Baked Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

Baked Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

I think over the years I have made dozens of variations of meatballs. Different combinations of meat and different ingredient additions. I’ve tried frying them, baking them on a baking sheet, even dropping them raw into hot tomato sauce (I didn’t care for that one). All of my previous efforts have one thing in common. The darned meatballs fell apart. I hate that. Mainly because if I wanted little bits of meat in my tomato sauce, well I would have just made a meat sauce. And lets talk about the shape, because I have made my fair share of square and triangular-shaped meatballs. Is it too much to ask to have a round meatball?

I am pleased to say, that I have finally conquered the meatball. Beautifully browned, perfectly round and in one piece. And I get to cook in my cast-iron frying pan and we all know how much I love that ;)

I made huge meatballs today, since I knew I was going to photograph them and I didn’t want them to disappear in the sauce. You can make them any size you like though. If left to my own devices, I like them smaller, so there is more of that tasty, browned outside part.

Baked Ricotta Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

The sauce is a simple tomato sauce, that is started on the stove-top, but is added to the meatballs after they have cooked in the oven long enough to brown and cook off most of their fat. It’s nice to be able to spoon off the fat before adding the tomato sauce, so it doesn’t end up in the sauce. Once the sauce is added to the hot skillet, the whole thing cooks down beautifully into a rich tomato sauce, while the meatballs finish cooking, but stay nice and moist. And speaking of moist meatballs, these have a nice bit of ricotta cheese in them, so they are never dry.

A good seasoning with salt and pepper is important in this dish, so you’ll want to taste test often and make additions as necessary. The tomato sauce needs a healthy bit, as do the meatballs, to really bring out all the great flavours.

Serve these meatballs and sauce over your favourite pasta.



  • Jenn@slim-shoppin says:

    I have also made many varities of meatballs too, but never like this and I love the idea of baking them in the oven in my cast iron skillet – love that!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Jenn. I think anything cooked in a cast-iron skillet just tastes better (it may just be me, though :) These were delicious though. I know that for sure.

  • Andy says:

    Made these a bunch of times now – they are extremely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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