Big and Bold Meatball

giant meatballs

 Here’s a fun way to eat your favorite meatball, make it giant sized, nestle it in a pool of homemade marinara, top it with fresh ricotta, basil and olive oil, then just make sure you have some crispy, crunchy bread to soak up all that sauce. It’s a meal in itself and it’s so good!

I got this idea from the very popular meatball that’s on the menu at Siena Tavern in Chicago, I went there recently with a friend, we shared the jumbo sized meatball and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.

They make theirs with wagyu beef but honestly as we were eating it we both agreed you don’t need to use pricey wagyu beef at all because it’s the combination of all the different flavors that get melded together that makes it so amazing.

meatball ingredients

 So for my version I just picked up some good quality ground beef from my reputable butcher, it was 85% lean and 15% fat.  You could do a mixture of meats if you like but I wanted to stick strictly with beef to stay close to the flavor profile that we had in the restaurant.

The rest of the ingredients are exactly how I make my own meatballs, I always use grated romano cheese, dry and wet bread breadcrumbs, sauteed onion and garlic, fresh parsley, eggs, salt and pepper.

making giant meatballs

 For one pound of meat I made three meatballs, I feel anything bigger than that is overkill, this was perfect for individual servings.

You’ll want to form your meatballs then bake them on parchment until they set as shown in the picture on the right, about 20 minutes or so.

making giant meatballs

 Then drench them in some good homemade marinara sauce topped with romano, then back into the oven until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 160.

giant meatball

 When taken out of the oven drench them with more warmed sauce, don’t be shy, add a healthy dollop of fresh ricotta, right on top, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil and  more romano, then immediately dig in!

giant meatball


But don’t forget that warmed crunchy bread it’s a MUST!

I used sliced ciabattta that I drizzled with olive oil and stuck under the broiler until  nice and golden, a match made in meatball heaven!

Big and Bold Meatball
  • 1 lb, quality ground beef,85% lean 15% fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 hunk of day old Italian bread moistened with water or milk and squeezed out
  • ⅓ cup or so of dry plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¾ cup of grated pecorino romano
  • salt and pepper
  • homemade marinara sauce
  • fresh ricotta
  • fresh basil for garnish
  1. In a small pan add olive oil and saute onions and garlic until soft, let it cool
  2. Place all the ingredients into a bow, the meat, eggs, cheese, bread, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, onions and garlic.
  3. Mix well and form 3 meatballs, they'll look about the size of a tennis ball.
  4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cook them until set at 375 for around 20 minutes or so.
  5. Remove and place meatballs into their own individual baking dish.
  6. Drench with sauce and top with romano cheese and finish baking in the oven at 375 until internal temp reaches 160.
  7. Add a generous amount of additional warmed sauce, a dollop of fresh ricotta on top, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of romano and some fresh chopped basil.
  8. I highly recommend sliced ciabatta bread, drizzled with olive oil and placed under the broiler or in a 400 degree oven until nice and golden to accompany your meatball.


We love making our own meatballs! Ours are very garlicky but we LOVE garlic. And our homemade ciabatta is perfect as a scarpetta to sop up the sauce. Don’t you agree that meatballs are great made ahead, frozen, and then popped in a low oven with sauce. The meatballs taste just as great as when they were freshly made.

I agree! When I make meatballs, I make enough for six frozen servings, so for six weeks we can pull out meatballs that taste awesome.

How funny. I just posted my pressure cooker meatballs in homemade marinara sauce. Making a giant meatball sounds amazing,and I love the idea of soaking it all up with bread. Swoon!

I love this! I always make my meatballs with Romano, because that’s what we used in our NJ household when I was growing up. It makes such a difference! Going to try this method tonight. Thank you!!!

These were a huge hit tonight. The kids loved them which is no small feat. This is definitely getting filed into my favorite recipe section.

Wow! I haven’t made these in years! Mom used to put a square of mozzarella in hers. Great post Marie! Love it!

Absolutely the best meatballs. Amazing. Making these I learned that the meat is more like a binder to hold all the other ingredients. It made them more moist and flavorful. I have been making meatballs for years with these same basic items, but never in this ratio. I usually always try to make meatballs with at least 3 lbs of ground meat; I figure if I’m going to the effort, I should make plenty. With this recipe I had to force myself to triple the other ingredients, it just seemed like too much. I will admit I did not use 3 bunches of parsley. Thank you Marie.

Melissa, I posted general instructions in the post, it dependa how big you make them, you just want to make sure internal temp is 165

Help !! The recipe says Italian bread moistened ?? How much of the loaf do you use first of all , and do you just pour water or milk over it whole and then squeeze out and tear apart ? I’ve never done this.
Advise please!!

Sarah, The recipe states to take a hunk of Italian bread, moisten it with water or milk, squeeze it dry and add it to the mixture, yes, tear it apart. It just adds to the texture and over all flavor.

I just made this for dinner tonight. It was incredible. My husband and daughter loved it. They want it again and again. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

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