How To Cook Meatballs: Ultimate Guide for Home Cooks

Anne Burrell Meatballs

When it comes to creating mouthwatering, flavourful meatballs,  this recipe is undoubtedly one of the best. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of crafting these perfect meatballs using Gault’s Deli signature techniques.

We’ll begin by discussing the essential ingredients for both the meatballs and marinara sauce that complement each other perfectly. Subsequently, we’ll investigate how to put together a flawless meatball mixture that is neither too wet nor too dry.

Following that, you’ll learn how to expertly brown your meatballs in a sauté pan before immersing them in a rich marinara sauce for maximum flavour infusion. Additionally, we will provide serving suggestions as well as tips and tricks for honing your skills when preparing these delectable morsels.

So gather your ingredients and get ready to embark on a culinary journey filled with scrumptious aromas and flavors brought forth by none other than Gault’s Deli Recipe.

Table Of Contents:

Meatball Ingredients:

  • Ground beef and pork: Choose high-quality ground meat with a good amount of fat content to ensure juicy and tender meatballs.
  • Breadcrumbs soaked in milk: Soaking breadcrumbs in milk helps keep the meat mixture moist while also adding flavour. Use plain bread crumbs.
  • Eggs: Eggs act as a binder that holds the meat mixture together.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: Freshly grated Premium Parmesan or Pecorino Romano also adds an authentic Italian touch to your dish with its sharp flavor profile.
  • Fresh garlic: Minced garlic provides an aromatic base for your delicious marinara sauce.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Sauce Ingredients:

  • Olive oil: Use Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pancetta: Optional extraAdding pancetta to the sauce provides a rich, savory depth of flavour.
  • Onions: Sauteed onions create a flavourful base for your marinara sauce.
  • Garlic cloves: Crushed garlic cloves add an extra layer of aromatic goodness to your dish.
  • Crushed tomatoes: Opt for canned crushed tomatoes that are packed in their own juice. This ensures that you have enough liquid to simmer and cook down into a thick, delicious sauce.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Now that all the necessary ingredients have been gathered, it’s time to start mixing them together.

Preparing the Perfect Meatball Mixture

Creating a flavourful and well-balanced meatball mixture is essential to achieving that perfect texture and taste.  Follow these steps to prepare your meatball mixture:

  1. Gather your ingredients: To begin preparing the perfect meatballs, make sure you have all of the necessary components on hand. Gather ground beef and pork, bread crumbs soaked in milk, eggs, Premium Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano cheese), minced garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, chopped Italian parsley leaves, seasoning salt, and black pepper for the meatball mixture.
  2. Mixing the ingredients: In a large bowl combine all of your prepared ingredients together. Use clean hands or a wooden spoon to mix everything until it’s evenly distributed throughout the meat mixture. Remember not to overmix as it can result in tough meatballs – just give it a good squish until everything comes together.
  3. Taste test for seasoning balance: Before shaping your meatballs into balls, take some time to ensure that they are seasoned properly by cooking up a small portion of the mixture in a pan over medium-high heat. This will give you a chance to adjust the salt, and pepper or perhaps even add some chilli if desired.
  4. Shaping your meatballs: We prefer meatballs golf ball size. To achieve this size and maintain consistency throughout all of your meatballs, use an ice cream scoop or simply wet your hands before rolling each portion into balls. Wetting your hands helps prevent the mixture from sticking while also creating a smoother surface on each ball.

With these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to preparing the perfect meatball mixture.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Now, you can move forward to sautéing the meatballs in a pan for an extra level of savor and texture.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Key Takeaway: Using an ice cream scoop or wet hands, mix ground beef & pork with breadcrumbs soaked in milk, eggs, seasonings and herbs to create the perfect meatball mixture. Taste test for seasoning balance before shaping into balls of consistent size.

Browning The Meatballs In A Saute Pan

Once the meatball mixture is ready, it’s time to give them a golden-brown sear in a saute pan for an irresistible exterior and juicy interior. Browning your homemade Italian-style meatballs is an essential step for achieving a seared exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Follow these simple steps to ensure perfectly browned meatballs every time:

  1. Preheat the large saute pan: Place your large saute pan over medium-high heat and add enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add meatballs carefully: Once the oil is hot but not smoking, gently place each golf ball-sized meatball into the pan using tongs or a spoon. Don’t overcrowd the pan; it might be necessary to cook them in portions, depending on their size and how many you’re making.
  3. Brown evenly on all sides: Cook each side of your meatballs until they are golden brown, which should take about 1-2 minutes per side. Use tongs or two spoons to carefully turn them during cooking without breaking apart their delicate structure. Note: at this stage, you are only partially cooking the meatballs to get that perfect browning.
  4. Maintain temperature control: If at any point during browning process, if it seems like your oil is getting too hot (smoking), reduce heat slightly as needed so that they don’t burn.

