Food-Processor Meatballs in Italian Tomato Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Your family will start raving as soon as they come in the door about the aroma that fills the air from these wonderful meatballs. A food processor speeds up preparation time and the oven does the browning. Serve over your favorite pasta with Tossed Green Salad with Italian Dressing.


Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood processor


Taste and Textureherby, meaty

Type of Dishpasta sauce, sauces


  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, torn up
  • 1 thick yellow onion slice, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 or 3 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • ½ pound pork sausage
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (16 ounces) plum (Roma) tomatoes, with juice, cut up
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. To make the meatballs, preheat oven to 400°F. Place bread in food processor and process until crumbs form. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl. Add onion and garlic to food processor and process until finely chopped. Add remaining meatball ingredients and pulse to blend. Transfer to the bowl holding the crumbs and mix well with your hands. Form into 1¼-inch meatballs (about 20) and place on a baking sheet. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 15 minutes.

  3. Add browned meatballs to sauce and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

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Made the meatballs, they came out perfect!


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