Italian Style Meatballs with Fresh Marjoram


Italian Style Meatballs with Fresh Marjoram are scrumptious and ever so tender. Packed full of flavor from the marjoram, some Parmesan and the other host of spices, you'll want to make this your go to meatball recipe.

Not sure if I've ever met anyone who does not like spaghetti and meatballs - ever. This dish seems to be a staple dish in most every household across America and in homes abroad. We all have that special handed down recipe from grandma to mom to us for the sauce or for the meatballs.

There's no denying I made my mother's recipe over and over and over throughout the years until I stumbled upon this recipe for Italian Meatballs with Fresh Marjoram from one of my many Williams-Sonoma cookbooks and it has been my very favorite meatball recipe ever since.  Also, I've discovered after having made these dozens and dozens of times over the years how to have them come out really tender and I'll give you my notes later on in this post.

Fresh marjoram has been described as having a delicate, almost floral smell to it and is often swapped out for the zestier, peppery and lemon fresh herb oregano. I simply adore the flavor this herb imparts in the dish. You can find Marjoram in the fresh herb section of your grocery store.

Another reason I love these meatballs is the combination of beef and pork and it's also that very combination of the two meats that I prefer using for stuffing bell peppers and making meatloaf. Also the creamy ricotta cheese with the salty Parmesan just intensified the overall taste of the meatball. I think you are going to love this rendition of Italian Style Meatballs with Fresh Marjoram.

Here is the meatball recipe:
  • 1 lb. ground pork and 1 lb. ground chuck beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 small sweet onion minced ( I use my food processor for this)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves - chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°
  2. In a food processor whiz the onion and garlic until they are minced.
  3. To a large bowl add the onion, garlic, eggs, Parmesan, ricotta, dried spices, salt and pepper and marjoram. Whisk together really well breaking down the egg and the ricotta and get everything fully incorporated.
  4. Take your beef and pork and pull off sections and add to the bowl. Mix well with your hand but do not over work the meat.
  5. Roll into the size meatball you desire or do 2 inch meatballs as I did and place them on a foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with a cooking spray.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes just until they are slightly browned.
  7. Or, if you prefer fry them in a skillet on top of the stove.
  8. Add the meatballs to your prepared sauce.
The Keys to Tender Meatballs

  1. Whisk together all the other ingredients first. This assures that when the pork and beef are added there is even distribution of ingredients.
  2. Then add the pork and beef.
  3. When combining with your hands don't overwork the meat.
  4. Don't overcook them in the oven or on the stovetop as they are finish cooking in the sauce. 

Serve with your favorite Italian or Cheesy Garlic Bread for a wonderful family meal.

I've updated the costs on the meatball to reflect 2021 costs versus when the original post appeared here in 2014.  Today's cost is .94¢ per meatball. This recipe makes about 24 meatballs.

I had to replace some cookware in my kitchen and the pot I made the sauce in was perfect for a family batch of spaghetti sauce and these Italian Style Meatballs with Fresh Marjoram. It is a Calphalon pan that is 12 inches and I know I can braise meats in it for short ribs and such when I get back into recipes for fall and winter. Love, love it. 


As always your comments and feedback
are welcome.


  1. I’m making them right now. They are in the oven the smell is wonderful. You’ll have to wait to find out how they taste.


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