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Homemade meatballs with Sunday gravy is a true labor of love. Meatballs are mixed with three meats and seasoned with flavorful aromatics which are then simmered in marinara for hours making them incredibly tender and flavorful.
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Meatballs with Sunday Gravy

Homemade meatballs with Sunday gravy is a true labor of love. Seasoned meatballs are simmered in marinara making them tender and flavorful.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: best italian meatballs, homemade meatballs with gravy, meatballs with Italian sausage
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 762kcal
Author: Samantha Ferraro
Cost: $15


Dutch Oven



  • 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1/4 red onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Small bunch of parsley leaves chopped
  • 2-3 Sprigs of fresh oregano leaves chopped
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 1/2-3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (can sub panko)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper

Sunday Gravy (Marinara Sauce with Meat)

  • 4 Italian sausage links
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 chunk Parmigiano Rind


  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguini
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated



  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and place over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature for a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the ground meats, egg, herbs, breadcrumbs, milk, salt and pepper and the onion mixture. Mix everything very well but don't over mix.
  • Form the mixture into into balls, about the size of your palm. You can line the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet before cooking.

Sunday Gravy (Marinara Sauce with Meat)

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and drizzle with the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add sausage links and sear on both sides until browned and set aside.
  • In batches, sear meatballs on all sides until browned and set aside. It's OK if they're not cooked all the way through, the meatballs will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • In the same pot with the drippings, sauté the chopped onion until caramelized. About 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs and sauté for another two minutes. Stir in tomato paste.
  • Add wine and de-glaze the bottom of pan, scraping off the bottom bits (this is all flavor) and allow to reduce slightly. Pour in crushed tomatoes and give everything a good stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the sausage and meatballs and any reserved juices back into the sauce along with the Parmigiano rind.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer and cove the pot halfway and cook sauce for at least 3 hours, giving the sauce a stir every so often.
  • When done, toss a few ladles of tomato sauce with cooked pasta and serve with meatballs and sausage. Garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmigiano.


Instead of using fresh herbs and aromatics for the meatballs, you can substitute: 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
Any combination of meat will work, such as combining sausage with beef or ground turkey with sausage. Meatballs are very versatile. 


Calories: 762kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 783mg | Potassium: 966mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 5mg