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Light and Fluffy Meatballs


Creamy ricotta cheese is the secret to keeping these meatballs tender and moist.

  • Yield: Makes 30 meatballs

Source: Mad Hungry, May 2011


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 slices white bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground chuck beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts Basic Italian Tomato Sauce, or other Italian tomato sauce


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion, cooking until soft but not colored, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly.

  2. Combine bread and milk in a bowl to soak for 5 minutes. Squeeze excess milk from bread and finely chop. Add chopped bread to the bowl with onions. Add all the remaining ingredients except the tomato sauce. Gently fold with hands to incorporate ingredients, but do not overmix or meatballs will be tough.

  3. Bring tomato sauce to a simmer in a large deep-sided skillet. Pinch 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and gently form a ball with wet hands. Drop the meatballs, as they are formed, directly into the sauce. Cover and simmer, stirring carefully a few times until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve meatballs with sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Notes

Meatballs can be formed and chilled until ready to cook.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Pizziobrien
    12 JUL, 2015
    I have been waiting for months to try this and finally got a chance to do it this weekend. It was fabulous!! I found a beef, veal and pork mix at my regular supermarket. Of course the ricotta comes in a 15 oz tub so it wasn't a lb. I followed it almost exactly and used fresh herbs from my garden. The only change I made was to add 2 tsp of garlic powder. I felt it needed it. And since the meat came in 1.3 lb packages mine had a bit more meat than the recipe called for. But wow. Soft & delicious!
  • robomax
    17 NOV, 2013
    i used 3 cups panko crumbs&did not soak in milk.added whip cream intsead of whole milk.recipe is awsome!
  • deshel
    13 JAN, 2013
    This recipe is great. I had only extra lean ground beef (cant find ground veal around here) & since I didn't have veal I didn't bother with pork. Would love to have the nutritional info on it. Just want to know how many calories, carbs etc for adding up the daily calories. I would assume it would be a once in awhile treat. They are the lightest & fluffiest meatballs I can ever remember .