Traditional Italian Meatballs in Sauce  - The Lemon Bowl
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3.43 from 14 votes

Italian Meatballs with Sunday Gravy

Whether you grew up eating Sunday sauce or gravy, your family will love these traditional Italian meatballs in red sauce - the ultimate comfort food!
Course Entree, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword gravy, meatballs
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 424kcal
Author Liz Della Croce


Sunday Gravy (Red Sauce)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cups whole peeled tomatoes two 32-ounce cans
  • 4 cups tomato sauce low sodium
  • 2 pounds sliced mushrooms optional
  • 1 cup red wine optional
  • fresh basil and parsley to serve


  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground chuck or veal
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 eggs lightly whisked
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • cooked pasta of choice we use DeLallo whole wheat pasta


  • To make the sauce, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot and stir in diced onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and saute onions until translucent, stirring frequently, about 8-9 minutes.
  • Stir in whole peeled tomatoes and tomato sauce carefully breaking apart tomatoes with a wooden spoon. (Alternatively, I like to break them apart with scissors in the can before adding.) Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer while you begin working on the meatballs. (You can add red wine and mushrooms at this time if using.)
  • For the meatballs, start by pre-heating oven to 350 degrees and lining two or three baking sheets with foil.
  • Place all meatball ingredients (sirloin through pepper) in a large bowl and use your hands to mix together until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Using a cookie scoop, start forming mixture into meatballs and line into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake meatballs for 15 minutes then remove from oven and carefully add to the sauce simmering on the stove. Continue simmering sauce with the meatballs for 30 minutes or longer.
  • Serve over pasta of choice.


If you have a leftover parmigiano reggiano rind, add it to the sauce for flavor.
This recipe can easily be cut in half.


Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.1g | Protein: 30.2g | Fat: 24.3g | Saturated Fat: 8.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15.4g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 1764mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 8.7g