“There’s really no wrong way to do a meatball,” Dan Holzman, executive chef of beloved NYC institution The Meatball Shop once said. And he’s not wrong—you can make them with all different kinds of meat (or plant-based alternatives), experiment with a variety of herbs and spices, and serve them with cuisines from traditional Italian to spicy Thai. But you do want to have the right recipe to ensure that your meatballs are mouthwateringly tender and cooked to perfection—not dry, bland, or burnt.
Whether you serve them on toothpicks as party appetizers or atop a plate of spaghetti, use these step-by-step instructions from The Meatball Shop itself to ensure meatball magic, every time.
- 2 lbs. ground beef shoulder (or any ground beef with a higher fat content)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 eggs
Step 1: Mix All Ingredients
First, add all of your ingredients in a large bowl mix until fully combined. For best results, use your bare hands! Try to mix quickly, though, as you don’t want the heat of your hands to warm the meat.
Step 2: Shape Your Balls
Once the mixture is completely combined, it’s time to shape it into balls. Holzman recommends using a two-ounce ice cream scooper, buf if you don’t have one, use your hands to form spheres that are roughly the size of golf balls. Just make sure they’re consistent! “One of the more important things when it comes to making meatballs, in my opinion, is making sure that every meatball is the same size,” says Holzman. “Obviously you don’t want to be the guy that gets the little tiny balls when you’re all eating dinner together.”
Step 3: Line Them Up
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then arrange the meatballs on the sheet. “I like to line them up and make them all touch in a grid,” says Holzman. “It’s great and helpful because you can see if there’s something out of place, like maybe one of the meatballs is really small.”
Step 4: Bake Your Balls
While some recipes call for frying your meatballs, Holzman prefers to bake them. “Roasting works really well,” he notes. “It’s clean and it’s easy and it’s fast.” Assuming you’ve followed his instructions and made two-ounce balls, bake them at 425° for exactly 17 minutes.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Enjoy your delicious meatballs (or, whip up a sauce to serve with them)! This recipe makes enough for four to six hungry people.
Create Your Own Custom Meatballs!
Meatball Making With The Meatball Shop.