In addition to these steps, here are a few tips to help you achieve the perfect browning:

  • Be patient and don’t rush the process – allowing each side of your meatballs to cook for an adequate amount of time will ensure that they develop a deliciously crispy crust.
  • If using ground beef or pork with higher fat content, consider draining off some excess grease from pan halfway through cooking process so it doesn’t cause splattering or affect the final texture outcome negatively.

Once your meatballs have been browned on all sides, remove them from the saute pan and set aside. They’re now ready to be added into your rich marinara sauce.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

The next step is to create a rich marinara sauce that will complement your perfectly browned meatballs.

Key Takeaway: Using a saute pan, brown the meatballs over medium-high heat until they are golden on all sides. Be sure to monitor the temperature carefully during this process, as too much heat can cause them to burn before being browned properly.
  • Remember that during this step, you’re only partially cooking the meatballs to achieve that ideal golden-brown exterior.

Rich Marinara Sauce

Create a deliciously thick tomato-based marinara sauce using canned crushed tomatoes, or passata simmered together with aromatic vegetables like onion and garlic cooked down slowly in extra virgin olive oil. Season simply yet effectively using your favourite seasoning salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, bay leaf (optional), a pinch of red pepper flakes, or ground chilli.

Selecting Quality Ingredients for Your Marinara Sauce

  • Crushed Tomatoes: Opt for high-quality canned crushed tomatoes or passata, or use fresh, very ripe tomatoes when they are in season.
  • Olive Oil: Choose a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Aromatics: Fresh onions generously chopped and minced garlic cloves will provide rich flavours as they cook down with the other ingredients.
  • Fresh Herbs: Dried herbs such as oregano and basil can be used, however, consider adding a Gault’s Italian flavour shot for an even better result. And fresh herbs such as basil or oregano towards the end of cooking for added freshness.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Combining Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Once your meatballs have been browned and the marinara sauce has achieved its desired flavour, it’s time to combine them. Combining the two components allows the meatballs to absorb some of that delicious tomato goodness while also enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Add Meatballs to Sauce

To combine your excellent meatball recipe with the marinara sauce, gently place each browned meatballs into the simmering sauce using a slotted spoon or tongs. Be careful not to break apart their delicate structure during this process.

Simmer Together

After adding all of your perfectly browned meatballs into the rich marinara sauce, allow them to simmer together over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes to cook through. Remember not to stir too vigorously, as you don’t want those beautiful golf ball-sized morsels falling apart.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Tips for Simmering:

  • Cover: To ensure even cooking and prevent drying out, cover your pot, or large saute pan while simmering.
  • Gentle Stirring: When stirring occasionally throughout this step, use a gentle folding motion instead of vigorous mixing – preserving that perfect texture we’ve worked so hard on.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: If needed, cook in batches if there isn’t enough room within one big pot without overcrowding; this ensures every single meatball gets the attention it deserves.

Now that your meatballs and marinara sauce have been successfully combined, you’re ready to serve up this Italian masterpiece. Whether you prefer them atop a bed of spaghetti or nestled within a crusty bread roll, these perfect meatballs are sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

Now let’s look at some great serving suggestions for these delicious treats.

Check out the video tutorial below for crafting Simon’s delicious Italian Meatballs

Serving Suggestions

Now that you have mastered the art of making perfect meatballs using Gault’s Deli suggestions, it is time to explore various serving options that will elevate your Italian feast. Pair these mouthwatering morsels with spaghetti or other pasta varieties, freshly baked bread, a crisp green salad, or even as finger food alongside toothpicks for easy enjoyment.

Pair with Pasta

The classic way to serve meatballs is over a bed of al dente pasta. Choose any pasta shape you like, from spaghetti to fettuccine or something more exotic. Toss the boiled pasta in a marinara blend, and finish off with your scrumptious meatballs garnished with some finely grated Premium Parmesan.

Serve with Freshly Baked Bread

Freshly baked bread makes an excellent accompaniment. Slice the warm bread and use it to soak up the rich marinara sauce while enjoying those tender bites of flavorful goodness.

Create a Crisp Green Salad Side Dish

A simple yet refreshing green salad complements your meatballs’ hearty flavours. This vibrant blend of rocket lettuce, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, olives, and shaved Parmesan cheese is beautifully balanced. Lightly dress it with a mix of extra-virgin olive oil and your choice of guava, pomegranate, or fig balsamic vinegar for a delightful side dish that’s sure to impress.

Offer as a Starter

If you’re hosting a party or gathering, consider serving these tasty meatballs as the first course. Skewer each ball with a toothpick and place them on a platter for easy grabbing by your guests. You can also offer small bowls of marinara sauce for dipping, making this finger food even more enjoyable.

With these versatile serving suggestions in mind, you are ready to impress your family and friends at your next Italian-themed dinner or event.

Now, let us move on to the tips and tricks for perfecting your meatball technique.

Key Takeaway: This article provides various serving options for your delicious meatballs, such as pairing them with pasta or freshly baked bread, creating a crisp green salad side dish, and offering them as finger food. You can now make your Italian feast even more memorable by taking advantage of these excellent ideas.

