Herbed Meatballs ~ Sure we’re all in the countdown to Thanksgiving…preoccupied with place settings, polishing silver, stuffing recipes and the whole lot, but we still need to eat dinner.

These meatballs are the classic, meant to be submerged in a rich tomato sauce.  But I livened them up with an extra dose of green herbs.  I took advantage of all the fresh herbs that the stores are stocking for the holidays.  I even found fresh marjoram, which is a beautiful delicate herb that you don’t usually find.  I couldn’t stop sniffing it, it has a meadow-like fragrance with a hint of oregano and lavender.  I also substituted wheat germ for part of the bread crumbs in these meatballs, it adds a nutty flavor and a little bit of extra nutrition.

To make a light meatball you want to make sure you don’t overwork the meat mixture.  The way I do it is to break apart the meat as I drop it into the mixing bowl.  I layer it with the other ingredients right from the start, to minimize the mashing.  Use your fingertips to lightly bring it all together.

I used a 1 1/2 inch scoop to form the meat into uniform, medium sized balls. They brown up quickly in a pan, and then finish off for about 10 minutes in the oven.  Then you can nestle them in a good store bought sauce and you’re done.

You can eat these meatballs on pasta, on a split French roll with sauce and melted mozzarella, or all by themselves in a little bowl.  They have great flavor and texture, and they’re so pretty flecked with red onion and a mix of herbs

Herbed Meatballs

Yield: makes about 20 medium sized meatballs

Herbed Meatballs


  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 red onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely minced mixed herbs, I used marjoram, sage, parsley, thyme and chives (measure after chopping)
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 large jar of your favorite tomato sauce


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Break apart the meat into small pieces as you drop it into a mixing bowl. Mix everything together, using a light hand. Don't over work or your meatballs will be tough.
  3. Using a 1 1/2 inch scoop form the meal into balls and set on a baking sheet.
  4. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons on olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. Do this in batches. Put the meatballs back on the baking tray and after they have all browned, bake for about about 10 minutes, or until they read 155-160 inside.
  5. Heat the sauce in the same pan that browned the meat, and then nestle the cooked meatballs down into the sauce. Serve with pasta, or alone.

Meatballs freeze beautifully, so make an extra batch and freeze them, first on a tray, and then put them in sip lock baggies.  You’ll have a great no effort dinner for that long busy stretch between Thanksgiving and the December holidays


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6 Responses to Herbed Meatballs

  1. Hungry Dog says:

    I really love this recipe–it looks and sounds so delicious and I like that it calls for jarred sauce. Sometimes you just can’t make it all from scratch!

  2. Being Italian, we had spaghetti and meatballs every Wednesday my whole life. These look delicious and very tender too.

  3. belleau kitchen says:

    they look so good… i was thinking of making meat balls this week… and now I have a fabulous recipe!

  4. Velva says:

    Now, that is darn good looking meatballs! I will be “herbing” up my meatballs in teh future. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Mary says:

    I typically use as many fresh herbs in meatballs as I possibly can. It lightens them up so much and the flavors are fantastic together. My new favorite is meatballs in a red sauce, with roasted broccoli on the side. I LOVE the way that broccoli absorbs the sauce so well.

    Have a GREAT day, Sue!

  6. Lizzy Do says:

    Mmmm….your meatballs look perfect, Sue…love the mixture of meats plus the good dose of fresh herbs! I need to remember to make a double batch so I can freeze some…great tip!

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