Friday, January 4, 2019

How to Make Homemade Meatballs in Marinara Sauce Recipe

Making Homemade Meatballs in Marinara may seem like a daunting task, but in reality it can be done in under an hour with just a few simple ingredients.  

A plate of spaghetti and meatballs with the title above them.

Whether it's a big Sunday dinner with the family, a special occasion such as a birthday, or just your average Tuesday night nothing says lovin' in my tummy like a big bowl of pasta.  In my house the king of pasta dishes is Homemade Meatballs in Marinara Sauce.  There's just something about it that says home that's why I can't wait to share with you my family's recipe.  You're not gonna believe how easy it is so...

Let's Get Started!

For this simple Homemade Meatballs in Marinara recipe you are going to need a few simple ingredients you may already have on hand.  

The ingredients needed to make the homemade meatballs in marinara sauce.

For the Meatballs:
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 c. Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c. milk or heavy cream
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 32 oz. can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 lb. of your favorite Pasta

All the ingredients for the meatballs in a glass bowl together.

In your mixing bowl, you will combine the meat, bread crumbs, parmesan, milk, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

If you would like, you can use heavy cream or half and half for extra rich and tender meatballs.  

The meatball mixture all combined together.

With your hands, because they are the best kitchen tools you have, mix the ingredients together.  Be gentle because you don't want to over mix.  That will give you tough meatballs.  Once you see that everything is combine, you're finished.  

The meatballs being formed with a small scoop.

Once everything is combined, using a small scoop, make your meatballs. 

You don't need to have a scoop to do this.  Just think golf ball size.  

The formed meatballs on a place in the refridgerator.

After you have formed your meatballs, place them in the fridge for 30 minutes, or, if your pressed for time, in the freezer for 10.  This helps the meatballs set and makes browning them a lot easier. 

A large pot on the stove with olive oil being poured into it.

While your meatballs are chilling, add 2-4 Tbsp of olive oil to your Dutch oven and get it hot over a medium/high heat. 

The meatballs browning in the pan.

It's time to brown the meatballs.  You're going to brown your meatballs in small batches.  This assures that they brown and not steam.  No one wants to eat steamed meat! 

The meatballs browning in the pan.

Allow the meatballs to brown for a couple minutes on each side.  You're not trying to cook them all the way through here, just get a little color on them.

Green peppers and onions sautéing in the pan.

When you have browned all of your meatballs, you are going to sit them aside and add your onions and green peppers to the pot.  Sauté for a couple minutes until they are soft and the onions are translucent, then add your garlic.  

The Italian seasoning being added to the pan.

As you soon as you smell the garlic in the pot add your Tbsp of Italian seasoning.  Remember, when using dried herbs, allowing them to cook in the pan will wake up those stagnant oils, and give you maximum flavor! 

The crushed tomatoes being added to the pan.

Add the can of crushed tomatoes.

Water being added to the pan.

Then add a can of water to the tomatoes.    

Brown sugar being added to the pan.

Now is the perfect time to add your brown sugar and taste to see if you need any salt and pepper.  

You have to continuously taste while you are cooking.  The flavor of your dish will deepen with every ingredient. 

The marinara sauce coming to a simmer in the pan.

Bring the sauce to a simmer.

The browned meatballs being added to the sauce.

Once the sauce is at a simmer add the meatballs back to the pot.  Nestle them in so that they are covered.  

The pot containing the homemade meatballs and marinara with the lid on.

Drop the heat to medium/low and place the lid on the pot.  

The stove timer set for 30 minutes.

You are going to simmer the meatballs for 30 minutes in the sauce until they are fully cooked.  
Keep an eye on your sauce.  You want a consistent simmer.  We don't want anything burning. 


You may be asking yourself "Can I make this in my crock pot?"  The answer is 100% YES!  Simply add the sauce and meatballs to the slow cooker and cook for 6-8 on LOW or 4-6 hours on HIGH.  


Once the meatballs are fully cooked, serve over your favorite pasta and top with a little grated parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.  These are truly the most flavorful and tender Homemade Meatballs and Marinara you have ever tasted and who knew it was so easy.  I know you're gonna love this recipe so get in the kitchen and give it a try tonight!  

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~



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