Olive Garden Meatball Recipe

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Last updated on November 2nd, 2022

Want to make something really fancy for your loved ones? Are you bored with going to the same Olive Garden and ordering meatballs and spaghetti with marinara? Then try to make it for yourself at home with your partner or kids. Spaghetti with marinara and meatballs is classic comfort food that hits all spots. It is also not as difficult or expensive to try at home!

If you are interested in making this delicacy, we curated this recipe to mimic the iconic Olive Garden Meatballs and threw our spin on it. This recipe is as simple as it gets. Furthermore, it is easy enough to have your little ones to join you in on the fun.

This recipe is also perfect for you if you want to impress your date with some in-house fine dining, including comfort food and a glass of champagne. 

In this article, we’ve included some rich and flavorful, yet inexpensive ingredients to help you create these delicious meatballs.

How to Make Olive Garden Meatballs Yourself

We carefully analyzed everything that Olive Garden uses and did our best to honor the Italian tradition as well. The result is a list of carefully chosen ingredients and a cooking process that’s designed to help you get the best possible taste.


  • 1lb ground quality beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 -1 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2tsp onion powder
  • 1/8tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning herbs
  • 1/2tsp red chili flakes for a kick
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley or coriander
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1/4cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or regular parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cooking Process

You must preheat your oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit to bake the meatballs later.

  • Mix the Ingredients: Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Mix well until everything is well combined. Next, take a quarter or half to one-third cup of mix in your hand and roll it into a tight ball. You should use a drop of oil on your hand before rolling the balls. Lay them on a tray, cover them with a cling film and leave them in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Sear the Meatballs: Put your cast iron pan on high heat with olive oil. Wait till some smoke starts to appear. Put the meatballs in and sear on each side. Change sides when the color changes to light brown.
  • Bake in Oven: Remove the pan and place it in the oven. Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 minutes or till they are perfectly done in the middle. Now, take out the balls and save any residual grease in the pan for your marinara.
  • Make Marinara: Take the same pan and add minced garlic in the same grease. Saute till golden. Next, add tomato puree and tomato paste. You can also some good quality red wine. Add salt for seasoning and stir till thick. 

Afterward, add some freshly cut basil leaves and stir for a couple of seconds. Add the meatballs and glaze them with them. You can also add some spaghetti. Otherwise, it is perfectly okay if you enjoy the meatballs on their own. You can serve them with some chopped parsley on top, along with some breadsticks.

Tips for the Perfect Meatballs

You can take your meatballs to the next level by taking care of some things like:

  • Use chuck meat for minced beef, as it gives great flavor
  • Roll the meatballs tightly and keep them in the fridge to set and marinate properly
  • Cook all meatballs evenly on one side and flip them together to ensure consistency
  • Use butter to baste them for a minute before putting them in the oven
  • To prevent your meatball from falling apart, you need to use a binding ingredient when using minced beef or pork. You can use flour, eggs, and or bread crumbs. Firstly, you need to make sure your meatballs are tightly rolled together. Ensure you oil or water your hands when picking up the meat mix. Secondly, when your balls are on the pan, scrap the bottom gently while flipping them over.
  • The ingredients that you use to bind meat can make a difference. You can get dry meatballs if you use excess flour or breadcrumbs. Firstly, use mildly fatty minced meat. Secondly, if your meatballs are too small, you can easily overcook them. Hence, use an ice cream scoop to size them and keep flipping them while carefully monitoring them.


The best thing about these meatballs is that you can store them in your freezer for a couple of months. Ensure you seal them in an airtight bag. They can last up to four days if they are properly stored in the refrigerator.

If you have partially cooked them before storing them in the freezer, you can cook them in a pan after defrosting. Although, if you have cooked them before, you can put them in a microwave with a damp paper towel on top, and they should be perfect in a minute or two.   


This simple yet delicious Olive Garden meatball recipe is a good way to show off your culinary skills. Make sure you have a luscious marinara with some perfectly cooked al dente spaghetti. 

Spaghetti with Olive Garden Meatball

Furthermore, you can pair up these meatballs with almost anything. You’ll love these in a meatball subway-style sandwich if you ask us. If you master this recipe, you can try a bigger batch and freeze the meatballs next time. You can keep them in your freezer for up to a month.

Also, We have tried to answer all additional queries you might have regarding Olive Garden meatballs. Hope you find your answer here. Try these flavor bombs, and let us how they turned out.

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