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+ servings
Two meatballs sitting in Italian red sauce on top of cooked spaghetti in a white bowl.

Italian Braised Meatballs

These Classic Italian Braised Meatballs are full of flavor and infused with red wine for some extra zing. Braising is the key. This quick and simple recipe will give you amazingly tender meatballs and a beautifully full flavored Easy Italian Red Sauce in about an hour and a half.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12 Meatballs
Calories 268kcal
Author Diana Reis


  • Large Saucepan with 2-3 inch sides


  • 1 29 oz Cans ground or Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • ½ Cup Red Wine
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Yellow Onion Diced
  • 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoon Granulated Onion
  • 2 Tb Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Tsp. Sugar


  • 1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
  • ¼ lb Italian Sausage Spicy
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs Seasoned
  • ½ Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup Red Wine Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Onion
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, sausage, Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, red wine, and dry spices. Mix together thoroughly.
  • Heat a large saucepan on medium high.
  • Form the meat into 12 balls. Roll the meatballs between your palms until they are smooth and round.
  • Add olive oil to your saucepan.
  • Brown the meatballs on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Start making the sauce in the same pan using the drippings from the meatballs.
  • Add diced yellow onion to the pan. Cook until softened. Then add minced garlic.
  • Season with dry spices.
  • Add red wine and deglaze the pan using. Use a wooden or silicone spoon to scrape up all of the stuck on bits from frying.
  • Let the wine reduce by half.
  • Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, butter, and sugar to the pan.
  • Bring the sauce to a low simmer.
  • Place the browned meatballs into the sauce and let simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the meatballs. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Serve the meatballs in sauce over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.



You can use link sausage for this recipe. Simply remove the casings from 1-2 links. 
You can substitute a bouillon cube and a cup of water for chicken broth.
Wet your hands with some water to keep the meat from sticking to your palms while you roll the meatballs. 
When you buy dry spices, switch from powdered to granulated. Powdered products lack the intensity of granulated products and can clump. If you only have powdered, you can still make the recipe, but you may need more to get the full flavor.
Choose a higher fat 80/20 ground beef. The extra fat is going to help get a smooth texture and retain moisture.
Adding Seasoned Italian Sausage instead of plain ground pork is a cost conscious way to add unique Italian flavors like anise and rubbed sage to this recipe without adding clutter to your spice cabinet.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg