Monday, May 10, 2021

Rao’s Meatballs

After discovering Rao’s Marinara Sauce during an RVing trip to Wisconsin a couple years ago, it has become our go-to as we like it better than any other store-bought version and as well as our best homemade. 

Somewhere along the line Bev came upon the recipe for Rao’s meatballs and they have also become our preferred version.  Even though we’ve made them a couple of times, I can’t find that I ever blogged about them until now.  Bev was making them to have when Kathy’s family visits in June plus to have some on hand so the recipe below is tripled the original.  Click on the link above for the original recipe and this pic of theirs.

Rao’s MeatballsAdapted from Food52

The recipe made about 90 meatballs around golf ball size.


3 pounds lean ground beef

1½ pounds ground veal (we used more ground beef)

1½ pound ground pork

6 large eggs

3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

4½ tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1½ small clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 tsp Kosher or sea salt, to taste

3 pinch Freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 cups fresh bread crumbs

2 tsp Italian seasoning (our addition)

6 cups lukewarm water (Bev used 3½ cups)

3 cup good quality olive oil, for cooking


1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add the eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. 

2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. 

3. Slowly add water, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is quite moist. 

4. Shape into 2 1/2 to 3-inch balls. (Bev made smaller)

 Heat oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. When the bottom half of the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook top half. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

5. Line sheet pans with foil and add the meatballs.  

6. Bake at 450F to an internal temp of about 140F.  

7. They did not crisp up on the outside as desired so after they cooled a little, I gave then a dunk in 370F deep fryer for less than a minute to get the outside I was looking for.

8. Line a sheet pan with paper towels and drain the meatballs as they come out of the oil.

The Verdict:

I love the flavor especially with our addition of my homemade Italian spices and the grated Romano is obviously in there.  The one thing I don’t like is that they flatten when baked to next time I’ll pan fry them or deep fry at a lower oil temperature so they can cook through.

We kept out enough for a meal then froze the others individually on sheet pans.

For Sunday supper with Wende and Eliza, we added the meatballs to Rao’s Marinara and topped some angel hair pasta for a delicious meal.  I didn't get any shots of our meal but here is Eliza enjoying our azaleas and her strawberry dessert.  Can you believe that blond curly hair.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


5/2/21 event dates


  1. She is so adorable and I just love that you used veal these must have through the roof delicious!

  2. The meatballs look & sound tasty. Eliza is ADORABLE!

  3. Larry, I love a good meatball...either with pasta or in a sub sandwich! Laurie likes them too but not in a sandwich... Love Eliza's matching shoes and glasses. Very cute! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. Darn you, now I'm craving Spaghetti and meatballs. We like Rao's also. Costco sells it at a good price.

  5. That little Eliza is about the cutest little girl I've ever seen.

  6. We love Rao's Marinara sauce and can buy it at Costco now too. It's my 'Go To' sauce. I've never made Rao's meatballs but now I am drooling to try them.

    1. Forgot to add that Eliza is so adorable with that curly hair!!

  7. I've often heard people raving about Rao’s Marinara Sauce but I've never tried it. The one thing I would add to the meatballs is onion but that is just a personal preference. Eliza is so cute and looks happy that she came for a visit...I know I would be with that bowl of strawberries.


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