Rating: 3 stars
50 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 12
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 12
  • 1 star values: 12

Fact: Every household needs its signature meatball, and this ricotta meatballs recipe will be passed down from generation to generation. Why? Three reasons: First, doubling down on the cheese with a combination creamy ricotta and salty pecorino allows these meatballs to walk the fine line between rich and intensely savory. Second, instead of a standard beef-pork mixture, you’ll upgrade to Italian parmacotta ham, essentially the lovechild of prosciutto and a deli-style cooked ham. Lastly, this meatball recipe gives you a hands-off alternative to standing over a hot stove cooking batch after batch of meatballs. Instead of searing, you’ll cook them off in the oven, ready for pasta with tomato sauce, sandwiching into cheesy subs, or freezing for future uses.


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

15 mins
35 mins
60 meatballs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Place bread in a bowl; add ⅓ cup water and press to help bread soften. Let stand for 5 minutes.

  • Place beef in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add ham, ricotta, pecorino Romano, onion, salt, oregano, fennel seeds, pepper, eggs, and bread mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix ingredients together in the center of the well, gradually incorporating beef, working from the center outward and mixing until just incorporated. (Do not overmix.)

  • Brush 2 baking sheets with oil. Shape beef mixture into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place 1 inch apart on sheets.

  • Bake until meatballs are golden on bottoms, about 10 minutes. Flip and continue baking until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more.

Chef's Notes

To freeze, let cool completely before storing in airtight containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.