Grandma Lo Bianco’s Famous Meatballs

GRANDMA LO BIANCO'S FAMOUS MEATBALLS- these are the best meatballs you will ever make. And so easy! Not bragging, just the truth!

Today is a special day here at StoneGable!!!! I’m sharing a fabulously delicious and famous secret meatball recipe!!!!! You might think, “What’s all the fuss about a meatball”. Well, it’s obvious that you haven’t eaten Grandma Lo Bianco’s famous meatballs! I literally could eat them all! They are that good! Meaty and tender and very easy to make. It’s almost a crime that something that tastes this good should be so easy to make!!! My friend Fran shared this recipe with me at the peril of not being let into heaven…

Fran’s grandmother gave Fran this recipe with the stipulation that she would never share it and take it to her grave! Good for me that I loved them so much she shared the recipe! And so so good for you I’m sharing them with you. So if you see Fran and maybe me sitting outside the Pearly Gates Fran says it’s because her grandmother is waiting for us there and holding the gate shut! YIKES!

Beautiful Grandma Lo Bianco’s meatballs!

GRANDMA LO BIANCO'S FAMOUS MEATBALLS- these are the best meatballs you will ever make. And so easy! Not bragging, just the truth!

5 from 2 votes


these are the best meatballs ever... period! Not bragging, just fact!
Print Recipe


  • 1 lb hamburger I use 80 %
  • 1/2 lb veal
  • 1/2 lb pork
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely cut
  • 4 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
  • 6 eggs yes 6
  • 1 large handful of dried breadcrumbs Italian or plain
  • 1 large handful of grated Parmesan cheese I use and love the "shaky" cheese in the green labeled container... it's okay to use it in the meatballs
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 TBS dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • jarred spaghetti sauce at least 2 jars


  • Preheat oven to 350 °.
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium low heat. Add onions and slowly cook them until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown the onions. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add onion/garlic. Mix together. Don't over mix the meatball ingredients or the meatballs might get tough.
  • Make meatballs. I like a medium size ice cream scoop to make meatballs. Put them on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Put them in the insert of a slow cooker and cover them with the spaghetti sauce. Put the lid on the insert and put the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight. This is where the meatball magic happens. Do not skip this step.
  • The next day put the insert into the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours.
  • YUM!!!!


Feel free to share this recipe... but BEWARE!!!! You just may be sitting outside the gates of heaven with me and Fran 🙂
Adapted from Fran's Grandmother
Author: Yvonne @ StoneGable

If you love spaghetti and meatballs you will love this recipe! YUM!

I hope you will follow me on Pinterest and see all the recipes and decorating posts I’m finding every day HERE.

GRANDMA LO BIANCO'S FAMOUS MEATBALLS- these are the best meatballs you will ever make. And so easy! Not bragging, just the truth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Shelly Mathes says:

    I am salivating thinking of these meatballs. Sitting here reading the recipe to my husband, we’re both dying here. Will be making this recipe next weekend. Many many thanks! Thank you Grandma Lo Bianco.

  2. Anne Marie says:

    Love this post – how funny but am glad you shared this delicious recipe!

  3. Patricia T says:

    I have to run out and buy the ingredients ASAP to make these meatballs! I’m on the search for the “best” meatballs ever. I think these may be the ones! Thank you Yvonne for sharing – and Grandma Lo Bianco, too.

  4. From ur table to my husband’s heart, I’m sure. Thank you and Grandma Lo Bianco too!. It’s on the menu for this week. I bet there will be so many sighs of contentment to a “well done Grandma Lo Bianco!” She will open the doors to the Pearly Gates!

  5. Barbara Ann says:

    What is an “insert” for a slow cooker? Do you mean the stoneware liner?

  6. Candace Geldreich says:

    I love this recipe. It’s so good. It’s almost the same recipe my mom uses with the exception of the pork, she uses sweet Italian sausage. I think somewhere in my ancestry there is Italian it’s my most favorite food.

    1. Oooo. Italian sausage sounds good as well. I’ll have to try both recipes.

      I’ve used frozen store bought and they’re terrible, hard and the sauce doesn’t seem to penetrate into the meat balls. I like the idea of letting them sit in the sauce over night.

      Will definitely try this recipe

      1. I have not found a frozen meatballs I like. They are terrible. So you will love these meatballs. You can freeze them in sauce and then thaw them and cook them on low in the slow cooker.

