We stripped a classic homemade meatball recipe down to its most essential elements to create a main dish that’s fast and easy enough for a post-work dinner. We like to use ground beef here, but you can swap in ground pork or ground turkey (dark meat, please) if that’s what you’ve got on hand. Roasting the meatballs in the oven instead of frying them on a stovetop reduces the active cook time and makes cleanup simple—just be sure to stick with larger meatballs as the size allows the meat to brown without overcooking.
Homemade marinara sauce is welcome, of course, and doesn’t have to take long (this one comes together in about 30 minutes), but there’s no shame in good store-bought spaghetti sauce (and it certainly cuts down on prep time). Look for jars without added sugar, but with olive oil, like Rao’s, which many BA staffers keep in the pantry. Either way, finishing the dish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese is a smart move.
Serve these juicy cooked meatballs with a good loaf of bread and a big green salad—or grab a hoagie roll and make Italian meatball subs. Craving a big pasta dinner on a leisurely Sunday? Consider making a full spread, complete with spaghetti, garlic confit toast, and a crunchy deli-inspired iceberg salad.