Basic Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Although these are classic meatballs, you can turn them into your own by swapping out a few ingredients for those of your choosing. You can achieve different flavors by using various condiments or herbs such as pepper, cumin, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, and more.

Basic Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Basic Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Our Basic Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce recipe can be made with various meats, from pork and beef to chicken and turkey. No matter the meat you choose, the sauce and meatballs are sure to be hit at dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizers & Starters, Side
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 909 kcal


For the meatballs

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • ½ cup onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 pounds ground meat of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped, or 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground cumin to taste, optional

For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • ½ cup mozzarella grated
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 2 14 oz canned tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • ground pepper fresh, to taste


  • Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and slightly golden. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix the meat with the onion and garlic. Add the chosen herbs and the beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper. Season with cumin to taste if desired.
  • Divide the mixture into approximately 24 round balls. Cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook. While they’re refrigerating, you can prepare the sauce.
  • Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and slightly browned.
  • Slice the canned tomatoes and add them, with all the juice, to the onion and garlic. Season with sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
  • Cook tomatoes uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until the tomato softens. Now you can cook the meatballs.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Heat a skillet and cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes in approximately three tablespoons of olive oil.
  • When cooked, place them in a sauté pan with tomato sauce and cover with grated mozzarella. Cook in the oven until the cheese melts.
  • Serve with spaghetti.


Cooking tips:
To roll the meatballs, you should wet your hands with water, so the meat mixture does not stick to you, then refrigerate for 15 minutes so that the ingredients can hydrate and so the herbs can infuse their aroma and flavor.
They can also be pan-fried if you prefer.
You can also use ground chicken for an even leaner recipe.


Calories: 909kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 44gFat: 78gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 42gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 213mgSodium: 259mgPotassium: 742mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 199IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 173mgIron: 6mg
Food Group Meat & Poultry
Keyword Affordable, Easy
Cooking Method Browning, Sauteing, Simmering
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