Recipe: Lena’s Sicilian style meatballs





  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 5-10 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1lb ground pork or turkey

  • 1lb lean ground beef

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 slices bread, ripped into small pieces

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp black pepper



  1. Drizzle olive oil into a large, high rimmed sauté pan, skillet, or dutch oven and put the heat on medium

  2. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl with your bare hands

  3. Form into balls. I roll mine to be around 4” wide, but as long as you’re consistent in size, you can make smaller or larger meatballs

  4. Put meatballs into the pan. Sear on each side until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes each side 

  5. Add your favorite sauce (I add my chunky leek and tomato sauce) and simmer in the sauce for 1-3 hours, or until cooked to 165 degrees. If you want to eat these without sauce or don’t have any on hand, pop in the oven for 20 minutes until cooked to 165 degrees

  6. Serve over pasta, just in the sauce, or without sauce at all! Enjoy!


  • This feeds 2 people for at least 2-3 meals, so you can freeze any leftovers you have or store in the fridge for later. It’s a great recipe to make ahead and enjoy anytime.

  • A lot of people may be shocked seeing raisins in the ingredients… don’t be afraid! It’s a Sicilian style meatball. You won’t feel like you’re eating an oatmeal raisin cookie, they provide a mild sweetness and depth of flavor that compliments a spicy sauce perfectly.

  • If you don’t have panko breadcrumbs, feel free to substitute with regular or Italian seasoned breadcrumbs.

  • I wouldn’t suggest making the sauce and meatballs on the same day – that’s a lot of work! I always make these meatballs with my frozen sauce. I take a ziplock bag of the sauce out of the freezer and defrost it to room temp, then add it to the meatballs for simmering.

  • If the sauce is reducing too much during the simmering phase, add some water, mix in, and sprinkle your seasonings again to compensate (garlic and onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper)





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