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Italian Meat Balls

This recipe is from an Italian-French cooking school called The Antoinette Pope School. It was in downtown Chicago and my mom took lessons there in the 1940’s. This recipe is straight from their cook book. 

I always make a large quantity of these meatballs because they freeze well and everyone loves them. They’re great plain or with Italian tomato sauce. 

Here is the mixture which needs to set for 30 minutes

These meatballs are ready to bake to 160 degrees F. Parchment paper is a better liner than foil for baking


3 pounds 90% lean ground beef

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon or more dried oregano

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

6 eggs, beaten with a fork 

1 and 1/2 cups cool milk or water

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 and 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs


  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F
  • In a very large bowl place beef
  • Add the above ingredients in the order listed and mix well into beef after each addition
  • Now let the mixture stand for 30 minutes.
  • Form into 1 1/2 inch size balls using a scoop if possible. It makes it easier. I use a Noropro scoop that holds about 2 tablespoons. Also keep a small bowl of cold water nearby to keep your hands wet. This will help you more smoothly roll the meatballs in your hands.
  • Place on  baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Do not crowd the meatballs.
  • This recipe makes 80-90 meatballs
  • Bake 15-18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Use an instant read thermometer. I like the Classic Thermapen.
  • Cool thoroughly before freezing. 
  • Serve as is or simmer in an Italian tomato sauce.

Mix and work in each ingredient into the beef with your hands

Let mixture sit for 30 minutes before making meatballs

I like my Noropro scoop for measuring out the meatballs. Notice the bowl of water and the parchment paper too!

Love my Classic Thermapen for quickly taking food temperatures!

These meatballs are baked perfectly!


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