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Rosemary Meatballs


We did side-by-side tastings with meatballs: one included panko and the other, regular breadcrumbs. The ones with panko were much lighter -- and tastier!

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, May 2007


  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought tomato sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, panko, egg, garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix just until combined (do not overmix). Using a level 1/4-cup measure for each, form mixture into 12 meatballs. Note: Use a 1/4-cup measure per meatball to ensure uniform size. For easy cleanup, place on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high. Add meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Tilt skillet away from you, and pour in tomato sauce. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve meatballs and sauce, garnished with more rosemary, if desired.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Alcea
    1 APR, 2013
    Really good, simple, light, tasty meatballs.....I did not have tomatoes on hand so I used a decent jarred pasta sauce instead; added to the sauce 1T chopped fresh rosemary, 1T fresh lemon juice, plus a dash of crushed red pepper. That gave the sauce a fresh, homemade taste.
  • MrsDarcy529
    15 NOV, 2011
    This recipe makes the best meatballs I've ever tasted! They are so moist and delicious. The rosemary and lemon zest add a delightful freshness, and the panko makes them light and fluffy, yet substantial. My husband even confided to me that they were "better than his mothers!" High praise, indeed,
  • ugfug
    26 SEP, 2011
  • ugfug
    26 SEP, 2011
    Excellent. Some of Martha's recipes are too "fancy" for my husband, but we both loved this. The lemon was a cool surprise. The recipe was easy, and the mail turned out great. Tasted very upscale and good. This will be a staple for us going forward.
  • SociallySusan
    11 JUN, 2011
    Excellent meatballs! If you can buy "Meatloaf Mix" from the store, I would because it worked out great and included veal so the meat was very tender. I also doubled the size of the meatballs so they made a really nice presentation when you plopped one on top of a pile of spaghetti. Don't be afraid of the lemon, it was a perfect addition and complimented the pork very nice. If I ever have my own restaurant, this would be my house meatball. 5 star!
  • BlondeAmbitionista
    31 JAN, 2011
    These were awesome ..... enjoyed by everyone in the household ..... I doubled everything in the recipe but only made 6 servings (I'm a big fan of 1/3-1/2 cup portioned meatballs) ..... will definitely keep this one as a staple for pasta night!! Lemon was a great addition.... Grabbed a loaf of Rosemary Italian bread from whole foods to go with also ....
  • Joevans
    1 MAY, 2010
    Panko is Japanese bread crumbs. You can find them in the Asian section of your supermarket. They are very light, airy and crispy. Once you use them you'll want to search out other recipes with Panko. BTW - I'm making these meatballs tonight for the first time.
  • Paddycake
    29 APR, 2010
    Can somebody please tell me what panko is? I've never heard of it.
  • Nipplesofvenus
    25 APR, 2010
    These meatballs were delicious. The lemon is genius. And I was surprised at how easy they were from start to finish.
  • Nipplesofvenus
    25 APR, 2010
    Oh my these were good. I doubted the lemon, I doubted the plain tomato sauce. All for not. These were so scrumptious. I was not a fan of meatballs but apparently I hadn't met the right meatball. I was surprised at how easy they were from start to finish. I can see why they made it into the new book.