Classic Cheesy Italian Meatballs

These Classic Cheesy Italian Meatballs are the satisfying but healthy answer to your Italian food cravings. Deeply flavorful, thanks to three kinds of meat and a long, slow caramelization in the oven, these meatballs happen to be gluten-free and keto-friendly. Slowly simmered house marinara and a sprinkle of extra cheese on top turns this dish into a melty, flavor-packed dinner.

Yield: 18-20 meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 onions, diced, divided

Salt, to taste

4 garlic cloves, minced, divided

½ pound ground beef

½ pound ground veal

½ pound ground pork

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated Parmigiano, plus more for serving

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Pinch crushed red pepper

Black pepper, to taste

2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano diced tomatoes

1 cup grated whole milk mozzarella, for serving

Fresh basil, minced, for serving

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, add one onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not colored, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add two garlic cloves and cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, veal, pork, eggs, cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper, cooled onion mixture, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Use your hands to combine everything without overworking it.
  3. Shape the meat into meatballs on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, make the marinara sauce. Heat a saucepan with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add the remaining onion and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until very soft. Add the remaining 2 garlic cloves and cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes and another pinch of salt, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour, until the flavor is deep and robust. Taste and season with salt.

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