  7. Oh Yvonne these sound heavenly! Do you think I can make them with just the ground beef as we don’t eat veal and my daughter does not eat pork. Is it going to make a huge difference in the outcome ? Thanks. Hugs, Dorinda

  8. These sound fantastic. Do you have a jarred sauce recomendation?

  9. My husband is always trying to recreate his mother’s meatball recipe. I am anxious to try these to see if they are similar. Thanks so much for posting!

  10. These meatballs sound delicious. Can’t wait to make them. What a good idea to let them sit overnight in sauce. I always thought the leftovers tasted better than when you first make them!

  11. Patti Strickler says:

    Anything made with “shaky cheese” is pure poison. This is not a real Italian recipe

    1. Then you can use shaved Parmesan cheese. It will taste amazing! And yes, it is a REAL Italian recipe.

  12. Everything sounds yummy. Eager for your chicken recipe. Thank you.

  13. Sounds delicious! Are the meatballs supposed to be half cooked after baking them for only 15 minutes?

  14. Dorothy Sadler Hemphill says:

    I am looking forward to fixing these. I had a cookbook called Mama D’s when my son was young and the meatballs were so delicious, When my son got married my daughter in law asked for the recipe for the meatballs that he told her about and somehow that cookbook has disappeared or hidden somewhere in my vast array of cookbooks. Mama D had various cookbooks – I’m talking over 30 years ago – the other cookbooks of hers did not have that recipe. These meatballs look delicious and I am excited to try them. Thank you for posting the recipe.

    1. Susan Gaffney-Evans says:

      I found Mama D’s cookbooks on Amazon – if you have unlimited Kindle, there are two you can read for free. You might find the copy you lost so many years ago!

  15. I just donated my crockpot as I rarely used it. Could I cook these in a Dutch oven (heavy pot) for the same period of time on low?

  16. Victoria Schwalbe says:

    I would think they’d be fine in a Dutch oven but I’d put them in an actual oven on 275-300. Cannot wait to make them….they sound heavenly.

  17. I laughed at your reference to “shaky cheese”. In our house the little ones have always called it “shake-shake cheese”. Looking forward to giving these a try.

  18. Hi Yvonne, this recipe sounds amazing and I am sure it is! You only share the best! We have to eat gluten free and dairy fee. I can easily substitute the bread crumbs, but cheese, not so much. I am wondering if anyone has any good substitutes for the cheese? I can just omit it, but thought I would ask. Thanks all!

  19. Just reading the recipe makes my mouth water. Gotta make these. —Oh, but do I dare risk it? Don’t think I want to trade Heaven for a meatball. Maybe we’ll have soup tonight instead!

  20. Yvonne, would these meatballs work as an “appetizer” for my Christmas party? How much sauce is there, when made? Like would they be too soupy, since I wouldn’t be serving them with spaghetti? Any suggestions for me? Thank you! Super fan of the podcast!!

    1. I think you would probably have to make the meatballs smaller so reduce the oven cooking time. And I’d still put it in spaghetti sauce to cover. Use the sauce you want when you serve your meatballs and save the rest for another meal. Such a great idea, I just might do the same!!!!

      1. 5 stars
        Question… is a”handful” equivalent to 1/2 cup?

        1. I’m not sure! My handful is a bit more generous. I hope you make these delicious meatballs.

  21. Yvonne, I made these this weekend and they were delicious. Perfect for a cold, gray day. Love that the recipe makes alot so I can freeze leftovers for another meal. Thanks for sharing this.

  22. Yvonne, I made these this weekend and they were delicious. Perfect for a cold, gray day. Love that the recipe makes alot so I can freeze leftovers for another meal. Thanks for sharing this recipe

  23. Yvonne,
    I cannot wait to make these! My sons just asked if I could make meatballs. Thanks for sharing <3

  24. Annabelle says:

    Can’t wait to try. Our favorite Italian Restaurant serves a meatloaf with the three meats mentioned. So your recipe would probably be the same and that meatloaf is the best ever.
    Question about the sauce….is that enough to cover the spaghetti also or should there be another jar/or homemade for that? Thanks so much.

  25. Donna Milazzo says:

    I was excited to try these, but my experience was not good. The meatballs were very ‘wet’ when I put them in the oven and there was cooked egg all over the pan. Also, I found that I needed to take the crock pot insert out of the refrigerator a few hours before cooking since 2 hours on low would not be enough to get them hot in my crockpot. Finally, they ended up falling apart when cooking. A few meatballs remained, but mostly it was meat sauce. Still tasty, but a bit disappointed especially since I had my in-laws over for dinner!

