Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Bacony Meatballs

Servings: 6

Adding minced bacon to an otherwise classic meatball brings a hint of smokiness while giving the meatballs a rich, luxurious texture. Try them on a roll for an elevated sub sandwich, or serve with your favorite pasta; you’ll have enough sauce for either option.


  • 4 cups good-quality marinara sauce
  • 3 14-oz. cans cherry tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef, preferably 85 percent lean
  • 5 oz. bacon (about 6 slices), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about 1/2 cup); more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 21
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 145
  • Sodium (mg): 1390
  • Carbohydrates (g): 31
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Sugar (g): 15
  • Protein (g): 32


  • In a 5- to 6-qt. pot, combine the marinara and cherry tomatoes. Use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beef, bacon, breadcrumbs, onion, cheese, garlic, parsley, fennel seeds, oregano, eggs, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. With wet hands, form 1-1/2 -inch meatballs, and gently drop them into the sauce. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with the sauce.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • mmb1776 | 01/14/2021

    This is really easy. And it is delicious. I used a website and ordered the canned cherry tomatoes because I couldn't find them in any of the grocery stores in Columbus. I probably should have looked at Carfagna's Italian grocery store now come to think of it! Anyway, I made it this morning and let it cook the 20 minutes. I was fascinated to see it it really cooked in 20 in the sauce. Well the meatball was cooked throughout. It had a very good flavor. But I could still taste the raw onions, even though I'd chopped them fine. I used pre-chopped pancetta for the bacon as it is easier to work with than cutting up regular bacon. Based on the taste at 20 minutes, I decided to put the pan in the oven and braise the sauce for awhile. It was what it needed. This recipe is very good. I think it will taste even better tomorrow!

  • Maryford | 01/30/2020

    This recipe calls for canned cherry tomatoes. Since those are unavailable in my part of the country - so far - and I was not about to spend $20, including shipping, to mail order them - I had to use regular (though San Marzano) large tomatoes. I used an equivalent measure - 42 oz. My sauce was exceptionally watery; I assume this is because cherry tomatoes are more dense than Romas. It would have been helpful if this was conveyed in the recipe description. However, I am now a convert to the no-browning meatball cooking method. Greatly reduced sauce for meatball sandwiches next day and all was well. I don't know how much the bacon actually contributed. Plus it's messy. (Chopped in the food processor.)

  • BASILQ | 01/29/2020

    Dry or fresh breadcrumbs? Recipe looks really good, will be on the menu soon!

  • Barbiezz33 | 01/24/2020

    Made these tonight and they were very good. The leftovers will make a fabulous meatball sandwich. Will make them again

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial