How to Cook Meatballs on the Stove?

Achieving the ideal level of exterior brownness while making sure the meatballs are thoroughly cooked is the toughest problem when making meatballs. Fortunately, a cast iron pan works great for browning meatballs since you can heat it nicely to do the browning and then transfer it straight to the oven to continue cooking. You don’t want to omit this step since browning the meatballs gives a beautiful, nuanced taste that is very noticeable.

How to Cook Meatballs on the Stove

When making spaghetti and meatballs, the sauce can simmer while the meatballs are baking. Once the meatballs are added, the sauce can continue to simmer while the meatballs are cooking so that the sauce can absorb the flavors of the meat. Direct boiling of the sauce in the cast iron skillet is one thing we do not advise. This is because iron and tomato sauce can react chemically, giving the sauce a metallic taste.

What are Meatballs?

A meatball is just ground meat shaped into a ball; occasionally, additional components including egg yolks, butter, eggs, bread crumbs, and chopped onion salt are used. Cooking methods for meatballs include frying, baking, steaming, or braising in sauce.

There are numerous varieties of meatballs made with various portions of meat and seasonings. The phrase is occasionally used to describe vegetarian or fish-based dishes; the latter are frequently referred to as “fish balls.”

How to Cook Meatballs on the Stove?

Perfect spheres have a very small surface area to contact the pan. Therefore they will be more difficult to brown if you create them completely round. Meatballs will brown more fully if you form them slightly oblong and barely flatten them. Although not as much, you will still need to roll the mushrooms with a pair of tongs.


  • Two slices of ordinary white bread or one large slice of sourdough bread with the crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • Divided into half a cup and half a teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • One medium onion, finely chopped
  • One minced garlic clove
  • Ground beef weighing half a pound
  • 1/4 pound of ground pork
  • 1/4 pound of ground veal
  • One big egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Two teaspoons chopped finely fresh parsley
  • One teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


  • Assemble the components. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bread should be cut into cubes and placed in a bowl with milk. It should be mashed up to a thick paste.
  • Heat a big Dutch oven over medium heat with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Once the onions are transparent, add the garlic and continue to sauté. Take them off the stove and place them somewhere else to cool.
  • Combine the ground meat, egg, cheese, and parsley in a bowl.
  • Once all the ingredients are well combined, add the bread mixture and the onion-garlic mixture. We’ve discovered that using our hands works best for this.
  • Create meatballs using the ingredients that are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Avoid cramming them too tightly. Making them slightly more oval-shaped rather than precisely spherical will make browning them simpler.
  • Your Dutch oven should have about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil heated. The amount of oil in the pan should be about 1/4 inch.
  • Add the meatballs to the hot oil when it is ready, then prepare them for roughly ten minutes while turning them with a pair of tongs to ensure equal browning.
  • The meatballs are removed, the excess oil is drained onto paper towels, and they are then placed in a dish suitable for the oven or the Dutch oven that has been thoroughly cleaned.
  • The meatballs should be cooked through after a further 10 minutes of baking.

The beef provides the meatballs’ robust taste and consistent texture, while the pork adds moisture and saltiness. Onions, water, eggs, salt, pepper, allspice, potato starch, and onions come next; the latter is the so-called “secret” components.

Can You Cook Raw Meatballs in the Sauce itself?

Yes, you can simmer raw meatballs in sauce.

To make Italian-style meatballs cooked in tomato sauce, you should brown the raw meatballs in a sauté pan for the best results. The meatballs can be cooked in the sauce raw, but the crunch from browning them first gives them a MUCH better texture.

Because the meatballs were cooked immediately in the simmering sauce, they remained incredibly tender even after being consumed. But other people want their meatballs to have a darker exterior color, so browning them in the oven or a pan before putting them in the sauce offers them that.

You can brown your meatballs before incorporating them into the sauce the next time you cook them. They would only need to simmer in the sauce for a short time. The results are amazing when adding raw meatballs to the sauce in the slow cooker.

The meatballs can be made through gradual simmering using the slow cooking technique. This yields extremely tender results and gives the sauce a beefy taste. However, the fatty sauce and flavorless meatballs alarm this strategy’s detractors.

It is crucial to remember that your meatballs can crumble when you put them straight into the sauce, but there are some actions you can take to avoid that. You can add breadcrumbs or flour for delicious meatballs, but egg and parmesan cheese shavings also act as a binder. To aid in the meatballs’ ability to retain their shape, keep the meat as cold as possible.

As a result, they don’t lose as much fat before being cooked in the sauce, which helps with their development. After shaping the meat, you have two options: cook the meatballs while the sauce is simmering on the stove, or put the raw meatballs in the refrigerator while you complete the sauce.

When Simmering in Sauce, Should Meatballs be Covered?

Indeed, you can. On a burner, you can place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and cover them to cook them.

Your meatballs can be cooked for 10 minutes at medium-low heat, covered while being intermittently stirred after then, and you can choose to take off the lid and continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the food is done.

Covering the pot allows you to maintain the heat while bringing your homemade marinara sauce to a simmer or a boil.

Although some people prefer to simmer their meatballs in the sauce without a top, doing so causes water to evaporate. You might have to omit the lid if you want the sauce to thicken. The lid must be taken off the pot once it reaches the boiling point to prevent it from boiling over. The lid, however, will stop spills from spreading across your range.

It’s not difficult to make homemade tomato sauce for mouthwatering meatballs. Your olive oil should be heated to a medium-high temperature in a large pot or skillet while you sauté the onions. Adjust the heat to medium-low and season to taste with Italian seasoning. After adding your red sauce, could you bring it to a boil?

The ideal method for adding the meatballs to the softest crushed tomato sauce is to let it boil for a few minutes beforehand. Next, add the raw meatballs to the stew and simmer them one at a time. It will go a long way to guarantee that the red sauce almost entirely covers them if you divide them up nicely in the pan.

How Long Should Meatballs Simmer in a Sauce?

It will generally take 30 minutes to make a batch of meatballs, including the time it takes to combine the ingredients and give them the shape and size you choose. Pour the sauce on top and bake the meatballs at 375 degrees if you want to sear the outside. For that, you’d need roughly 20 minutes.

Beef (or turkey meatballs for less fat), breadcrumbs, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper should all be combined in a big basin.

  • They should all be the same size when you form them into round 24 handmade meatballs.
  • Add the oil and stir the pan to distribute it over medium heat evenly. Batch-cook the Italian meatballs.
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan and cook until all sides are browned.
  • Remove any extra grease.

Then, add the marinara sauce on top of the meatballs in the skillet. For 20 minutes, simmer with a cover on.

Can the Meatballs be Frozen?

Yes! Both before and after cooking, I use frozen meatballs.

Meatballs can be mixed and portioned onto a sheet tray covered with parchment paper to freeze raw. Make sure the meatballs are not touching. When completely frozen, cover using plastic wrap, then put the food in the freezer. (a few hours).

Place the meatballs you removed from the sheet tray into an airtight container. Remove the number of meatballs you intend to use and let them defrost overnight in the refrigerator before you start cooking—Cook following the recipe.

In a microwave, reheat the meatballs and sauce. or over medium heat in a pan. After they have cooled for about 20 minutes, prepared meatballs can be frozen in portions that can be eaten with sauce. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before eating.

Is Cooking Meatballs on the Stovetop or in the Oven Better?

Depending on your preferences, this. The meatballs cook more evenly and quickly on the stove since I can better regulate the temperature there. I also prefer the stovetop approach, which requires one pot. Additionally, the stovetop approach provides more flavor and browning than the oven.

However, you can prepare more meatballs in the oven and simmer them on the stovetop after tossing them in the sauce.

How are Meatballs Reheated?

To prevent the meatballs from drying out, reheat them in the sauce. Heat them in the microwave until well heated. Another choice is to reheat them in a medium saucepan over the fire. To prevent drying them out, cook on medium-low until well heated.

Reheat the meatballs in the oven at 300°F if you won’t be serving them with sauce or gravy. To prevent drying, arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Cover with foil and heat until thoroughly heated.

Can Raw Meatballs be Cooked in the Sauce itself?

It is acceptable to add uncooked meatballs to the sauce as long as it is kept at a boil until it is cooked through, even when the meatballs aren’t browned beforehand. Preparing the meatballs in this manner continues to be extremely tender after being cooked.


Heat oil in a skillet, add our meatballs and fry them. After browning the meatballs, we add them to the sauce and let them boil. We turn them over to the other side after letting them cook for a few minutes till browned. This procedure is repeated until the meatballs are evenly browned.