These juicy deep fried meatballs are breaded in seasoned breadcrumbs then fried until golden brown and delicious!
This deep fried meatball recipe is just as easy to make as traditional meatballs, but since these are fried meatballs, rather than baked, they are ready to eat in mere minutes. Plus, you can enjoy them in all of the same ways you use classic meatballs, but with the added flavor and texture of a crispy crust!
What are they?
My deep fried meatballs are traditional Italian meatballs that I take a step further by breading them in seasoned breadcrumbs and frying in olive oil. Each meatball is loaded with fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings, making this a great meatball recipe to use even if you don't want to bread and fry them.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground beef
- Ground pork - Ground veal, venison, or lamb can also be substituted.
- Plain breadcrumbs
- Grated Parmesan cheese - Shredded Parmesan cheese can also be used, but grated Parmesan will disperse more evenly in the meatballs.
- Fresh parsley - I do not recommend substituting dried parsley.
- Fresh oregano - You can substitute dried oregano, but fresh oregano is my secret ingredient to making fresh tasting meatballs.
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves - Fresh garlic is strongly preferred, but dried garlic powder can be substituted.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Worcestershire sauce - In a pinch, soy sauce can be substituted.
- Large Eggs
- Italian style breadcrumbs - This is used as a flavored breading. Panko breadcrumb can also be added for an additional crunch.
- Table salt
- Olive oil - Olive oil is the best vegetable oil to use for this recipe, but canola oil is a worthy substitute.
How to make them
The first thing to do when making this deep fried meatballs recipe is to combine the ingredients for the meatballs. To do so, add the ground meat, grated Parmesan, herbs, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to a large bowl. In a separate bowl add the eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, then beat the egg mixture with a fork to combine. Pour the beaten egg mixture into the bowl with the meat mixture, then work everything together with clean hands to fully combine.
Form the meatballs using 1 ½ tablespoons of meatball mixture at a time (you want them a little smaller than a golf ball). The best way to do this is first wetting your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking, then roll the balls between the palms of your hands to form meatballs.
Prepare the meatball breading by combining the Italian style breadcrumbs and table salt in a small dish. Working in batches, place the raw meatballs in the breadcrumbs and coat evenly on all sides. Repeat until all of the meatballs are breaded.
Add enough olive oil to a large frying pan or saute pan to ensure it is an inch or two deep. Heat the oil to 350 degrees over medium or medium-high heat, then add meatballs in a single layer and fry for five minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Once the meatballs are done frying, remove them from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a wire rack to drain any excess oil.
Note: The frying oil temperature will drop when fresh meatballs are added, so return the oil to the proper frying temperature before adding more.
Tip: Although not required, your meatballs will cook faster if you let the meat come to room temperature prior to frying.
How to serve them
Your fried meatballs can be used in all of the same ways traditional meatballs are served, either as a main dish or an appetizer. Here are a few ideas:
- Party appetizer - Serve these breaded meatballs with toothpicks and hot marinara sauce, pasta sauce, or other flavored tomato sauce for dipping.
- Meatball subs
- Spaghetti and meatballs
Deep fried meatballs are best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It is best to enjoy them within five days. Reheating them in the microwave is easiest, but you can expect the crunchy coating to soften. Alternatively, you can slowly bring them back to temperature in a 350 degree oven instead.
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Deep Fried Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- olive oil (enough to fill pan one-two inches deep)
- Crumble the ground beef and pork in a large bowl and add dry dry ingredients - plain breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate small bowl, add wet ingredients - eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. Beat the mixture together with a fork until well blended, then pour the egg mixture into the large bowl with the meatball mixture.
- Combine the meatball mixture together with clean hands until everything is blended together well.
- Form the meatballs by rolling 1 ½ tablespoons of filling between the palms of your hands until they form round balls. It is best to wet your hands to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Prepare the meatball breading by combining the table salt with the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs in a small dish.
- Working in batches, add the raw meatballs to the breadcrumb mixture and roll the balls around to evenly coat.
- Add olive oil to a tall-sided skillet set over medium heat and bring the oil temperature to 350 degrees.
- Gently place the breaded meatballs in the frying oil and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the exterior has turned golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Place fried meatballs on a wire rack, or on paper towels, to drain and cool slightly, then serve.