These meatballs are the best in comfort foods

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

I  adore meatballs  — and who doesn’t?  I eat spaghetti and meatballs every single day of the week.  After years of experimenting, and although I never made a meatball I didn’t like, I  believe these meatballs are the best of the best in the Italian realm of comfort food. I think you will agree.


Meatballs with pork, hamburger and California style vegetables.

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic in oil
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 cups California-style vegetables
1/4 cup vegetable or beef broth
2 pounds hamburger
1/2 pound ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs, plus more if needed to hold together
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons celery or fennel seeds
1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add oil and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.

Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes; set aside. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, pulse vegetables and broth until the veggies are very small.

Transfer to a large bowl, and add hamburger, ground pork, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, celery seeds, salt and pepper, onion with cooking liquid and vegetables.

Mix well, adding more bread crumbs as needed to hold together. Form into desired sized meatballs and place onto an ungreased baking pan. Make sure your pan has sides that are at least an inch high. Bake until done and firm to the touch.

Makes about 30 meatballs.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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