The Best Spicy Italian Meatball Recipes: With Sausage

When it comes to spicy foods, I’m a fan. So when I perfected this spicy Italian meatballs recipe, I knew I had to share it somewhere. It’s delicious, and will make for the perfect meal for meatball lovers everywhere.

I’ve always been a fan of spicy foods.

Not necessarily the level of spice that will absolutely melt my mouth, but definitely more than a little bit of a kick.

Some heat is never a bad thing, and it always ends up bringing out the best flavors.

That’s why when I perfected this spicy Italian meatballs recipe, I knew it would be a hit.

Even my friends who don’t love extra spice love this one.

What Makes Them So Good?

Italian Sausage

Instead of the usual suspects, AKA red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper, this meatball recipe is made with spicy Italian sausages.

Of course, you can always add external spice if you’d like.

But instead of using ground pork, this recipe uses a combination of ground beef, ground veal, and spicy Italian sausage outside of the casing.

It’s foolproof.

The sausage replaces the ground pork nicely, and makes it so the spicy flavor is a bit more robust and evenly spread.

And once the meatballs have been cooking in the sauce on the stove, you’ll be left with a delicious, moist meatball that will practically melt inside of your mouth.

Here’s how you make them!

What You’ll Need For Ingredients:

Preparing sausage

All you need to make these homemade Italian meatballs are some very basic ingredients.

Again, you can make these as spicy or mild as you like.

If the heat from the spicy Italian sausage isn’t cutting it for you, there’s always the option to add ingredients such as cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or red pepper paste. It’s entirely up to you.

Spicy Italian Sausage: It’s easier when it is already out of the casing, if you can find it that way. Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to remove the casing on your own.

Ground Beef: This is probably one of the most important ingredients when it comes to making homemade meatballs. The flavor from the ground beef is absolutely delicious. I prefer 80/20 beef over lean ground beef, but use whatever you’d like.

Ground Veal: This is totally optional, but in my opinion, the best meatballs are made by using a combination of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal.

Grated Romano Cheese: Parmesan cheese is always an option, but I find that grated Romano tastes better with the other meatball ingredients.

Eggs: A great way to determine how many eggs you’ll need is by assuming one egg per pound of ground meats when making meatballs. The eggs make it so the meatballs stay firm and don’t crumble or break apart. If there’s an allergy, ricotta cheese is always a decent replacement.

Fresh Garlic: I always like to mince my garlic cloves down to almost a paste, so it’s evenly distributed throughout the meatballs.

Seasoning: For seasonings, you’re going to want to keep things simple with this spicy meatballs recipe. Kosher salt, black pepper, dried parsley, and some crushed red pepper flakes are all you’re going to need. No Italian seasoning or other Italian herbs are needed.

Bread Crumbs: Any kind of breadcrumbs you’d like to use are fine. I prefer panko, but I know some people prefer other kinds. Use whatever you like the best.

Water or Milk: I always like to add a drop of milk or water to my breadcrumbs before adding them to my meatball mixture. When the breadcrumbs become moist, they will expand, and make for much better flavor.

spicy italian meatball recipes-meatball feast-4

Equipment To Use:

When it comes to cooking spicy Italian meatballs, in addition to your ingredients, there are a few special pieces of equipment that you’re going to want to have on hand.

The equipment you use when making your meatballs will depend on how you plan on cooking them, but the good thing is that there are many ways to prepare these.

For Simmering In Sauce: If you’re simmering your spicy Italian meatballs in some sauce on the stove, your best bet is using a dutch oven or stainless steel pot for the cooking process, rather than an aluminum pan.

For Baking: If you’re baking your meatballs in the oven, all you’re going to need is a large baking sheet or cast iron pan. No need to use parchment paper or aluminum foil—they’ll taste better when directly on the pan.

For Frying: If you plan on frying your meatballs in olive oil on the stove, a stainless steel pan will be your best friend with this recipe.

Stand Mixer (optional): This is totally optional, but if you’re the type of person who gets squeamish mixing your meatballs by hand, a stand mixer is going to be your best friend.

How To Make Them:

Homemade sausage

In a large bowl, gather your meat, eggs, seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese, and fresh garlic.

Using your hands or a stand mixer on low speed, begin to combine all of the ingredients in the meat mixture. If using the stand mixer, this will take about a minute or two. You’re going to want to mix everything together until thoroughly incorporated.

Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, using a cookie scoop or large spoon, begin to form your meatballs. Make them as small or big as you’d like. I personally like mine bigger, but this is entirely up to personal preference.

When the meatballs are formed, cook them however you’d like.

If frying on the stove, heat up some olive oil in a frying pan, and fry your meatballs over medium-high heat on each side until browned.

If simmering in sauce on the stove, toss them directly into the sauce and let simmer for at least two hours. Serve them over your favorite pasta.

And if baking in the oven, set the temperature to 400°, and let cook for 20-25 minutes, being sure to let them rest for 15 minutes once they’re out.

meatball feast-5


Q: I can’t get my hands on any spicy Italian sausage. What are other ways to make these meatballs spicy?

A: If you can’t find any spicy Italian sausage, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways for you to make these juicy meatballs just as spicy at home.

Replace the sausage with sweet Italian sausage or ground pork, and add plenty of crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

If using this method, I recommend starting with less spice than you think you’ll need, and frying small meatballs in the pan to taste. Try them out, and add more if needed.

Q: How many pounds of meat should I plan on using?

A: This really depends on how many people you’re feeding and what you’re making.

When I make a sauce for two people, one pound of meat total is sufficient. But for anything more than two people, I recommend making at least double the amount, and using 2-3 pounds of meat total.

A good rule of thumb is by planning for a ½ pound of meat per person, and using a ratio of 1:1 for any type of meat in this recipe.

Q: How should I store these meatballs?

A: If you’re cooking them in sauce on the stove, you can keep them directly in the sauce, refrigerate everything for up to five days, or freeze for up to six months.

If your meatballs are flying solo, you can store these in the refrigerator for up to five days, or in the freezer in an airtight container. Frozen meatballs typically last for three months.

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What To Make With Spicy Italian Meatballs:

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The Best Spicy Italian Meatballs Recipe: With Sausage

  • Author: Gianna Ferrini


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • ½ tbsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tbsp parsley
  • 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and cheese.
  2. Using your hands or a stand mixer, begin to mix everything together until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Once everything is thoroughly combined, begin to separate the meat into a bunch of large balls, using your hands to roll if necessary.
  4. When all of your meatballs have formed, place your olive oil in the bottom of a stainless steel pan over medium heat.
  5. Begin to brown your meatballs on each side until fully cooked. Eat them as is, or serve them with your favorite tomato sauce.

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