Italian Meatballs a la pizzaiola

Italian meatballs a la pizzaiola present a simple and delectable twist to the conventional meatball recipe. These tender and flavorful meatballs are infused with a delightful tomato and oregano sauce, generously topped with melted mozzarella—a burst of flavors that promises to captivate every palate.
What makes this recipe exceptional? Its versatility—whether crafted from scratch or used to breathe new life into leftover meatballs. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this recipe guarantees to leave a lasting impression with its authentic and gratifying flavors. Prepare to savor each bite of these Italian meatballs a la pizzaiola—an enticing dish that’s sure to win over even the most discerning eaters, including your kids!
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italian meatballs a la pizzaiola baked with tomato sauce and stringy mozzarella tasty recipe bu tastycorner

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  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Cooking time30 Minutes
  • Serving4 servings
  • Cooking methodStoveOven
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalityEvergreen

Ingredients for Italian meatballs a la pizzaiola

For the meatball mixture

2 cups minced beef meat (470 gr – 16,5 oz)
1 potato (small, approximately 150 gr – 5 oz)
1 egg (large)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 pinch salt
1 pinch nutmeg (grated)
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free breadcrumbs)

To season the pizzaiola meatballs

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 glass white wine
2 cups tomato puree (480 gr – 17 oz)
3.5 oz mozzarella (100 gr)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch oregano


1 Bowl
1 Garlic Press
1 Pan thick-bottomed non-stick, with its lid
1 Baking Dish

How to make Italian meatballs a la pizzaiola

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To whip up meatballs a la pizzaiola, kick things off by creating the meatball mixture. Feel free to lean into your preferred recipe—whether it features ground beef, veal, pork, or a blend; breadcrumbs soaked in milk, or a boiled potato. Here’s a version I find delightful:

Boil a small potato (approx. 150 gr), peel it, and mash it in a bowl using a fork. Add the ground meat, a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, nutmeg, grated lemon zest, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Peel a garlic clove, cut it in half, and remove the central core. Squeeze it with a garlic press, letting the pulp fall into the bowl with the meat. Mix thoroughly with your hands, then add the egg.

prepare the ground beef mixture for the Italian meatballs

Continue mixing with your hands to ensure the egg is well-combined with the meat, forming a homogeneous and firm mixture. Shape the mixture into medium sized meatballs and place them on a plate or cutting board as you form them.

give shape to the pizzaiola meatballs

Give the meatballs a quick coating in breadcrumbs. In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil well. Place the meatballs in the pan and let them brown over low heat for about 5 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking to ensure they brown on all sides.

brown the meatballs in a little boiling oil

Once they are golden, increase the heat and deglaze with white wine. Let it evaporate until you no longer detect the strong scent of alcohol.

deglaze the meatballs with a little white wine

Add the tomato puree, a pinch of salt, and some oregano. Cover the pan with a lid and let the meatballs simmer in the tomato sauce over low heat for about 15 minutes. When the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat.

cook the meatballs in the tomato and oregano sauce

While the meatballs cook, preheat the oven to 392 °F (200 °C) and cut the mozzarella into fairly thin slices. When the meatballs are ready, transfer them, along with the tomato sauce, to a large baking dish that can hold them in a single layer.

place the Italian meatballs a la pizzaiola in a baking dish together with the tomato sauce

Cover them with the mozzarella slices and bake for about 10 minutes, allowing the mozzarella to melt completely. Remove from the oven and garnish with another pinch of oregano. Serve the meatballs a la pizzaiola immediately.

v_ italian meatballs a la pizzaiola baked with tomato sauce and stringy mozzarella tasty recipe bu tastycorner

How to store

You can keep meatballs a la pizzaiola in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you want to prepare them in advance, it’s best to cook the meatballs in tomato sauce and, once cooled, store them in the refrigerator. Save the step of adding mozzarella and melting it in the oven for the last moment.

Tips and variations

In this recipe, I’ve tell you how to make meatballs a la pizzaiola from scratch. However, fundamentally, this dish is a recipe for utilizing leftover meatballs. In such cases, feel free to adjust the procedure to suit your needs. For instance, if you have leftover fried meatballs, simply prepare a separate tomato sauce and season them in a baking dish as per the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I make meatballs a la pizzaiola entirely in a pan?

Certainly! Instead of transferring them to a baking dish, once cooked, you can leave them in the pan with the sauce, cover them with mozzarella slices, and close the lid. Let them cook over very low heat for another couple of minutes until the mozzarella melts.

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