If you ask my siblings what their favorite dish from our late Grandmother was, it would be her meatballs! Hands down, they were famous in our eyes and we have all taken a turn at trying to recreate her recipe. The tradition of Sunday meals together as a family is one that I cherish. I hope this recipe brings your family together for years to come!
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Our recipe can be made using your stovetop and oven, but we prefer to prepare our meatballs on our Traeger Wood-Fired Grill. The flavor is incredible and our meatballs stay tender and juicy. We are able to make all of our recipes on the Traeger because it can grill, bake, roast, smoke, braise, and BBQ. You can set your Traeger to the same temperature as you would your oven and control the grill functions, including the timer and thermometer, through the app!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
2 lbs ground beef (we use 85% lean)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup water
72 ounces of homemade or your favorite jarred marina sauce
Preheat your Traeger Wood-Fired Grill (lid closed) or oven to 350℉ (We used Traeger Signature Blend Hardwood Pellets)
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside
1. Simmer marina sauce, covered, in a dutch oven on your preheated Traeger grill or in a large pot on your stovetop. Stir occasionally.
2. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and turn heat to medium-high. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Turn off the heat and allow the onions and garlic to cool while you begin to prepare the meat mixture. You will use this pan again for browning the meatballs.
3. In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to gently combine the ground beef, eggs, parmesan, parsley, and panko bread crumbs. Add in the onion and garlic mixture and 2/3 cup of water. Mix until combined. The mixture may seem too wet, but the bread crumbs will absorb the water while cooking, leaving you with a juicy meatball!
4. Add another drizzle of olive oil into the same sauté pan. Turn heat on to medium-high. Shape the mixture into balls, slightly larger than a golf ball. You should have between 14-16 meatballs. I form about 7 balls at a time, add them to the pan for browning, and do the same with a second batch. Brown the meatballs on all sides. This should take a couple of minutes per side. Turn the heat down if you feel your meatballs are over-browning. We are giving the meatballs a nice crust and flavor, not cooking them throughout. They will finish cooking on your Traeger or in the oven.
5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the browned meatballs to your prepared sheet pan. Place the sheet pan directly on the grill, or on the middle rack of your oven. Cook for 14 to 15 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
6. Use a slotted spoon to nestle the meatballs into your simmering sauce. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.
Our printable recipe card, photos, and favorite tools are below! Enjoy!
Used in this recipe:
Traeger Signature Blend Hardwood Pellets
Traeger Drip Tray Aluminum Liner
Wusthof Classic 7-inch Nakiri Knife
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups