Meatballs for a Crowd

I am a sucker for meatballs. They’re my go to at parties, they taste great in pasta, and they are one of the best pizza toppings. Meatballs are also a great alternative to a Bolognese sauce. Imagine sitting down to a group dinner and having hefty meatballs sitting on your plate instead of your standard meat sauce.

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As a kid I remember watching my grandmother make pasta sauce and meatballs from scratch. Her meatballs were not your standard size either. They were huge and full of flavor. Since I’ve been cooking, I’ve always modeled my meatballs after the ones my grandmother makes. They’re huge and they are sure to fill and empty stomach.

I use ground beef and ground pork in this recipe. Ground beef provides a nice texture and the ground pork adds moisture and a unique flavor. Ground turkey can be substituted for the ground pork for those who do not eat pork. The breadcrumbs, eggs, and milk work as a binder but also adds great flavor to the meat.

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The key to these meatballs is the way that they are cooked. The meatballs are placed on a cooling rack set in a cookie sheet. Cooking the meatballs this way allows for them to cook evenly. Is also allows excess oils to drain out of the meat.

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I like my cookie sheets with foil and parchment paper for easy clean up. The oils from the meatballs can be a mess to clean up if you don’t line your pans.

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Make these meatballs as a base for spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, or pizza toppings. Extra meatballs can be frozen and used at a later date. This recipe can be halved to make a smaller portion.

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Classic Jumbo Meatballs

Total Time: 45 Minutes | 28 Jumbo Meatballs or 14 Servings

Recommended Specialty Cookware: Parchment Paper, Cooling Racks, cookie sheets

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1.5 lbs ground pork
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 5 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup grated parmesan and romano cheese blend
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and milk until they have a consistency of wet sand. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, beef, garlic, parsley, cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs.
  4. Add in the breadcrumb mixture and use hands to combine all ingredients. Break up any large clumps of breadcrumbs.
  5. Using your hands, create 28 – 30* equal meatballs. Make sure all meatballs are the same size to ensure they cook evenly.
  6. Place two cooling rack on top of two separate cookie sheets.
  7. Place half of the meatballs on each cookie sheet leaving at least 1/2 inch between each meatball.
  8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, turning meatballs half way through. Cut a meatball in half to check for doneness.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

* This recipe makes approximately 45 smaller meatballs. Adjust cooking time according to size. The smaller the meatball, the shorter the cooking time. 

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