{Easy One-Pan} Tricolore Italian Meatballs

Now, I already know that if you’ve given The Londoner’s Swedish meatball recipe a go… that you loved it.

C’mon, how could you not?! The Swedes know a thing or two when it comes to meatballs.

Infact, you could say they’re the best in the world.

But you’d get yourself into trouble with the Italians.

And mama mia! Do the Italians know their meatballs!

So in the interest of fairness, I couldn’t resist knocking up a little competition for the Swedes. My take on Italian meatballs, in Italy’s own colours… red, white and green.

Italian Meatball Recipe-1

Deeply delicious meatballs, swimming in a spicy, garlicky bath of tomato sauce, enrobed in molten mozzarella and peppered with herbs.

Italian Meatball Recipe-2

Add this one-pan-wonder to your recipe repertoire and you’ll be hooked faster than you can say “mama mia, thassa spicy meatball!”

Italian Meatball Recipe-3

For two people (for a generous meal) you’ll need:

20 meatballs (I use pre-rolled beef ones from the butcher, but feel free to branch out into pork, chicken, or even tofu if you like! Double brownie points for making your own.)

1 large clove of garlic – crushed

1-2tsp dried chillies

Half a glass of wine (whichever you’re drinking)

350g Passata (about half this size)

1tsp honey

Salt + pepper

1 ball of buffalo mozzarella

Heaped handful of grated mozzarella

Fresh or dried oregano + thyme

(Ideally you’ll also need a frying pan with a heatproof or removable handle. But we can work around it if you don’t have one.)

Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F. Heat a fryingpan on a medium-high flame. Toss your balls in, dry. Fry until browned on each side but not cooked through. Pour them out into a bowl, keeping the fat left behind in the pan.

Turn the heat down a little and add your garlic and chilli flakes.

Italian Meatball Recipe-4

Once starting to brown, add your wine.

Italian Meatball Recipe-5

Bubble away for a minute. Add your honey and stir through, before pouring in the passata.

Cook, stirring frequently for 3-4mins.

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper.

Gently place your balls into the bubbling sauce. (Maybe I’ll take a break from blogging to write strange, foodie erotic novels, what do you think?!)

Italian Meatball Recipe-6

Toss them around until they’re tomato coated and glossy.

(Now, if you don’t have a bakeable frying pan, transfer the whole lot to a baking dish and carry on with the steps below, once in the dish.)

Italian Meatball Recipe-7

Sprinkle with oregano.

Italian Meatball Recipe-8

Tear your buffalo mozzarella into chunks and place around and in-between the meatballs.

Italian Meatball Recipe-9

Italian Meatball Recipe-10

Cover the whole shebang with grated mozarella.

Italian Meatball Recipe-11

Sprinkle with a little more oregano and thyme, even a little chilli if you’re a hot head!

Italian Meatball Recipe-12

Italian Meatball Recipe-13

Bake on the top shelf for 10mins.

Pop a mat down and serve right from the oven.

Italian Meatball Recipe-14

Italian Meatball Recipe-15

Italian Meatball Recipe-16

Use plates if you like, but we like to dive right in and share!

Italian Meatball Recipe-17

Italian Meatball Recipe-18

Tuck in, enjoy the ribbons of cheese oozing all over the place. Spoon up the spicy sauce and wash down with a bottle of something decadent.

I didn’t have a bottle of Italian red to hand… so I guess I’ll just have to make these again.


Italian Meatball Recipe-19

Ps. Don’t forget to save any left overs for incredible baguette sandwiches. Take them to work, on a picnic, to school.

Just don’t be surprised if you cause a tidal wave of food envy amongst your lunch buddies!

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  • Molly

    mmmmmm looks delicious… I absolutely cannot wait to try! PS loved your birthday posts and hope it was as fantastic as it looked!


  • Jeannie C

    Nothing is greater than one pan recipes ! Another great one to add to my repertoire


  • NM

    nice! If you don’t drink alcohol what can you replace the wine with? thanks

    • It may not taste quite the same, but maybe try using a rich stock? It would give your sauce the same consistency and would add a nice flavour? Maybe worth a go?


      • NM

        thanks Katie, I’ll try that out 🙂

  • Malena

    Wow, this looks incredible! Definitely gonna try this ASAP.

    X Malena

    http://www.Fashioncontainer.comX Malena

  • Oh these look so good! I’ve never used wine and honey in my tomato sauce before, I shall be cooking this one up soon, it sounds delicious! x

  • Yum, these look amazing!! Meatballs are one of my favourite things. You’ve got my stomach grumbling this morning! xxx

  • Lizette Buitendag

    oh jummy. Now I know just what to make tonight!

  • Nicolene Van Der Merwe

    What a Beaut! Looks so oh so good! Hungry all the way from SA!
    x x Nicolene

  • Mama mia Rosie these look amazing!

    Lauren xx

  • Haha foodie erotic novels should definitely be your new way forwards! =p

    Anyway! Looks lovely and is making me very jealous of the fact that my lunch today is gunna be a boring sandwich from Pret!


  • Charlotte

    So much cheesy, meaty goodness. I imagine a baguette would also nicely mop up any sauce and save time on cleaning the pan. I can’t wait to try this x.

  • Oh so cheesey! Looks perfect for a mid week dinner.
    Red or white wine?
    Also this would be great for lunch next day in a sandwich.
    Fie x Coffee & Confetti

  • Delicious! I’d dig into this with a big hunk of bread!! The foodie erotic novels would be hilarious, I’d give them a read 😉
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  • Oh wow, this looks sooo good! So much cheesy, tomatoey goodness in one meal, yum!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  • I am so hungry now, this looks like a killer meal! x http://www.justsavxnnah.com

  • catherine ♡

    This looks amazing! Definitely one to try out for a cheat meal x


  • I was just discussing your blog with a random girl I met on the street lol. It’s amazing how influential your blog is, bringing people together. Good job Rosie!


