Our Go-To Meatballs


Spaghetti and meatballs

When Nicholas started eating solids, (and I mean real food, not the purees that I had been making him), one of the first things I wanted to make him was spaghetti and meatballs. It was one of my favourite comfort foods when I was younger and I still really enjoy it.

These meatballs are similar to a classic Italian-American style meatballs. The texture of the meatballs is made much softer and less dry with the panade, a mixture of fresh bread and milk. This recipe has found a regular spot on the dinner rotation at our house. It’s simple, filling, and delicious. We like to make a large batch of these (see tips on this below) so that we can freeze some to have on-hand for easy, weeknight dinners.


  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 slices of fresh sandwich bread (small dice) (110g)
  • 1/3 cup milk (80g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan (25 g)
  • 600g ground meat
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Tools Required:

  • large shallow frying pan
  • whisk/ spatula
  • half baking sheet
  • purple portion scoop/ measuring spoons/ scale


  1. Heat a small pan, add the oil and soften the onion and garlic by cooking on low heat until translucent. Let cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add bread and milk, and let it sit for 10 minutes or until completely moist.
  3. Add onions, garlic, salt, egg, parmesan and any other seasoning to the bread mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add ground meat to the seasoned bread mixture and mix.
  5. Using a spoon or a purple portion scoop, shape into individual balls.
  6. Heat oil in a large pan and shallow fry meatballs until golden brown.
  7. Once they are cooked, add the sauce of your choice.


  • For more of an Italian style meatball, add fennel seeds, oregano and parsley

FAQs, Tips, Troubleshooting:

  • Pan fry one meatball to check the seasoning before shaping and cooking the whole batch, you can still easily make adjustments at this stage. with the seasoning of the meatball.
  • To make the meatballs more uniform, I used a purple portion scoop and it yields roughly 33 small meatballs, you can also use a scale if you’d like.
  • For bigger batches, I like putting everything on a sheet tray and broiling on high for roughly 8 minutes per side.
  • To avoid bigger chunks of bread, or perhaps onion, you can put the mix into the food processor before you add in the meat.
  • For the ground meat, my preference is a mix of veal, pork and beef is preferred, they often sell a package with all three at our local grocery store.
  • Simmer the meatballs in your sauce to enhance the flavour of your sauce.

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