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Slow Cooked Meatballs and Marinara

Fill your home with the smell of slow cooked meatballs in a rich marinara sauce. This crowd pleaser may take some time to make but it's worth the wait. If you like a rich marinara sauce and fluffier than clouds meatballs then read along for the detailed recipe.

Meatball marinara


For the meatballs:

1/2 pound ground beef (I use 80/20)

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup milk

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp parmesan

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

For the sauce:

2 shallots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, mashed

Olive oil

1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 cans Italian whole cherry tomatoes

Pinch of oregano

2 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp chili flakes

Parsley and parmesan for the end


  1. First add the milk to the breadcrumbs and leave it to soak for a minute. Then add all the ingredients for the meatballs and very gently mix everything together with your finger tips. It's important not to over work the mix.

  2. Form small 1-2 inch meatballs using your hands.

  3. In a large pot like a Dutch oven or a stainless one, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom and turn on medium/high heat.

  4. Once the oil is not enough (glistening but not smoking) add the meatballs gently. Don't overcrowd the pot, you can brown them in batches if necessary.

  5. Brown the meatballs on both sides (this will take a couple of minutes) then remove and set aside.

  6. In the same pot, add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

  7. Add the Worcestershire sauce and scrape the bottom of the pot.

  8. Now add the cans of whole tomatoes and all your spices and sugar. Mash the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

  9. Add the meatballs back in and lower the heat to low/medium. Cover the pot and let it gently simmer for an hour and a half.

  10. Once done, turn the heat off and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with spaghetti, and garnish with parmesan and parsley.


  • Use salt and pepper throughout the cook, as in, add some with your onions, then some to the sauce, and some in the meatballs. Layering your seasoning will give you a more balanced finished dish.

  • I use milk with my breadcrumbs to add moisture to my meatballs, you can also use water, or evaporated milk.


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