I may cook quite a few “exotic” or complicated dishes, but sometimes something simple and comforting and nostalgic really hits the spot. And when it comes to nostalgia and comfort food, it’s hard to beat an old-fashioned, but easy, Italian meatball recipe. Just thinking about spaghetti and meatballs makes me smile.
You can serve this the classic way, with spaghetti and marinara sauce, but they’re also great for making a fast Italian wedding soup. If you don’t want the soup right away, just increase the recipe, and make a few extra meatballs and pop them in the freezer. Then days, or weeks later you can defrost them and treat yourself to soup in a few minutes.
I’ve kept this recipe simple, and easy, but you can change it to suit your own tastes and preferences. Check the end of the post for some inspiration. You can make it spicier, swap the bread crumbs for oatmeal or potato starch (to make it gluten-free), or use turkey instead of beef. A mixture of pork and beef is good too.
Substitutions and Variations for Easy Italian Meatballs
- use a mixture of ground beef and pork, instead of just beef
- add more garlic
- add oregano
- if you can’t have gluten, use oatmeal or potato starch, instead of breadcrumbs (either grind up regular oats in a mini-chopper, or use quick-cooking oats).
- use ground turkey or chicken instead of meat (if you do, I recommend getting the dark meat turkey; it tastes better)
- add a splash of sriracha