The Giant Meatball

About this dish

  • Serves: 2
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Method: oven

Used for meatballs, stuffed peppers, Thanksgiving stuffing


  •  1 lb ground meat (85% beef, or beef/pork, etc.)
  • 1/2 loaf Italian bread, cubed and dried (1/2″ cubes) – can use 1/4 load
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2 C grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 T parsely flakes (or equivalent fresh)
  • 1 T crushed garlic salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 C broth (any kind will do)
  • spray oil (olive, canola, etc.)
  • (optional) 8 oz mushrooms, diced small and sauteed in olive oil/garlic


  • baking sheet
  • (optional) small “scooper” (known as a baller, #24)


Saute mushrooms, all the garlic, salt and pepper. Don’t worry about “drying out” the mushrooms, just make sure they’re starting to get soft. Set aside and let cool.

Soak bread cubes in broth. Add meat and mushrooms and mix by hand to break up the meat and break down some of the cubes.

Beat eggs lightly and mix in. Mix in all other ingredients EXCEPT cheese.

Mix in cheese gently.

Test by cooking a small (tablespoon) portion in 1/2 tsp oil, flattening it out to ensure it cooks completely. Adjust salt, pepper, and garlic as needed.

For meatballs: Form portions as desired (e.g., using a scoop) and roll to round out. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet and spray lightly with oil. Bake at 375F until golden brown Freeze until needed; add to tomato sauce until center is warm.

For stuffed peppers: you will also need:

  • 3-4 large peppers (red/orange/yellow seem to work better)
  • 4-5 12oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 T garlic
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 C grated pecorino romano cheese

Split peppers in half vertically and trim core/stem/ribs. Lightly oil interiors and season with salt and pepper liberally oil a baking pan (2 T).

Pack pappers with meatball mixture (pack firmly but not compressed). Place peppers in baking pan “facing up” and lightly spray tops with oil and dust filling tops with cheese.

Bake at 375F for 1 hour.

Mix tomato sauce with remaining oil, garlic, pepper. At the one hour mark, pour mixture over filling to coat it and around the pan.

Bake at 350F another hour (can do 375, but be careful – baste and cover). If the sauce remains too runny or has “broken” (the oil has separated out), remove from the pan and reduce in a saucepan (add water if necessary) – this will reduce and emulsify the suace (you don’t need to remove the sauce if the pan is range-safe)

For Thanksgiving stuffing:

NOTE: typically cooked in a separate pan, not inside the turkey.

Liberally oil a baking pan and dust with some grating cheese.

Place the stuffing in the pan – again, firm but not compacted

Spray the top lightly with oil and dust with more grating cheese

Bake at 350F until internal temp reaches 130 (typ. 2 hours)