There’s nothing quite like homemade meatballs in mariana.  I put this dish together for a cooking class I did for some sweet middle girls last year ~it’s real cooking and real food.  You can change up the flavors in the meatballs and add other vegetables to the sauce.  One of the big things my students learned…making something from scratch is NOT hard and the flavors are just something you just can’t get from a can or jar.

I was inspired to share the recipes again because this morning I ran into a couple of those girls.  We exchanged hugs, smiles and a couple of secrets then I got an update on their cooking life.  “Yes, we are cooking at home and we love the meatballs!”  YES!  My day was made.

So, there you have it.  Like my girls I hope you’ll jump in, get your hands messy and make some food for your family, there’s just nothing like it….welcome home.


Homemade Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

There’s nothing quite like homemade meatballs in mariana.
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Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Author: Donya |



  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread
  • crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • cheese
  • 2 eggs - beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh
  • parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil - torn



  • Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. With "a cooks best tools" mix gently with your hands being careful not to over work.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, roll mixture into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown.
  • To serve, place meatballs in marinara sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.


  • Heat olive oil in large stock pot.
  • Add onion and cook on medium low heat until onions are translucent.
  • Add garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes being careful not to burn.
  • Add tomatoes and other ingredients - except basil.
  • Simmer on low for 15 minutes. This can be done while meatballs are cooking in oven.
  • When meatballs are done, add to the sauce. 
  • Right before serving, add fresh basil and serve with or without pasta and lots of grated Parmesan cheese!


Meatballs can be made a day ahead and stored in fridge. 

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