Recipes · Cooking tips · Techniques

Italian Sausage Meatballs

Italian Sausage Meatballs

These Italian sausage meatballs are cooked in a tomato sauce that’s made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, onions and olive oil. It’s really simple and very good!

 

In this recipe, the Italian sausage adds a ton of flavor to the meatballs already, so you only need a few ingredients to put them together.

 

Pair the Italian sausage meatballs with your family’s favorite pasta and watch everyone rush to the table.

 

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To make the Italian sausage meatballs you will need

1 pound Italian Sausage, casing removed or use bulk sausage. Here we used mild Italian sausage, but use hot if you like it spicy!

¼ cup Plain Breadcrumbs

1 Egg

2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving

Canola Oil, enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet with ½ inch of oil

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, finely diced

2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced

28 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes, we used fire roasted tomatoes

¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano

Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper, optional – leave it out if you don’t like spicy

1-2 tablespoons Salt, for the pasta water

12-16 ounce Package of your favorite pasta, cooked to package directions

Chopped Parsley, for garnish, optional

 

Make the Italian sausage meatballs

Combine the Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, egg and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until they’re just combined.

 

Shape the sausage mixture into balls that are roughly the size of a golf ball. You should get 12 nice-sized meatballs.

 

Twelve raw meatballs arranged on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

 

Fry the meatballs

Use a non-stick skillet to fry the meatballs. That way, we don’t risk any sticking, and possible tearing.

 

Heat the canola oil in a large, deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, carefully add the meatballs to the skillet.

 

It should take approximately 5 minutes to get them browned on all sides. Turn them occasionally.

 

Place the meatballs on a plate lined with a paper towel. Keep them warm by loosely covering the plate with a piece of aluminum foil, and/or place the plate in the microwave or oven. The meatballs will stay warm away from drafts.

 

Don’t worry that the meatballs are not cooked all the way through. They will finish cooking in the tomato sauce.

 

Italian sausage meatballs in a red sauce, served on a bed of spaghetti in a white bowl on a blue place mat and garnished with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Start the Tomato Sauce

This is such a nice sauce and it’s so easy. The olive oil, onions and garlic give it a home-made taste without the long cooking time.

 

In this recipe we use fire roasted tomatoes, but we’ve made the sauce with regular canned tomatoes and it’s good too.

 

I’m just really in to the fire roasted thing right now. Plus those little pieces of charred tomato in the sauce are so pretty!

 

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them for approximately 3 minutes, until they’re translucent and start to soften, stirring frequently.

 

Next, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring almost constantly.

 

Then, add the chopped tomatoes, oregano and the crushed red pepper, if using. Stir the sauce to combine all of the ingredients.

 

Raise the heat to medium-high and carefully place the meatballs in the skillet. When the sauce begins to simmer, lower the heat to medium-low to low and cover.

 

Keep the sauce at a simmer, if it’s boiling too vigorously, lower the heat a bit. If it’s not quite simmering, raise the heat a touch.

 

Cook the sauce and the meatballs for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the sauce gently so that the meatballs don’t tear.

 

Taste the sauce and add salt, to taste, if needed. Don’t add salt to the sauce before it’s done. The canned tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and sausage all contain a good amount of salt already.

 

Plus, the tomatoes will concentrate with the cooking time, so extra salt may not be needed. As a reference, we didn’t add any salt at the end.

 

While the sauce cooks

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt and pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente, drain and keep warm.

 

Serve the sauce and meatballs on a bed of pasta and garnish with a little chopped parsley, extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, on the side.

 

A close up picture of Italian sausage meatballs in a red sauce, on a bed of spaghetti and garnished with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Pasta meals are easy, affordable and always a crowd pleaser! For more delicious pasta recipes, try one of these:

 

 

Italian Sausage Meatballs

These Italian sausage meatballs are cooked in a tomato sauce that’s made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, onions and olive oil. It’s really simple and very good!

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian sausage, meatballs
Servings: 4
Calories: 930kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian Sausage casing removed or use bulk sausage
  • ¼ cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese plus extra for serving
  • Canola Oil enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet with ½ inch of oil
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion finely diced
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 28 ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper optional
  • 1-2 tablespoons Salt for the pasta water
  • 12 ounce Package of your favorite pasta
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, egg and Parmesan cheese. Mix the ingredients together until they’re just combined.
  • Shape the sausage mixture into small balls that are roughly the size of a golf ball. You should get 12 meatballs.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the meatballs to the hot oil.
  • Fry the meatballs, turning them occasionally to brown on all sides; this should take approximately 5 minutes.
  • Place the meatballs on a plate lined with a paper towel. Keep the meatballs warm by loosely covering the plate with a piece of aluminum foil, and/or place the plate in the microwave or oven, they’ll stay warm away from drafts.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cook approximately 3 minutes, until they're translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano and crushed red pepper, if using, stir. Raise heat to medium-high and carefully add the meatballs to the pot, when the sauce begins to simmer, lower the heat to medium-low to low and cover.
  • Cook the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the meatballs gently so that they don't break apart. Keep the sauce at a simmer. If it’s not simmering, raise the heat a bit, if it’s boiling too vigorously, lower the heat a bit.
  • While the sauce cooks: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the salt and pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente, drain and keep warm.
  • Serve the sauce and meatballs on a bed of pasta and garnish with a little chopped parsley, extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, on the side.

Notes

Don’t worry that the meatballs are not cooked all the way through after frying. They will cook completely in the tomato sauce.
 
Don’t add salt to the sauce before it’s done because the canned tomatoes, Parmesan and sausage all contain salt, it may not be needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 930kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1203mg | Potassium: 1127mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 10.1% | Vitamin C: 27.9% | Calcium: 16.3% | Iron: 31.4%
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

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