Juicy Italian Meatballs

barbara lentz


I remember as a kid loving my mom's juicy meatballs and wondered why I could never duplicate them. Mine always seemed so dry. Well one of reasons is my dad would buy a half a cow from local farmers and they left a lot of the fat in the meat and now a days that is not considered good for you so our meat is leaner which can mean drier. I came up with using the pork, beef, veal mixture and added fatty pancetta to get some of that fatness back. The buttermilk soaked bread add tons of moisture and flavor and the gelled stock mimics the (congealed fat) texture and adds more moisture.


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15 Min
45 Min
Stove Top


  • 1 pkg
    unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 c
    chicken stock
  • 3 c
    white bread crumbs crusts cut off
  • 3/4 c
  • 1 medium
    onion chopped
  • 6 clove
  • 3/4 c
    grated parmigiano reggiano plus more for serving
  • 1/4 c
    fresh italian parsley chopped
  • 2 tsp
  • 4 oz
    pancetta finely minced
  • 4 large
    egg yolks
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1 lb
    ground pork
  • 1/2 lb
    ground beef
  • 1/2 lb
    ground veal
  • ·
    favorite marinara sauce

How to Make Juicy Italian Meatballs


  1. Pour chicken stock in a bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let sit 5 minutes. Place in microwave and cook 1 minutes until gelatin is dissolved. Place in a wide bowl and place in freezer until fully set about 15 minutes.
  2. Place breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and let sit 10 minutes. squeeze the bread with your fingers until all lumps are out and the bread is very moist. Add a little more buttermilk if needed. Add the onion, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, pancetta, egg yolks, oregano, salt and pepper to the breadcrumb mixture.Finely minced the gelled stock and add that to the mixture. Mix with your hands until everything is well blended. Add the meat and continue to mix with your hands breaking up the meat and blended all the ingredients until evenly distributed.
  3. Shape into golf ball size meatballs (you can make them bigger or smaller whatever you like) and place on large baking sheet. Place in 375 degree oven and let bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Place 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce in large skillet. Heat over medium high heat. Remove the meatballs from the oven and gently place them in the sauce. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for about 10 minutes. Serve over spaghetti or on their own sprinkled with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Printable Recipe Card

About Juicy Italian Meatballs

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Italian

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