Over the Top Meatballs

  • Recipe Type

    Red Meat

  • Skill Level


  • Grill Time

    <1 hour

  • Method


  • Servings

    Serves 4


This is the perfect recipe for grill-masters that love Italian food. If you follow the recipe below your meatballs will have the smoky flavor we all love. This recipe complements the meatballs with pasta but you can also make delicious meatball sub sandwiches. Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments section below.  

Heads up! Make sure you have a 6 qt enameled cast iron dutch oven for this recipe.

Hey, do you want a printable version? Get it here!

Recipe Video 

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Meatball Directions

recipe ingredients

Place breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and add milk, salt and pepper to taste, worcestershire sauce, eggs, garlic, parsley, onion, and grated parmesan.

placing the ingredients in a bowl

Mix together with a spoon.

mixing the ingredients in the bowl

Add ground beef and ground pork.

adding the ground beef and ground pork

Mix together with hands.

mixing the ingredients in the bowl

Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will make them easier to form meatballs. Form meatballs into consistent sizes so they cook evenly and place on a pan. Use a small dish of water to keep hands wet while forming the meatballs. This will help prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. 

forming the meatballs

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the grill is ready. Light grill with Fogo Charcoal to 225 degrees with some apple wood for smoke. While the grill is heating, get the sauce ready.

raw meatballs

Sauce Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2- 28 oz cans plum tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch of parsley-- twine to tie together?
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil leaves (6 leaves)

Sauce Directions

In an enameled cast iron dutch oven, add some olive oil, onion, red pepper, and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

preparing the dutch oven with some onions, garlic, red peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper

Meanwhile, take canned tomatoes and put in a food processor. Blend tomatoes, but do not completely puree. Try to leave some texture in the tomatoes.

blending the tomatoes

Pour tomato mix into the dutch oven and stir. Add 1 small bunch of parsley that has been tied together with butcher's twine so it can be easily removed at the end. Also add 1 bay leaf that will be removed before serving.

setting up the delicious sauce

Grilling Directions

Set up the grill for indirect heat and put a few balls of foil on the plate setter or indirect plate so that the dutch oven does not get too hot and boils the sauce. Then add a grate on top of the dutch oven.

preparing the grill with the dutch oven in between the grate and the indirect heat plates

Place the meatballs on the grate so they drip into the sauce as they smoke.

placing the meatballs on the grill 

Smoke meatballs for about 1 hour or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. 

smoked meatballs

At this time, move the meatballs into the sauce and let them soak up and simmer in the sauce while you boil some spaghetti. When the spaghetti is ready, remove the sauce and meatballs.

placing the meatballs in the sauce

Remove the parsley and bay leaf then add about 6 large basil leaves. It works best to tear the basil leaves as you add them to release the flavors.

adding the large basil leaves

Ladle the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti.

ladling the meatballs and the sauce over the spaghetti

Serve hot and enjoy!

over the top meatballs



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  • Sounds delicious! I want to make it soon!

  • Darn those look good!

    Rick Radcliffe
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