When my sisters and I were little kids, we were not big meat-eaters. After all, seafood is much more common on the dinner table in South Louisiana. But, if MawMaw hid the meat in some kind of sauce and seasoned it well, we dove in with gusto. We never complained about eating red meat when MawMaw made meatballs.

Today I’m going to share MawMaw‘s recipe for Italian meatballs – which we’ll use later to make a family favorite: spaghetti and meatballs.

Yield: 20-24 golf ball-sized meatballs


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 finely-chopped celery stalk
  • 1/4 finely-chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 finely-chopped bell pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

(You’ll save the rest of the seasoning vegetables to make the red gravy – or spaghetti sauce, as everyone not from New Orleans calls it.)

Dump all of the ingredients into a large bowl. (You can add one at a time, then mix, but I’m too lazy to do that.)

With your hands, fold and smush until the ingredients are mixed. Now you have one giant lump of meatball.

Break off a piece of meat about the size of a golf ball and roll into a ball.Meatballs (5)

Meatballs (6)

Over a medium heat, brown the meatballs. How easy is that?
The secret to good home-cooking is to get out there and do it!

→  Up next – MawMaw’s red gravy recipe for good ol’ spaghetti and meatballs.