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ricotta meatballs

Italian Style Ricotta Meatballs

  • Author: chefjar
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


These baked Italian style ricotta meatballs are tender and big on flavour! Serve them with pasta of your choice, in a sub roll or as an appetizer. They are freezer friendly and easy to make.




  • 1 medium onion, quartered 
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700 grams) ground veal, 80 % lean
  • 6 ounces whole milk ricotta ( approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt or as needed
  • 2- 3 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil spray to brush the meatballs

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 ounces ( 1 litre) marinara sauce or tomato passata
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

For Serving

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • Pasta of your choice


Ricotta Meatballs

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F | 200°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Keep aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the breadcrumbs with milk and set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic cloves, parsley and onion to your food processor, pulse until finely minced, scraping down the sides if needed.
  • In a large bowl combine the mixture with the ground veal, egg, the soaked breadcrumbs, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, ground black pepper and salt. Gently mix just until combined. Don't over mix or it will be tough.
  • Form the mixture into 18-20 2.5-inch meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with olive oil or spray with cooking oil spray.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. You can broil them in the last 5 minutes. 

Tomato Sauce

  • While the meatballs are baking, let's make the sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and cook further for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Pour the tomato passata/ marinara into the skillet and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly during cooking. 
  • Add the meatballs to the skillet, cook for 5 minutes ( partially covered). Dollop the ricotta cheese on top, using a small cookie scoop. Allow it to heat through . 
  • Garnish with basil leaves or parsley.
  • Serve with pasta of your choice.
  • Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Beef recipes
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 401kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 791mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Cholesterol: 111mg

Keywords: ricotta meatballs, meatball recipe, beef meatballs, ground veal