A meatball recipe can be incredibly personal to a cook. From the type of meat used to the amount of bread or breadcrumbs in the mix, the recipe will change with each person you talk to. And the variation will likely depend on the type of meatball that person ate growing up. Chef Magnus Nilsson likes to follow his grandmother's recipe by soaking breadcrumbs in milk and cream to create super tender meatballs. He uses equal pats ground beef and ground pork and serves the dish with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes. Use Food & Wine's guide to see what other delicious family meatball recipes you can dig up.

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Air Fryer Meatballs
Rating: Unrated 1
These air fryer meatballs get a touch of heat from Calabrian chiles, and herbal flavor from fresh basil and parsley. Soaking the breadcrumbs in milk before mixing them with the meat helps ensure a tender texture. When forming the meatballs, wet your hands first to prevent sticking. After about 10 minutes in the air fryer, they'll emerge deliciously browned and ready to pair with marinara sauce — we call for store-bought here, but feel free to make your own if you'd prefer. Want to make the meatballs ahead of time? They can be cooked earlier in the day, refrigerated, and reheated for two to three minutes in the air fryer before serving. You can also freeze the meatballs and then defrost and reheat them when ready to serve.
Venison Meatballs
Rating: Unrated 1
Venison is similar to lean, grass-fed beef with a finer texture. It's very low in fat, and because it is denser than beef, you can fill up on less. Cookbook author Hank Shaw likes to use ground venison for his British take on cocktail meatballs. He seasons them with warming spices and herbs and leavens them with ground oats—a Scottish twist that also makes them gluten-free. Because ground venison tends to be quite lean, Shaw includes the succulent fat from thick-cut bacon, which lends a pleasing richness and rounded flavor, and serves the meatballs in his version of the classic Cumberland sauce. You can find frozen venison in many Whole Foods markets and also independent butcher shops. Texas-based Broken Arrow Ranch and New Jersey–based D'Artagnan Foods sell venison online.
Beef-and-Fonio Meatballs with Sweet Potato Stew
Rating: Unrated 5
Cooked until fluffy and dry like couscous, fonio, a West African staple grain, keeps the meatballs tender while imparting a mildly nutty, earthy flavor. These meatballs are on the delicate side—let them chill before cooking, and sear them on all sides to help them hold together during the final simmer in the sauce.
We All Could Use a Freezer Filled With Meatballs
If you think meatballs are fussy to make, you probably haven't baked them.
Albóndigas with Mushrooms
Rating: Unrated 5
These Spanish-style meatballs are prepared with a quick béchamel, which makes them wonderfully moist and tender. They’re cooked in a deeply flavorful tomato-based sauce made with wine and brandy, then topped with crisp mushrooms. Slideshow: More Meatball Recipes 
Our 34 Best Meatball Recipes
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