Simonetta's Lemon Meatballs

5 (1 Review)
22 meatball
30 Minutes

The most light and luscious Lemon Meatballs you will ever eat! Flavored with lemon zest, fresh parsley, garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, the meatballs are then cooked along with onions and lemon juice to create a mouthwatering caramelized onion sauce. Simonetta's Lemon Meatballs will become one of your family's favorite dishes!!!

My mother-in-law Simonetta Bertolucci is from northern Italy and she's one of the healthiest people that I know. She loves to eat fresh wholesome organic food and is an amazing cook. I love her fresh pasta and dream of it all the time!!! Simonetta makes the most delicious Italian meatballs that my kids and I have ever eaten. My kids ask me to make Simonetta's Lemon Meatballs at least once a week and I do my best. Nothing like Nonna's cooking though!


I had never heard of Lemon Meatballs before I met Simonetta. In United States, we are used to American Italian restaurants selling Southern Italian-style meatballs smothered in tomato sauce. While that can be delicious sometimes, it tastes heavy so you can imagine my delight when I first tried these Lemon Meatballs with caramelized onions. They are light and so flavorful with the lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The caramelized onions cooked with lemon juice is the perfect sauce to accompany the mouthwatering meatballs. It's so light and filling. I love to serve them with sautéed zucchini and carrots, some mashed potatoes or cooked baby potatoes.

If you like your onions more caramelized than in the pictures, cook them a little longer to your liking. I've added a great tip to refrigerate the formed meatballs 30 minutes to one hour before cooking so that they hold their shape while cooking in the skillet. This recipe can be doubled but if tripling the recipe for a large group, I recommend baking the meatballs in the oven and the onions on the stove. The oven recipe is added below and on the recipe card.


INGREDIENTS TO MAKE SIMONETTA'S LEMON MEATBALLS


  • Olive oil
  • Ground beef
  • Large egg
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Fresh parsley
  • Garlic cloves
  • Lemon
  • Yellow onion
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

HOW TO MAKE SIMONETTA'S LEMON MEATBALLS


  • In a medium bowl, add ground beef, egg, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp ground black pepper; mix together with a fork just until combined.
  • Do not over mix!
  • Using a 1 ½-inch scoop or your hands, form about 22 meatballs and set on a half sheet pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • (This step keeps the meatballs nice and firm when cooking in the oil).
  • Cut 2 yellow onions in vertical ¼-inch slices; set aside.
  • In a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsps olive oil.
  • Place all the meatballs in the skillets without touching each other. Brown each meatball, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and scatter the sliced onions around the meatballs.
  • Sprinkle the onions with ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and start turning golden brown.
  • Add the juice of 1 lemon and stir.
  • Continue to cook until the meatballs are cooked through (internal temperature of 160°) and the onions have caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.
  • (Caramelize the onions to your liking).
  • Serve meatballs with the caramelized onions and garnish with lemon wedges.
  • Delicious on it's own or with cooked vegetables, any kind of potatoes, pasta, or rice. 
  • Recipe adapted from Simonetta Bertolucci.

TO BAKE MEATBALLS IN OVEN (OPTIONAL: BEST METHOD IF MAKING A TRIPLE OR LARGER BATCH)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • (No need to refrigerate meatballs before putting in the oven).
  • Place meatballs on the baking sheet so they are not touching.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the meatballs upside down and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F.
  • While the meatballs are on the last 10 minutes cook the onions.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onions in 2 Tbsp olive oil until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice and cook until onions are caramelized, about 3-4 more minutes or until caramelized to your liking.
  • Add the meatballs to the skillet and stir.
  • Serve according to the directions in the recipe.

OTHER DELICIOUS RECIPES TO TRY ON MY WEBSITE: https://thegrovebendkitchen.com/


  • Chicken Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini
  • Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers with Turkey and Rice
  • Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup
  • One-Pot Italian Sausage, Kale, and White Beans
  • Instant Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
  • Baked Sausage Ziti

Simonetta's Lemon Meatballs

5 (1 Review)

Recipe details

  • 22 meatball
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes|Cook time: 15 Minutes|Total time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients


Instructions


In a medium bowl, add ground beef, egg, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp ground black pepper; mix together with a fork just until combined. Do not over mix! Using a 1 ½-inch scoop or your hands, form about 22 meatballs and set on a half sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (This step keeps the meatballs nice and firm when cooking in the oil).
Cut 2 yellow onions in vertical ¼-inch slices; set aside. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsps olive oil. Place all the meatballs in the skillets without touching each other. Brown each meatball, about 2 minutes per side.
Add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and scatter the sliced onions around the meatballs. Sprinkle the onions with ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and start turning golden brown. Add the juice of 1 lemon and stir. Continue to cook until the meatballs are cooked through (internal temperature of 160°) and the onions have caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. (Caramelize the onions to your liking).
Serve meatballs with the caramelized onions and garnish with lemon wedges. Delicious on it's own or with cooked vegetables, any kind of potatoes, pasta, or rice. Recipe adapted from Simonetta Bertolucci.

Tips

  • TO BAKE MEATBALLS IN OVEN  (OPTIONAL: BEST METHOD IF MAKING A TRIPLE OR LARGER BATCH)
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. (No need to refrigerate formed meatballs if baking in the oven). Place meatballs on the baking sheet so they are not touching. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn the meatballs upside down and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F. While the meatballs are on the last 10 minutes cook the onions. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onions in 2 Tbsp olive oil until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook until onions are caramelized, about 3-4 more minutes or until onions are caramelized to your liking. Add the meatballs to the skillet and stir. Serve according to the directions in the recipe.

Top Recipes

20 Dessert Bars Your Whole Family Will Enjoy
12 Low-carb Desserts That Still Taste Amazing
11 Thanksgiving Sides to Add to Your Menu This Year
10 Tasty Recipes You Can Make With Less Than 10 Ingredients
18 Fun Fall Desserts for Thanksgiving That Aren't Pie
15 Cheese Recipes You Absolutely Need to Try
15 Keto Recipes to Help You Eat Better in 2021
The Grove Bend Kitchen

Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!

Go

Comments and Reviews

Rate this recipe, share your thoughts, or ask a question!

5 (1 Review)

Comments and Reviews

Rate this recipe, share your thoughts, or ask a question!

5 (1 Review)
3 of 8 comments
Your comment...