  26. Tried them, they were good. I don’t want to be vain, but mine are better. Another point is that no self respecting Italian would every use cheese from the green can. It is similar to sawdust. I used real cheese and a mixture of romano and parmesan and I am sure if you like this recipe, that would make it even better. I thought too many eggs, perhaps my eggs were too big, but the meatballs did not hold their shape. To me fresh parsley is a must, finely chopped and twice as much. I used the fresh parsley and real cheese and I am sure that probably made them better. Perhaps more breadcrumbs would have helped hold mine together better

    1. Debra Matcovich says:

      I thought the same thing. As soon as she mentioned the green can of cheese. No. I love Locatelli grated cheese. Think how much better her meat balls would be with real cheeses.

  27. You have some of the best recipes I have tried. Please keep up the great work. I always enjoy your articles too. Thanks so much.

  28. kathy olson says:

    These look amazing. But I have never purchased veal. I’ve never even seen it at the grocery store!

    1. Ask the person behind the meat counter. I find it next to the ground beef. Hope this helps Kathy!

  29. Sheila Gunderson says:

    I usually use half beef and half pork, but will add the veal as well and try this recipe. Looks so good Yvonne!

  30. Wanda Walton says:

    I am so enjoying your site and all the others you share. Thank you for the meatball recipe, we just love meatballs around here. Have a great weekend !

  31. Yvonne, You are the most generous blogger!! Thank you so much!

  32. Marilyn Petitto says:

    Good Morning Yvonne: Thank you for the meat ball recipe, I do have my own but I am going to try this one they look delicious, thank you again cannot wait to try them.


  33. Just had to comment on all the comments! I was surprised to see all the objections to the “green” cheese and no objections to using jarred sauce! A no-no for any real Italian in my book. This recipe is similar to my own with the exception of so many eggs. I’ve never used veal in my meatballs either but make both, all beef and when mixing the meats, usually 2 lbs. of beef to one pound pork.
    Making meatballs is an art form as far as I’m concerned and finally after more than 50 years I wrote my recipe down. I showed my daughter in law how to make meatballs and started by taking her to the grocery store with me. Everyone knows that Italians make “gravy” and we start with a small piece of beef and a small piece of pork sautéed in olive oil before ever adding any tomatoes. There are few things I’m good at and probably won’t be remembered for much after I’m gone, but I know they’ll remember my meatballs. They are not “heart healthy”, they are fried in olive oil and not baked, and I would never recommend a crockpot unless it’s to reheat.

    1. Doreen Snyder says:

      Oh my gosh, your receipe for Gravy and Meatballs sounds amazing. Would you consider sharing?

  34. Peggy Bostic says:

    This looks as though it may be my Aunt Davy Ann Marano’s recipe. She made the best ever!

    Thanks so much. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  35. I laughed when you say “shaky” cheese. My 4 daughters and I always call it sprinkle cheese. One day my youngest daughter, who is a junior in college said “I think we are the only ones that call it sprinkle cheese”, because she was cooking for friends and they did not know what she was talking about. We also have a few grape vines and we have always called them squeeze grapes because we squeeze them out in our mouth and swallow them. Her friends also did not know what that was.

  36. How many meatballs does this recipe make?

  37. Mary Anne says:

    5 stars
    I just made these this morning for tomorrow night!! Can’t wait to see how they taste!! I think the story about these meatballs is very funny!! I have also bookmarked your Pot Roast recipe with the cranberry sauce !!
    Thank you for your lovely Sunday Post as well!
    Christmas Blessings to you and your family! ?

  38. I come from a big Italian family and also use jarred sauce (a mortal sin in my family). My dad always added a raw pork chop to his sauce and let it cook with the meatballs. We get the sauce going and throw the raw meatballs into the hot sauce, and simmer low for 5 or 6 hours. I also use sweet Italian sausage in my meatballs.

    1. Oh, YUM! Thanks for making me feel better about using jarred sauce. LOL!

  39. I LOVE family recipes that are so good they can call into question whether or not we’ll make it past the pearly gates because we shared them! lol I’m adding this to my menu plan for the weekend. So excited! Thank you so much for taking the risk and sharing with us!