  • oh my gosh these look amazing. I’m the worst cook in the world, but these actually look manageable and theres a possibility I might not even burn down the house. Tempted to give these a go tonight! Thanks

    Tash x


  • Looks so yummy! I need to whip some up very soon.

    Silly Medley: Lifestyle and Travel

  • I think I just inhaled all the calories, oh my goodness. That is just mozzarella perfection, I knew our bakeable frying pan was good for something….

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

  • Caroline Cooch

    My tummy is rumbling just looking at this and it’s not even lunch time yet!

  • Zoe

    Oh my gosh this looks incredible!!!


  • Emma and Emily

    This looks absolutely gorgeous! Might have to try this out this weekend 🙂

    Emily x

  • Chantelle

    Wow this looks ah-mazing!

  • Anita Muffins Fosen

    Wow, these looks amazing! x


  • YUM. Saving for Friday night supper yumminess!

  • *Speechless*…I’m guessing I’ll be ok in just halving the quantities, yes?

  • I wish I hadn’t read this so soon after lunch…I could lick my screen!


  • Cam Behan

    My god this looks amazing!!! want!!

  • Usually I’m not the biggest fan of meatballs, but that mozzarella topping has left me drooling!


  • Oh wow, this looks amazeballs ! 🙂

    NEED to try out this recipe

    Hayley x


  • Tim Poprdan

    How is it that I’m the only bloke here, amongst a plethora of devilishly good-looking females? :/ Gotta love the meatballs! I only ever make my own, so this will add a few minutes to the preparation, but in my book, that just infuses the dish with more love! Thinking of practicalities and the lone eater, I guess you could cook up the same amount and just be greedy, or, as you suggested, wrap the cold leftovers between the soft floury loveliness of a sub roll. Or, you could cook it up to the stage just before adding the cheese, put half into a container in the freezer and carry on with half the quantity of meat and tomato and cheese!! Simples!!

  • I bow down to you because hellooooooooo mozzerella!!! And I’d totally read an erotic food novel – count me in for that!

  • Those look great! I can’t wait to try your recipe!!

    – Daniella

  • Glow On

    this recipe looks amazing. I am seriously hungry after looking at all your gorg pictures.

    How To Boost Your Skin’s Collagen By Supplementing With Vitamin C

  • Ahh so decadent and so delicious – so cruel of you to induce cravings for this post-dinner! SophiaXx

  • these look fabulous I will definitely be trying them out. thanks for the inspiration
    Rosie x

  • Holy crap, this looks AMAZING!

    Petite Pomme

  • Looks absolutely delicious. We can both agree that Swedish/Italian meatballs both win over Australian. I haven’t had meatballs in over 6 months! Looking forward to trying this when I come home. Take care x


  • Lauren Alegre

    Thank you for making me lol with “Gently place your balls into the bubbling sauce.” Sounds painfully erotic. 😉

  • Thank heavens that was the end of the post – i was about one photo away from wanting to lick the screen x

  • Jessica

    Oooooh yes! This could even be something my fiance will make…I’ll ask nicely! Mmmh!


  • Emma Reilly

    These look amazing!! Can’t ever have enough mozzarella!

    Emma xx


  • Wow, that looks soooo good! I am totally going to make this.
    http://www.lacarmella.co.uk <3

  • This looks divine. Simply divine!

  • Hannah

    Rosie these look delicious! Dreaming of warm summer evenings. Fingers crossed for spring to finally be here!

    Would love if you could hop over to my blog… It’s grown into such a passion!


  • Oh man these look good! 🙂


  • looks amazing!! I’ll be using crumbled or grated tempeh as a vegetarian option for making my meatballs though, it tastes so similar you might not notice the difference! 🙂

  • Rosie is there a way to sign up for your mailing list without having a google email account?

    Check out my blog, its new! And these look incredible- WOW.

    Olivia The Amsterdammer

  • Eight Hours

    cannot seem to get enough of Italian recipes.
    Great for the tastebuds, bad for the waistline.


  • oh man now I am starrrrrrving!! These look too delicious with the melted cheese. I am literally drooling over my keyboard as we speak…

    http://www.shegoeswear.com – lifestyle blog for professional women


  • OMG! I need these right now! I can imagine dipping Ciabatta bread in the sauce when the meatballs are all gone 😉
    Xo Vicki

  • omggg my kinda food!

  • Yum!! I’ve made the Swedish meatballs often- it’s a favorite amongst my kiddos, but these look amazing too! I will have to give them a go this week!


  • Kari Guastella

    I love how loaded down with cheese they are!

  • Queenie Lee

    Looks amazing and so simple too! 😀


  • Where is your table cloth from?


  • Blinking heck, those shots of the meatball on a fork are all kinds of decadent! NEED this in my life.

    Louise | http://textpiesandvideotape.wordpress.com

  • Agustina

    I cooked this on wednsday night and they were amazing! Looking forward to cook more or your recipes soon



  • Wow! I know what’s on our menu tonight….


  • Lou

    Can I ask where your tablecloth is from please? <3

  • Blanche Dubois

    Nessun italiano userebbe così tanto formaggio. Nessun italiano mangerebbe un piatto simile. Le polpette sono già ricche di proprio quindi non è consigliabile aggiungere altro.