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Italian Meatballs on Fusilli Pasta

Iowa-Girl Italian Meatballs

Servings 5 dozen large meatballs


  • 6 ounces sliced turkey pepperoni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups flaky breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup milk


  • Place turkey pepperoni in a food processor and pulse to finely chop.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except milk, by hand.
  • Add 1/2 cup milk and mix, by hand, until well combined. If mixture does not hold together easily or seems dry, add more milk, a little at a time, until the mixture can be easily formed into balls.
  • Form meatballs using a cookie scoop to ensure consistent sizes.
  • Oven Method: Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a large roasting pan or two 9”x13” pans and place meatballs inside.Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes for smaller (1 1/2”) meatballs or 30-35 minutes for larger (2”) meatballs. Cut one meatball in half to ensure they are ready. The inside should be consistent in color and texture. Since this recipe contains poultry, it is especially important to cook them properly.
    Baking Meatballs
  • Stove-Top Method (with sauce): Drizzle olive oil in a large dutch oven or sauté pan and bring to medium or medium-high heat. Add desired number of meatballs to the pan without crowding and brown on all sides. Add spaghetti sauce or favorite pasta sauce to meatballs in the pan, reduce heat, cover partially and simmer for at least 15 minutes to finish cooking the meatballs.
    Italian Meatballs cooking in Marinara