Spicy Italian Meatballs



Spy say meata ballll

say it!

Spy say meata ballll


 Spicy Meatballs. Yum.

Call me a creep, but I love making them.

When are you allowed to get this messy in the kitchen?


These aren’t too spicy though. You can spice them up by adding 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or turn the heat down by omitting the jalapeño. I’ve made these completely plain (no onions, jalapeño, or peppers) and they are still fantastic! That would be the route to go for  the little peanuts in your life.


Spicy Italian Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 18 meatballs

Serving Size: serve 6 people


  1. 1/2 ground beef
  2. 1/2 pound italian sausage or ground pork
  3. 1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped very small
  4. 3 minis or 1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced tiny (I use 1 mini of each color}
  5. 1 jalapeño, dice tiny (take the seeds out of you don’t want high spice)
  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for greasing baking sheet
  7. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  8. 1 cup italian breadcrumbs
  9. 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  10. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or basil)
  13. 1 tablespoon garlic powder {omit this if you are not a huge garlic fan. I am!}
  14. 1 egg
  15. 3 tablespoons milk
  16. Your choice of pasta cooked al dente. {I used this pretty gigli pasta}
  17. One recipe Marinara sauce (recipe below) or 1 jar of high quality sauce
  18. Marinara Sauce:
  19. This sauce can be made ahead of time and put in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  20. 1 28 ounce can strained tomatoes {if you buy crushed instead, make sure to crush them really good with your hands first}
  21. 1/4 cup water
  22. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  23. handful of fresh basil, chopped
  24. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  25. 1 tablespoon sugar
  26. 1 teaspoon salt
  27. black pepper to taste
  28. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  29. pinch of cayenne


For the Meatballs:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a pan on medium heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute diced onion, peppers, jalapeño, and minced garlic for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bow combine ground beef, sausage or pork, breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano with your hands. Get in there good. I like to break the ball of meat in half once in a while and then squeeze it and mix it. Add the sautéed vegetables and mix them into the meat with your hands.

Crack the egg into the meat and add the milk. Continue mixing with your hands until thoroughly combined.

Grease baking sheet with oil or cooking spray. Form meatballs into round balls with your hands, they should each be about 2 tablespoons in size. I once had a tool for this, but it is totally unnecessary. Sometimes it helps to wet your hands with a little water while forming the balls to shape them.

Line the meatballs on the baking sheet, they can be fairly close together as long as they are not touching. Bake for 15 minutes. While they are in the oven get your water boiling for the pasta.

In a large uncovered pot or dutch oven on medium heat, pour in your pasta sauce. Once it starts bubbling turn the heat lower.

Put your pasta in the boiling water and cook as directed on the package.

Once the meatballs have baked for 15 minutes take them out of the oven and with a large spoon carefully place them one at a time into the sauce. Turn the heat back to medium. Your pasta should take about 10 minutes to boil which is just enough time for the meatballs to simmer and soak up some of the sauce. Turn them in the sauce at least once.

Serve by plating the pasta then plating 3 meatballs and then 2 spoonfuls of sauce. Serve with fresh grated parmesan.

For the sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Let simmer for at least 10 minutes on low.



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::: keelymarie :::

12 Replies to “Spicy Italian Meatballs”

  1. i think you forgot to say when to put the veggies into the meatball? (i did it after the egg and milk)

    1. You are correct. Thanks. Any time while you are mixing the meat as long as it has cooled!

      1. by the way, these were fantastic!! we made a double batch and froze half so we can have them again soon. very delicious.

      2. Freezing them is a wonderful idea and I have not yet done it myself. Let me know how they come out when you defrost them!

      3. they were excellent. i just cook them from frozen about 15-20 minutes– so good and easy! seriously, i’ve tried a lot of meatball recipes and this is my absolute favorite. great job!

      4. SO glad you liked them Sara! Pre-making them, freezing them, then baking is a great idea. Would be great for quick weekday meals.

    1. The meatballs are definitely my favorite part! I loved the authentic meatball dishes in Italy sans pasta Miriam.

  2. I randomly found this recipe today because I’ve never made meatballs and I was feeling adventurous. My boyfriend and I love spicy food so we thought the peppers in the meatballs would be good. I think we are both in agreement this is the best dish I’ve ever cooked him, and I’ve been cooking for him for 5 years now so that’s saying a lot. I’m saving this recipe and forwarding it to friends and family. I can’t wait to eat leftovers now.

    1. So glad you guys liked it Kristen!!! It’s the best leftover dish. You can make so many and freeze them!

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