Successfully Making Meatballs

Our last attempt out making meatballs didn’t work out too well. The meatballs stuck to the pan and started to fall apart. That is not to say that results weren’t tasty, but it ended up looking more like a meat sauce than meatballs.

Meatballs Cooking in a Pan

I used a similar recipe, it used panko breadcrumbs instead of bread, but this time I went with my well seasoned cast iron pan instead. I also chilled the meatballs for a bit in the fridge. I am not sure if these tricks helped, or if  I was just more careful, but this time the meatballs held together. The rosemary and lemon zest helped brighten up the dish. I doubled the recipe because I could only find ground beef and pork by the pound. Besides, who wouldn’t want having extra meatballs. The great thing about leftovers is that they freeze really well in sauce.



Rosemary Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins


  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought tomato sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, panko, egg, garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix just until combined (do not overmix). Using a level 1/4-cup measure for each, form mixture into 12 meatballs. Note: Use a 1/4-cup measure per meatball to ensure uniform size. For easy cleanup, place on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high. Add meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Tilt skillet away from you, and pour in tomato sauce. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve meatballs and sauce, garnished with more rosemary, if desired.

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