Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs Recipe
Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs Recipe

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My great-grandmother started the Italian meatball tradition in our family. We use ground beef and turkey, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and parsley flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • Hot cooked pasta and pasta sauce, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 271 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 125mg cholesterol, 569mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, seasonings and onion mixture. Add turkey and beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls.
  3. Place meatballs on a rack coated with cooking spray in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. If desired, serve with pasta and pasta sauce. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Great Grandma's Italian Meatballs in Taste of Home February/March 2016, p23

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jetluvs2cook User ID: 1675049 263540
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2017

"Very good recipe! I made them in the morning and then transferred to a slow cooker with marinara sauce to keep warm all day! Then I only had to cook some pasta for a quick supper!"

Debra Torres User ID: 4566970 243670
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2016

"I liked these but my family didn't so much. They pretty much gave them a six out of ten in ranking. I like that they are made with turkey, but my husband felt they were dry"

annrms User ID: 2649709 243260
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2016

"This recipe was right up my alley! I love lightening up a dish! You would not really know that the meatballs were not all beef! I served them with my roasted vegetable sauce. Will definitely make again!"

elaine43 User ID: 8236827 241605
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2016

"I added in a little of the pasta sauce when making the meatballs,this way they stay nice and juicy and don't dry out during baking ,also added a little more cheese"

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