meals. By using ground meat or eggs, you can simply create a satisfying and hearty dish without becoming broke.

Types of Meatballs

Despite Italy, homemade meatballs can be enjoyed anywhere around the world, using culturally unique ingredients, flavours and cooking methods. Let’s summarise the most popular types of meatballs known worldwide:

  • Swedish meatballs: They are typically made of a mixture of ground beef and pork, seasoned with spices such as allspice and nutmeg and served with a creamy gravy sauce. Swedish meatballs are often accompanied by lingonberry jam as well as mashed potatoes.
  • Greek Keftedes: This type of meatballs is made of ground lamb or beef and seasoned with garlic, onion, oregano and mint. Typically for Greek regions, such a dish is usually served with tzatziki sauce and pita bread.
  • Middle Eastern Kofta: It is commonly made of ground lamb, beef or a combination of both, mixed with onion, parsley and Middle Eastern spices like cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Kofta may be grilled, baked or simmered in a sauce from tomatoes.
  • Vietnamese Bò Viên: These meatballs are made of ground pork or beef, mixed with garlic, shallots, fish sauce and sugar. They are often added into noodle soups such as Pho or served as a filling for Banh mi sandwiches.
  • Mexican Albóndigas: Mexican version is usually made of ground beef or pork, mixed with rice, onion, garlic and herbs like cilantro and mint. Albóndigas are served in a tomato-based broth with vegetables, for instance carrots or potatoes.
  • Moroccan Kefta: This Moroccan meal is normally made of ground lamb or beef, mixed together with spices like cumin, paprika, cinnamon and coriander. Very often, they are grilled or cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with couscous or flatbread.

However, let’s not forget that Hana’s Recipes has prepared for you an original and tasty recipe for Italian homemade meatballs. It’s time to get started!


  • 1000 g minced pork (turkey),
  • A cup of rice (250 ml),
  • 2 eggs,
  • 2 tablespoons of oil,
  • 1 large onion,
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic,
  • Salt,
  • Ground cumin,
  • Ground black pepper,
  • Ground red pepper



We start by boiling the rice. Let it drain. Then chop the onion and fry it in oil. After a while, add crushed garlic and ground red pepper (ideally 2 small spoons). Mix well together and let it all cool.

Meatballs. Photo : Martina

2Add eggs, drained rice, fried onion with garlic and ground red pepper to the minced meat. Season with salt, ground black pepper and crushed cumin based on your preferences. Do not forget that even the rice itself absorbs a little salt.Meatballs. Photo : Martina

3For the next step, line the tray with baking paper and start shaping the balls (the size depends on you). We can make approximately 16 pieces from the mentioned portion. Each person will then be served with 2 meatballs.

Meatballs. Photo : Martina

4Bake at a temperature of 220°C for about 20-30 minutes but it also depends on the size you chose for the meatballs. It is important to have the meatballs golden at the end.Meatballs. Photo : Martina


After baking, meatballs can be dipped into tomato or dill sauce or the steamed cabbage. The choice is obviously yours! The prepared meat mixture is also suitable for stuffing peppers, if you happen to decide on this typical Eastern European recipe.

Meatballs. Photo : Martina

Bon appetite! Your Italian homemade meatballs are ready to be served based on your current cravings!

Do you want to match the soup to the main course such as homemade meatballs? How about the classic tomato soup ready in only 25 minutes? Such a recipe is highly appreciated by both children as well as adults!

Videorecipe to handle the cooking simply and effectively

FAQ no.1: Can meatballs be served as gluten-free?

Yes, it is certainly possible! Meatballs can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs or oats instead of the traditional ones from the original meatball recipe. Additionally, you can omit breadcrumbs altogether and use alternatives such as cooked rice or grated vegetables to form the meatballs. In this century, it has never been
easier to accommodate your dishes based on the items you may consume and the ones you generally prefer.

Not only gluten-free but also vegetarian and vegan alternatives may be prepared. Normally, the ingredients such as lentils, mushrooms, beans, tofu or textured vegetable protein (TVP) are used to make meatballs to satisfy specific dietary needs. Of course, do not forget various spices to season such alternatives to achieve the full aroma and flavour of the meatballs, even when prepared differently compared to the original recipe.


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