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black skillet with meatballs in marinara garnished with parsley
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5 from 3 votes

Meatballs in Marinara

Juicy ground BEEF or TURKEY meatballs with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs simmered in a rich tomato marinara sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: meatballs in marinara, meatballs, italian recipes, ground turkey, ground beef, turkey meatballs, easy italian recipes
Servings: 4



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat beef OR turkey
  • 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 small pinch crushed red pepper optional
  • 1 small onion diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine chianti, cabernet or merlot
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes canned
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley chopped


Turkey Meatballs:

  • To a medium bowl add the ground meat (beef OR turkey), parsley, onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Blend using your hands (don’t overmix) then scoop into golf ball size meatballs. Scooper recommended.
  • Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil into a large skillet (deep enough to hold the sauce as well) or pot over medium to medium-high heat,
  • When the oil is hot, add the meatballs in a single layer. Sear then then remove to a bowl and reserve. Working in batches, continue searing the meatballs adding the remaining tablespoon of oil as needed. The meatballs will not be cooked through at this point! 
  • You’ll be using the same pot to make the sauce so don’t wash it.

The Sauce:

  • Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet then drop in the grated garlic, a very small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and the diced onion.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste then cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until the onions are tender. Stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute then pour in the wine, stir to combine then simmer 3-4 minutes or until the wine reduces by about half.
  • Add the can of crushed tomatoes, dry Italian seasoning and chopped parsley. Lightly season with salt and pepper then transfer the seared meatballs to the sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.


Serving: 0g | Sodium: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Vitamin C: 0mg | Vitamin A: 0IU | Sugar: 0g | Fiber: 0g | Potassium: 0mg | Cholesterol: 0mg | Trans Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Fat: 0g | Protein: 0g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Iron: 0mg