If you are looking for a super easy Italian Skillet Meatballs in Marinara recipe, then this recipe is for you.
My favorite thing about these meatballs is how insanely delicious they are. My family totally loves them and when I cook them for dinner there is almost always nothing left in the bowl.
It has become my family’s weeknight dinner favorite. Wherever we go camping they are all sure to have these delicious skillet meatballs in special marinara sauce.
Why use this recipe?
Easy to make: These meatballs have only four ingredients and they are super easy to make since the ingredients come together in just a few minutes.
You have the option of using a jar of marinara sauce that you can buy at the store because it would cost you the same as making your own but I prefer making my own since that way I have more control over the flavor of the sauce.
Jarred marinara would, however, save you a lot of time.
I highly recommend serving these meatballs with pasta since it blends well with the sauce but you can also serve them with rice and they will still taste just as good.
It takes a short time to make: Oh yes, this meal requires less than half an hour especially if you had prepared the meatballs and marinara sauce beforehand. Make small-sized meatballs so they can cook faster at the center and absorb all the rich flavor from the marinara sauce.
It is nutritious and filling: Meatballs are packed with eggs, Italian sausage breadcrumbs, onions, and herbs. They are loaded with proteins and just the right amount of carbohydrates.
Is This Meal KETO Friendly?
You can make this recipe Keto-friendly by using alternatives to traditional bread or breadcrumbs when making your meatballs.
One of the great ways to do this is by using ground-up pork to bind the meat.
The pork eliminates the carbohydrates component and adds some additional fat, making it a tasty Keto dish.
How To Make Skillet Meatballs And Marinara
Making this delightful dish takes a short time. For a long time, this is my go-to recipe on a busy weeknight.
Making meatballs is a very easy exercise that involves the children and having a little fun in the kitchen. You can make the meatballs ahead of time and keep them in the freezer.
To make the meatballs, squeeze the Italian sausage into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, seasoning, chopped onion, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the Italian sausage.
Make small-sized balls, about 25g each. Chill the meatballs for 20 minutes. Coat meatballs with flour.
Add some olive oil to a hot skillet and brown the meatballs as you keep turning them over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set aside and prepare the marinara sauce.
How To Make The Marinara
Making the marinara sauce does not require any special skills. Chop the onion, and mince the garlic and herbs.
Fry the onions till translucent, add the garlic, and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar, and seasoning.
Cook for 20 minutes and set aside. (The longer this sauce cooks, the more delicious it tastes. Always prepare it ahead of time, trust me, this is a valuable tip).
Pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs in the skillet and let them cook for 30 minutes over low-medium heat. Serve hot over a bed of pasta or with vegetable salad.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Italian sausage is made of ground pork, it stands out in taste because it contains fennel and garlic. Fennel gives Italian sausage a uniquely sweet woody flavor.
Breadcrumbs act as filler materials in the meatballs. Breadcrumbs add good amounts of carbohydrates to the dish. You can substitute with blended oats that are gluten-free.
Eggs hold the meatball ingredients together, they contribute to the overall texture by reducing the denseness of the sausage.
Onions possess a strong pungent flavor. This balances beautifully with the meaty flavor of the Italian sausage.
Hmmm..fresh herbs is a little tweak I do to elevate the level of deliciousness of the meatballs. It's optional to add fresh herbs but if you have a bunch of coriander, it will bring a notable change in the flavor of the meatballs.
Crushed tomatoes are the major ingredient in the marinara sauce. Sun-ripened tomatoes make the sweetest sauce. Living on a farm is great, we always have more tomatoes than we need! However, if you can get them fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes will still work well.
Brown sugar adds a depth of sweetness to the sauce. This sweetness reduces the acidity in the tomatoes. I love my sauce sweetened. Brown sugar can be substituted with honey or jaggery.
The strong garlic flavors blend well with tomato and onion flavors.
Onions have a strong pungent taste, making the marinara very tasty.
Olive oil is great with anything tomato and meat. It has a fruity and distinct flavor. Butter is an alternative to olive oil.
Oregano is a strongly aromatic herb, fragrant with a slightly bitter flavor. It pairs perfectly with dishes cooked with olive oil.
Hot and spicy! The meatballs are not complete without pepper. That hotness is required in the skillet meatballs. You adjust the amount to your level of tolerance.
Make small-sized balls, about 25g each, and chill for 20 minutes.
Coat meatballs with flour. Add some olive oil to a hot skillet.
Brown the meatballs over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add the meatballs to the marinara sauce & simmer for 15 minutes.
FAQ Skillet meatballs and Marinara recipe
How can I keep my meatballs from getting very tender after cooking in sauce?
If you are making meatballs with Italian sausage, turkey, or chicken the meatballs will take 45 minutes to be ready. Beef meatballs take slightly longer to cook.
If you let Italian sausage meatballs take longer than 45 minutes they will be unpleasantly tender and even break apart.
How do I check for the readiness of the meatballs in sauce?
After 45 minutes of simmering in the marinara sauce while covered, the meatballs will be ready.
However, if you insert a stick thermometer at the center of one meatball, it should read 165 F. Do not worry if you do not have that little gadget at hand. The time prescribed in the recipe is enough to cook the meatballs.
To keep the meatballs from falling apart in the sauce:
- Roll the meatballs in flour before frying. The flour forms a coat that will trap the moisture within the meatballs and somehow regulates the amount of sauce getting into the meatball. This keeps the meatballs from falling apart in the sauce.
- Chill the meatballs before you fry them. This step makes the meatballs hold their shape.
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Italian Skillet Meatballs And Marinara Recipe
- Heavy based Skillet
- Chopping Board
- Wooden spoon
- 1 cup Bread crumbs
- 1 large Egg
- 1 lb. Mild Italian sausage
- ½ piece Diced yellow onion
- Freshly cracked pepper
- ½ tablespoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Brown sugar
- ½ piece Finely diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves Minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dried oregano
- 28 Oz. Crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon Dried basil
- 1 cup Chopped mushrooms (Optional)
- 12 Oz. pasta Of any shape
- For the meatballs, squeeze the Italian sausageout of its casing and into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, and the ½finely diced onion.
- Mix the ingredients using your hands until they are fully combined. Form the mixture into approximately 24 balls the size of ping pong balls. Chill the meatballs for 20 minutes, and coat them with flour before frying them.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium flame and tilt the skillet to coat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes until the meatballs brown on the outside on each side.
- Do this in two batches if your skillet is not large enough. Once browned, set the meatballs aside on a clean plate.
- In the same skillet, add the second half of the diced onion and the two cloves of minced garlic.
- Sauté the onions and garlic in the leftover oil until soft and transparent. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, tomato paste, basil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
- Stir and simmer for a few minutes until the paste mixes into the crushed tomatoes.
- Add the meatballs you set aside back into the skillet and stir gently to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
- Cover the skillet with a lid and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for 15 minutes.
- Cook the pasta as the meatballs simmer and drain it. Serve while hot, with each bowl with pasta, some meatballs, and a scoop of sauce.