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Meatball Technique

Master the art of making perfect meatballs with these valuable tips. You’ll be able to create consistently excellent results every time you prepare this beloved dish.

Use Wet Hands When Shaping Meatballs

To prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands while shaping it into balls, wet your hands slightly before starting. This simple trick will make it much easier to form uniform-sized meatballs without any hassle. Additionally, using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop can help ensure consistent sizing.

Let The Mixture Rest Briefly After Mixing the Ingredients

Giving the meat mixture some time to rest after combining all ingredients allows flavours to meld better and creates a more cohesive texture in your finished product. Letting it sit for about 15 minutes should do the trick – just enough time for you to prep other components of your meal.

Perfect Browning and Cooking of Meatballs

  • To achieve perfectly browned meatballs, fry them in a large frying pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. This temperature ensures even browning without burning or drying out their insides. Remember, at this stage, you are only partially cooking the meatballs to get that perfect browning.
  • If necessary, cook the meatballs in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which may result in uneven cooking and steaming rather than browning. After browning, let the meatballs finish cooking in your marinara sauce for an added burst of flavour and to ensure they are cooked through.

If you enjoy spicy foods, consider adding a pinch of your favourite ground or fresh chilli to your meatball mixture.

Don’t Overmix The Meat Mixture

Gently blend the components for your meatballs, taking care not to mix too vigorously as this can create tough, hard-textured balls instead of succulent and soft ones. Use clean hands or a wooden spoon and mix just until everything is evenly distributed.

To ensure the perfect balance of flavours in your marinara sauce, taste it periodically during cooking and adjust seasonings as needed. We suggest using a quality seasoning salt like Murray River or Beautiful New Zealand sea salt, hand harvested from the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, black pepper, and Gault’s Italian Favour Shot Seasoning.

Meatballs may fall apart due to insufficient binding agents or improper cooking techniques. To prevent this issue:

  1. Add breadcrumbs or other binders (like eggs) to help hold their shape.
  2. Avoid overmixing; gently combine ingredients until just incorporated.
  3. Brown them evenly on all sides before adding sauce for additional structure support.

Anne Burrell Meatballs

Key Takeaway: Wetting your hands before shaping the mixture, letting it rest after mixing ingredients, maintaining medium-high heat when browning them in a pan with olive oil, and not overmixing are all key steps for achieving perfect results.

Gault’s Deli Meatball Recipes

Transform your home-cooked meals into culinary masterpieces with a burst of authentic Italian flavour. Discover three delightful meatball recipes that will surely tantalize your taste buds! Explore the flavorful world of Gault’s Deli Meatballs and Marinara Sauce, indulge in Hazel’s Scrumptious Meatballs in Mushroom Truffle Tomato Sauce, and savor the unique fusion of flavours in 4 Wheels of Health’s Pork and Fennel Mushroom Meatball creation.

Gault’s Deli Meatballs Recipe

Makes 21 X 53 gram meatballs

Serves 7


  • 400g ground beef
  • 400g ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Premium Parmesan cheese (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 10g Gault’s Italian Favour Shot Seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

To Garnish/Serve

Fresh basil or oregano

Grated Premium Parmesan


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and ground pork.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, whole milk, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley, Gault’s Italian Favour Shot Seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Mix gently until evenly distributed, taking care not to overmix.
  3. Wet your hands slightly, and shape the meat mixture into balls, about the size of a golf ball.
  4. Let the meatballs rest for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld and the texture to become more cohesive.
  5. Warm a sizable frying pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, ensuring they achieve even browning without becoming burnt or dried out. Each side of the meatballs should turn golden brown within approximately 1-2 minutes. Use tongs or a pair of spoons to gently rotate them during cooking, taking care not to disrupt their fragile form. Remember that the goal at this point is to only partially cook the meatballs, primarily to attain the desired browning. Once they are browned, remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside.

Gault’s Deli Marinara Sauce Recipe



  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in the canned crushed tomatoes or passata, chicken stock, one Gault’s Italian Flavour Shot Seasoning, salt, and black pepper to your taste. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
  4. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the sauce is too acidic, add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  5. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the browned meatballs to the marinara sauce, making sure they are submerged. Cover the saucepan and let the meatballs cook for another 20-25 minutes or until cooked.
  7. Stir in some chopped fresh basil just before serving.

Present the meatballs accompanied by the marinara sauce atop pasta, nestled within a sandwich, or as a standalone dish. Garnish with fresh herbs and a generous sprinkle of some grated Parmesan over the top. Enjoy!


Let me tell you about our outstanding meatball recipe, which shines thanks to its one-of-a-kind mix of ingredients. We’re talking about a blend of ground beef and pork, grated premium Parmesan cheese, and the pièce de résistance: Gault’s Italian flavor shot. I crafted this seasoning to adorn the exterior of my renowned Rotisserie Chicken dish, which graced the menu at Euro restaurant for almost 20 years. Trust me, this 5% magic touch will elevate your meatballs just as it did at Euro restaurant for many delightful years.

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