Irresistible Italian Meatballs in Minutes

This delicious minced pork recipe is quick and easy to make. It is a family favourite and a perfect recipe to have up your sleeve, as it is so versatile. Depending on the occasion or mood, the same recipe can be used to create different dishes.

Apart from the meatballs featured in this post, you can also adapt their shape and turn them into juicy burgers perfect for a summer b-b-q. Mini sized ones are always a hit with kids and teenagers. Or, if you are short on time, you can simply bake the mixture all together in a loaf tin and make a meatloaf, as my mother used to do.

As the main ingredient is meat I would recommend that you buy the best quality mince you can, as it will make all the difference to how good they taste.

Bay leaves

Wrapping a bay leaf around the meat balls is not essential but worth the extra effort as they add a mellow eucalyptus flavour which enhances their taste. They also help the meat retain their moisture.

Bay leaves are often added to dishes which contain meat, beans or pulses as the leaves release special compounds during cooking, which can assist the body’s digestion.

There is a belief that bay leaves should be removed after cooking as they can be poisonous. This is not true. However when cooked the leaves become unpleasantly stiff and may cause choking, if swallowed in large pieces. It is therefore advisable to remove them prior to eating.

Several years ago, I took a dish of these meatballs to a friend’s party. One of the guests loved them so much she insisted on also eating the leaves, despite me warning her not to. She shrugged and said she would die happy as they were so delicious. Thankfully she was alright!

Serving Suggestion

They taste great on their own or accompanied by a hot and spicy tomato sauce, such as the one described in my earlier post for Patatas Bravas.


Italian Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 500g minced pork
  • 40g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbspn breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely grated)
  • 1 tspn dijon mustard
  • 1 tspn oregano
  • 1 tbspn milk
  • 14 bay leaves


  1. Coat the bay leaves in oil and space out individually on a greased baking tray
  2. Add the ingredients to the meat and mix well together in a large bowl. The mixture should not be too wet, so add more breadcrumbs if required.
  3. Roll the meat into small balls and place each ball on top of each bay leaf on the baking tray. You can either wrap a fresh bay leaf around each meatball, using a toothpick to skewer it in place, or, if in a hurry, simply place the meatballs on the leaves prior to baking.
  4. Bake the balls in a preheated oven ( 200C/180Fan/Gas mark 6.) for around 20 minutes or until cooked.

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