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Ricotta Meatballs | The Recipe Critic

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Level up your meatball game with the addition of ricotta cheese! These ricotta meatballs have the creamiest texture and turn out extra tender and juicy. The flavors are incredible and your family will beg you to make these every week!

If delicious meatballs are your thing then you’ve come to the right place! I love meatballs so of course I have some delicious recipes for you to try. Make these amazing Swedish meatballs, my baked turkey meatballs, and also these quick and easy air fryer meatballs!

Top view of ricotta meatballs and marinara sauce in a black skillet. A wooden spoon is lifting up a meatball.

What Are Ricotta Meatballs?

These homemade ricotta meatballs start with a traditional meatball recipe. Then a surprise ingredient steals the show. Adding ricotta to your meatballs will blow your mind! It adds creaminess and moisture that results in a tender and juicy meatball. You’ll also love the salty ricotta that enhances the meatball flavor.

Use these ricotta meatballs to make meatball subs. Simply fill a hoagie roll with provolone cheese, these ricotta meatballs, and marinara. Sandwiches are so easy to make, and I have a few favorites you have to try the next time you need to feed a crowd. My Cuban sandwich recipe is so easy, my slow cooker French dip sandwich is a great make-ahead option, and my meatloaf sandwich is out of this world!

Ingredients For Ricotta Meatballs

With how simple the ingredients are for these amazing meatballs, you’re definitely going to want them in your weekly dinner rotation! Their juicy, savory flavor will most definitely have you hooked. If you’re looking for ingredients, they can all be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Lean Ground Beef: Just one pound here.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Use full-fat ricotta for the best flavor and results!
  • Eggs: Eggs help add structure and bind the meatball mixture.
  • Breadcrumbs: Give the texture and structure of the meatballs.
  • Onion: Finely minced onion.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic always.
  • Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs brighten the flavors. I use fresh parsley and basil in this recipe.
  • Italian Seasoning: Add delicious flavor using Italian seasonings.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.
  • Olive Oil: To cook and brown the meatballs.
  • Homemade Marinara: Use jarred marinara or try my homemade recipe because it is fantastic!

Ricotta Meatball Recipe

It’s so easy! You’ll be able to whip up a batch of these in no time at all! If your family is anything like mine, then you may want to make a double batch. Homemade ricotta meatballs always fly off the table!

  1. Combine the Beef, Ricotta Cheese, and Eggs: To a large bowl, add the ground beef, ricotta cheese, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
  2. Mix the Breadcrumbs, Onion, Garlic, Herbs, and Seasonings: In a separate small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add Breadcrumb Mixture to Meat Mixture: Add the breadcrumb mixture to the meat mixture and mix until everything is incorporated. Roll all the meatball mixture into about 1 ½ – 2 inch balls
  4. Brown the Meatballs: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until all the meatballs are evenly browned on all sides.
  5. Pour in the Marinara Sauce and Simmer: Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and cook the meatballs in the sauce for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve: Once the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Serve the sauce and meatballs over spaghetti, in sandwiches, with vegetables, or any way you prefer to enjoy meatballs.
First photo of meat, ricotta, and eggs in a bowl. Second photo meat mixture combined. Third photo of the breadcrumb mixture combined. Fourth photo of meat and breadcrumb mixture combined. Fifth photo of meatballs browning in a skillet. Sixth photo of meatballs in a skillet with marinara sauce.

Quick Tips and Cooking Options

Here’s an extra tip to help you craft the best homemade ricotta meatballs of all time! Your family won’t be able to get enough. Follow my instructions for cooking these meatballs in the slow cooker or instant pot to make dinner even easier.

  • Mix Gently: When shaping your meatballs, if you pack them too tightly, they may turn out dense and rubbery once cooked. You don’t want to overwork them! I always like to use my hands to mix and shape my meatballs, this way I know exactly how much pressure I’m applying. A gentle hand is the secret to melt-in-your-mouth meatballs!
  • Slow Cooker: You can make these meatballs in a slow cooker as well. After browning the meatballs on the skillet add them to the slow cooker. Pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs. Cook the meatballs on high for 2-3 hours or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Instant Pot: Brown your assembled meatballs right in the instant pot. Set it to saute, add the oil, and brown away. Add the marinara, seal the instant pot, and select the manual option. Set the cooking time for 15 minutes and you have perfect ricotta meatballs.

Top view of ricotta meatballs on a bed of spaghetti noodles in a black bowl.

How Long Do Homemade Meatballs Last?

These ricotta meatballs stay juicy and moist and are perfect for leftovers. Enjoy them for lunch or dinner throughout the week. Follow my instructions below for storing and also reheating leftovers.

  • In the Refrigerator: In an airtight container, your homemade meatballs will last for up to 3 days.
  • In the Freezer: Store in a freezer bag or airtight container for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  • To Reheating: Reheat these meatballs in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. Add more marinara if needed. You can also reheat these meatballs in the microwave until warmed through.

Close view of a fork cutting into a meatball with marinara and noodles.

More Incredible Italian Recipes

We LOVE Italian food at our house! I have so many delicious recipes that you will definitely want to make for your family. Italian food is comforting and easy and makes everyone happy. And these recipes are guaranteed to do just that!

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  • To a large bowl, add the ground beef, ricotta cheese, and eggs. Mix until well combined.

  • In a separate small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

  • Add the breadcrumb mixture to the meat mixture and mix until everything is incorporated. Roll all the meatball mixture into about 1 ½ – 2 inch balls

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until all the meatballs are evenly browned on all sides.

  • Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and cook the meatballs in the sauce for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Once the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, remove the skillet from heat. Serve the sauce and meatballs over spaghetti, in sandwiches, with vegetables, or any way you prefer to enjoy meatballs.

You can make these meatballs in a slow cooker as well. After browning the meatballs on the skillet add them and the marinara sauce to a slow cooker and set it to high, cover and allow the meatballs to cook for 2 ½ – 3 hours or until the meatballs are cooked through.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
 

Calories: 84kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 7gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 213IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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