Grandpop’s Meatballs


This recipe is not dairy free. It was published before Simply Whisked went dairy free, but I have chosen not to remove it as a reference for incoming traffic. Feel free to swap dairy free substitutes for the ingredients to make it dairy free.

I guess you could say I was spoiled when it came to food while I was growing up. My family on my mom’s side is pretty Italian and we always had amazing food. That’s probably why I tend to be a food snob when it comes to Italian food – especially in a Midwestern community where good Italian food is hard to come by. The hardest thing to find around here is a good meatball.

This particular meatball recipe has been passed down from my Grandfather, to my mother and now to me. It’s not much of a recipe since I was told, “just add the spices and stuff until it smells right.” So I did that, and I think I did my very best to make the meatballs “just like Grandpop does”. It’s pretty hard for me to get things exactly the same without measurements so I have practiced measuring out the ingredients for you (and me). And, now you can make Grandpop’s meatballs too. Trust me, they’re the best meatballs in the world.

Meatballs 2


To make traditional spaghetti and meatballs, just make a double batch of my Quick & Easy Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce. Then once the meatballs are done baking, drop them into the sauce and simmer it for as long as you have time. This infuses the sauce with the flavor of the meatballs. (Typically we add spare ribs too, but sometimes I have trouble finding them). The recipe does make a decent amount of meatballs, but if we have any left over we either make meatball sandwiches or freeze them. Same goes for the sauce because you will have enough to make at least two pounds of spaghetti.

Grandpop's Meatballs - ateaspoonofhappiness.com


Grandpop’s Meatballs

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 -16


  • 1 6-inch piece of crusty bread
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground round (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese (parmesan cheese can be substituted)
  • 3 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Soak bread in milk until completely soft.
  2. Drain any excess milk.
  3. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
  4. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together with a fork (or your hands).
  5. Once everything is combined, roll into 2 inch meatballs.
  6. Place on a parchement-lined baking sheet *affiliate link and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.


  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Reply
    September 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Yum this sounds amazing!!! I will have to give it a whirl!

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      September 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Yes you should try it! Let me know how it goes (and call me if you need help!). xo

  • Reply
    September 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Looks delicious—I’ve been searching for a great meatball recipe! Do you crumble the bread before soaking it in milk?

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      September 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      You don’t have to crumble the bread before putting it in the milk, but sometimes I break it up into pieces so more of it is exposed to the milk. As long as the bread is submerged in the bread, you’re good. I hope you like them!

  • Reply
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    September 6, 2013 at 6:54 am

    […] Spaghetti and Meatballs – cookingclassy.com Sweet and Spicy Meatballs – cookiemonstercooking.com BBQ Glazed Meatballs – thefithousewife.com Grandpop’s Meatballs – ateaspoonofhappiness.com […]

  • Reply
    Coty and Mariah
    September 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    These meatballs look amazing! Thanks for the recipe:)

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