Mom’s Sunday Meatballs happens to be the BEST meatballs you will ever taste! Her meatballs are made with lean ground beef, a loaf of old bread, eggs, cheese, and seasonings. Then fried before they go into a pot of simmering tomato sauce. Every meatball is super moist, soft, and delicious with every bite.
Ever since we can remember, pasta and mom’s best Sunday meatballs have been a tradition and were always served on a Sunday.
As kids, waking up to the smell of mom’s Sunday meatballs, going to Mass, and coming home to a table set with bread, wine, grated Parmesan cheese, and the smell of her tomato sauce simmering all through the house, we couldn’t wait to eat!
Mom would let each of us have one meatball after she fried them. They were so crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, it was difficult to eat just one, but we had to wait until 2 o’clock to sit down for our family dinner.
Still today, no meal unites and satisfies us more than Nonna’s pasta and her meatballs on Sundays.
It’s where the family gets together for stories and laughs, triggering memories of childhood just like the holidays.
What Makes Our Moms Sunday Meatballs so Soft and Tender?
It’s the amount of bread she uses compared to other meatball recipes. Some meatballs turn out tough and hard as a rock, and that’s because it’s mostly meat and not enough bread to make them soft, moist, and tender.
She always soaks her bread in a bowl of water, then wrings the water out, and mixes pieces of damp bread into her meat. At first, it sounds strange, but when you think about the water, it all makes sense.
Moist bread = moist meat = super moist and tender meatballs! … a total success!
Mom’s Sunday Meatballs are everyone’s favorite, and always made with love!
Your family will love this recipe! It is such a delicious dish and one your family will love you for the extra effort to make them.
Eat them fried or pop them into your favorite tomato sauce (recipe for mom’s tomato sauce is included below) and serve them with your favorite pasta. These are the best meatballs ever! And, it’s by far the favorite meal for everyone in the family.
No need to make any sides with this meal! Well… maybe just a salad.
How to Store & Freeze Mom’s Meatballs
Store and Keep Fresh: Let the sauce cool down to room temperature, then store meatballs submerged in the tomato sauce in an airtight container. Chill in refrigerator up to 3 to 4 days.
How To Freeze: First, let the sauce and meatballs cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight plastic container. Freeze up to 1 month. Allow defrosting completely before reheating on stove-top, and with low heat, until the sauce and meatballs are completely heated through.
*Follow along with our easy directions, or jump down to the bottom of this post for our full recipe card!
Ingredients for Mom’s Sunday Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef, (may also mix 1/2 beef with 1/2 veal)
1 loaf Italian Bread (preferably old)- soaked in water
2 whole eggs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. Romano grated cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley – chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Directions for Mom’s Sunday Meatballs:
1. In a large bowl. Soak a loaf of Italian bread for about 3 minutes. Remove bread from water. Remove the crust and discard, leaving only the inside dough. Then using your hands and squeeze all liquid from the bread. Transfer bread to a large bowl.
2. Combine bread with ground beef, eggs, cheese, garlic powder, pepper, and parsley.
Mix with your hands to combine well. Or you can mix the meat mixture with a Kitchen Aid mixer for a few minutes. A spoon will not do the job. The mixture will be very sticky.
3. Wash hands before shaping into meatballs. Cleans hands will help shape them easier.
Scoop a small amount of meat mixture into your hand and roll into 2-inch balls. Transfer onto a sheet of wax paper.
4. On the stovetop, in a deep medium-size skillet, pour oil. Heat oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot. Carefully add a few meatballs and fry until the bottom is crispy brown. Gently turn meatballs over once and continue until crispy brown on all sides.
5. Remove meatballs from the pan and drain them onto a platter lined with paper towels.
6. Repeat until all meatballs are cooked. Eat them alone, fried or place them into your Tomato Sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes to one hour. Using a spoon, gently remove the meatballs, transfer onto a platter, and serve.
Yields: about 20 meatballs
…Thanks for Pinning!
Try our BEST Pork Ragu Recipe.
Also, try our Braciole – Sicilian Style! It too is our family recipe for a fabulous meat dish that simmers in delicious tomato sauce.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
- 1 pound lean ground beef, (may also mix 1/2 beef with 1/2 veal)
- 1 loaf Italian Bread (preferably old)- soaked in water
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. Romano grated cheese
- 2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley - chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
INGREDIENTS FOR MOM'S TOMATO SAUCE:
- 1 plus ½ Vidalia onions - finely minced
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 4 large basil leaves
- 4 to 5 cans (28-ounces) Italian peeled tomatoes, blended in a blender
- ½ Tbsp. salt
- Additional salt and black pepper, to taste
TO MAKE MOM'S SUNDAY MEATBALLS:
- In a large bowl. Soak a loaf of Italian bread for about 3 minutes.
- Remove bread from water. Remove the crust and discard, leaving only the inside dough.
- Using your hands and squeeze all liquid from the bread. Transfer bread to a large bowl.
- Combine bread with ground beef, eggs, cheese, garlic powder, pepper, and parsley.
- Mix with your hands to combine well, or use your food processor. Using a spoon to mix will not work. The mixture will be very sticky. Best to wash your hands before shaping into meatballs.
- Scoop a small amount of meat mixture into your hand and roll into 2-inch balls. Transfer each meatball onto a sheet of wax paper. Set them aside.
- On the stovetop, using a deep medium-size skillet, pour oil.
- Heat oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add a few meatballs and fry until the bottom is crispy brown. Gently turn meatballs over once and continue until crispy brown.
- Remove meatballs from the pan and drain onto a platter lined with paper towels.
- Repeat until all meatballs are fully cooked.
- Eat them alone, fried or place them into your Tomato Sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes to one hour. Using a spoon, gently remove the meatballs, transfer them onto a platter and serve.
- Yields: about 20 meatballs
DIRECTIONS FOR MOM'S TOMATO SAUCE:
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the olive oil, onions, red pepper flakes, and basil, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Then add only one can of tomatoes (blended) to the onions to prevent the onions from burning while cooking. (This is a trick my husband learned from his mom). Occasionally stirring. Continue to simmer the onions on low heat for another 15 minutes.
- Then add in the rest of the tomatoes and salt. Cover and raise the heat to bring to the sauce a boil. Lower the heat again, and continue to simmer the sauce on low heat.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer for an additional hour, occasionally stirring the sauce. The total cooking time should be about 1 and ½ hours. Taste the sauce. Turn off the heat. Allow the sauce to cool down slightly.
- Yields: 3 quarts
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296Protein: 12.5g