Sausage Meatball Recipe
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My Sausage Meatball Recipe is made spicy with hot Italian sausage and red pepper flakes. Use these delicious meatballs on pizza, a bowl of pasta, or in a hot Italian sub sandwich. So many options, and super easy to make ahead of time!
It’s Italian Night and there is nothing like big juicy meatballs. Some of our other Italian favorites are Sausage and Gnocchi Skillet, Classic Chicken Parmesan, and my meatless Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach!
Pork Sausage Meatballs
Homemade meatballs are so much fun to make, which is why I’ve used them in so many recipes. I’ve got my classic Italian Meatball Recipe that I pair with my Homemade Marinara Sauce and pasta or with my Red Thai Curry Recipe and rice. Both versions are SO delish. If you are a soup lover like me, you’re going to want to slurp up some of my Italian Wedding Soup.
THIS is the only recipe that uses 100% pork sausage, however. I recommend making a double batch and freezing some of them! This is a smaller recipe as I created it for my Meatball Pizza Recipe, which you will also love.
And I almost forgot about my Meatballs with Zucchini, which are made with ground turkey and obviously, diced zucchini that goes right in the meat mixture. These are on the lighter side compared to my pork meatballs, but there is a meatball for every occasion, right?
Meatballs are so versatile, which is why I cook them so often. I love having them on hand for quick meals, and it’s so simple to make them ahead and freeze for later. You can pre-cook them, par-cook (and finish later), or freeze them raw. Any of these methods work spectacularly!
Ingredients for Sausage Meatballs:
Ok, let’s discuss the ingredients, friends!
- Sausage – I used HOT Italian Sausage for these meatballs. It’s really not all that hot, if you ask me, but you could definitely use a mild sausage or even a sweet one.
- Egg – You’ll need one large egg. The “glue” to bind the meatball ingredients together.
- Onion and Garlic – Some finely chopped onion and garlic adds so much flavor and texture to these meatballs. You can also grate these to avoid the small little morsels of veggie, but I like them finely chopped.
- Parmesan Cheese – I recommend using freshly grated parmesan cheese (instead of the pre-grated stuff) for maximum flavor and freshness.
- Bread Crumbs – For these, I used Panko bread crumbs. This will help bind everything together.
- Seasonings – Just a simple combination of red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Feel free to add other seasonings of your choice as well. You could go with a pinch of Italian Seasoning, or just some basil.
- Water – Some cold water can be added for additional moisture. Add a couple of tablespoons and see if you need more. Some people use milk in their meatballs, but water works perfectly fine and provides moisture that is needed.
How to make the best pork meatballs
SO quick and easy. Why buy pre-packaged meatballs ever again?
Combine ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground sausage, egg, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, onions and garlic, seasonings, and a little bit of cold water.
Mix. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Be careful to avoid over-mixing as this can make the meat tough.
Form meatballs. Gently divide the mixture into 8 sections, and use your hands to form them into meatballs. Add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake. Bake the meatballs on 400 degrees for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until nearly done. I often under-cook them slightly depending on the recipe I’m making. If the meatballs will be cooked again, I try to leave them a bit pink inside.
Think of this recipe as your base, and add and subtract as you wish!
- Vary the meat. You could use any type of ground meat, including turkey, chicken, beef, or pork. I occasionally mix two different meats together, which is a great way to add more complexity to the flavor.
- Use different bread crumbs. For this recipe, I used Panko breadcrumbs. However, you could use Italian or another mix. You could even use your own homemade breadcrumbs if you have them!
- Try different spices. Since I used basic spices for this (red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper), you could try a different combo. Try basil, parsley, oregano, Italian Seasoning blend – OR use all fresh herbs in this. Remember that you will need more fresh though, compared to dried. Dried spices are more pungent and have more flavor in a small amount compared to fresh.
- Make them gluten-free. While I have never tried it, I do know that gluten free breadcrumbs are available in most grocery stores.
Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)
Sausage Meatball Recipe
- 1 pound ground pork – we like to use a spicy HOT version
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup onion – minced
- 1 cloves garlic – minced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese – freshly shredded
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 2 Tablespoons cold water – or a little more
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground sausage, egg, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, onions and garlic, seasonings, and a little bit of cold water. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Be careful to avoid over-mixing as this can make the meat tough.
- Gently divide the mixture into 8 sections, and use your hands to form them into meatballs. Add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the meatballs on 400 degrees for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until nearly done.
- I often under-cook the meatballs slightly if I’m using them in a sauce. Just make sure you continue to cook them fully in the sauce later.
- These freeze well. You can freeze them raw, par-cooked, or fully cooked.
- There are many recipe variations listed on the blog post.
- Use these meatballs in homemade pizza, with marinara sauce or curry sauce, or in hot sub sandwiches!
These are the best meatballs that I have ever made. I did use sweet Italian sausage but added the red pepper flakes. So flavorful and moist!!
Oh thank you so much, Pam!
can I use nutritional yeast instead of the bread crumbs, and if so, how much?
I have not cooked with nutritional yeast. I’m sorry I can’t give better advice, Kazy.
I love the sausage as it increases the spice factor.