Meatballs and gravy is the ultimate comfort food for the whole family to enjoy. Everyone will love these tender meatballs swimming in a thick and creamy gravy infused with fresh herbs.
What is it?
My homemade meatballs and gravy recipe is similar to the popular Swedish meatballs but just different enough to warrant a different name. Flavorful meatballs made with beef, pork, and a generous amount of parmesan cheese, are bathed in a creamy gravy dressed up with heavy cream and fresh thyme.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground beef - Ground chuck is perfect.
- Ground pork - You can also substitute ground veal or additional lean ground beef.
- Plain breadcrumbs - You can make meatballs without breadcrumbs by substituting oatmeal.
- Milk - Beef broth or beef stock is a good substitute.
- Large eggs - In a pinch, you can make meatballs without eggs.
- Parmesan cheese
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves - You can substitute ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- Ground sage
- Ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Beef broth - You can substitute chicken broth too.
- Soy sauce
- Fresh thyme sprig - Feel free to substitute fresh rosemary or sage. Otherwise, mushrooms are also a great addition to create a flavorful mushroom gravy.
- Heavy cream - Sour cream can be substituted.
How to make it
To make these easy meatballs, mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Use an ice cream scoop, or spoon, to grab a moderately heaping scoop of the meat mixture. You are aiming for balls between 1 - 2 tablespoons each.
Gently roll each meatball between the palms of your hand to form them into shape, then place them on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Tip: Keep a dish of cold water near you when making meatballs and occasionally dip your hand in it to keep it wet. This will prevent the meatball mixture from getting tacky and sticking to your hand.
How to make the gravy
As with most of my gravy recipes, this one also begins as a traditional brown gravy, which I then dress up with soy, Worcestershire, heavy cream, and fresh thyme.
Begin by making a roux in a saucepan, which is a mixture of butter and flour. It is important to cook the roux on low, or medium-low heat to ensure the flour doesn't scorch. You always need to ensure the roux is heated long enough to cook out the raw flour taste.
At this point, the liquid can be added to the roux to create this rich gravy. Dribble smaller amounts of beef broth in at a time, while stirring, to ensure it fully incorporates. I add the fresh thyme as soon after half of the gravy has been added, to give it added time to impart its flavor. The heavy cream can be added right after the beef broth, then let everything gently simmer until it thickens.
Tip: If your gravy is too thin, let it simmer long. If it is too thick, add a couple of dribbles of water into it to thin it back out.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Leftover meatballs and gravy should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days. If the gravy thickens at it sits, you can thin it out with a small amount of water. This meal can be easily reheated in the microwave. Otherwise, if serving a crowd, everything can be kept warm in a slow cooker.
Can you do me a favor? If you enjoyed my post would you mind sharing it with your friends? You can see more of my recipes by liking me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. Otherwise, stay up to date by getting each new post sent directly to your inbox by subscribing today.
Meatballs and Gravy
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ⅓ cup grated onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Create the meatballs by first gently crumbling the beef and pork into a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of the meatball mixture at a time and form into balls. Place each meatball on a rimmed baking sheet, ensuring there is space around each one to allow for even cooking.
- Place meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they reach 160 degrees on the interior.
- Prepare the gravy while the meatballs bake. Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat.
- Once butter is melted sprinkle in the flour to form a roux and mix with a whisk for 3 minutes.
- Slowly add beef broth, a few dribbles at a time, while still stirring. Ensure the liquid is fully incoporated, and repeat until all beef broth has been added. Add fresh thyme sprig, soy, and worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Finally, stir in heavy cream as well.
- Gravy will be thin inititially, let it simmer for approximately three minutes, or until it thickens.
- Place cooked meatballs in a large serving bowl and pour gravy over the top.
This recipe was originally published on May 7, 2020.