Mangia! 10 magnificent classic meatball recipes (1970s)

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glazed meatballs

Not one meatball but many – all well-‘bread’ and savory (1971)

From The Orlando Sentinel (Florida) – August 26, 1971

Versatile meatballs have become one of the most often served and enjoyed — foods on American tables.

See a tall Pinterest pin below And now, with attention focused on keeping down the cost of living, it behooves us to give the meatball even more serious consideration. They’re pick-perfect for cocktail parties, and fill the bill with savory success at big family dinners.

Children love them — in fact, they are so popular with the small fry, they are stocked in the baby foods sections of area supermarkets. There are almost as many ways to make them as to use them, but recipe lovers are always looking for a meatball recipe. Try ours. – Blanche Fearington

1. Parmesan meatballs


1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 clove garlic, chopped line
6 slices stale bread soaked in cold water and squeezed
1 or 2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
8 tablespoons lemon juice


Mix together all ingredients.

Form in small balls and fry in deep oil. When just done, put balls in the following sauce and cook slowly for about 30 minutes or less.

Fry 1/2 onion and 1/2 green pepper in 3 tablespoons oil. Add 1 can tomatoes and simmer until well-cooked. Add 2 cans tomato paste. Fill each can twice with hot water and pour into above mixture. Salt to taste. Cook slowly for 30 minutes. For hotter sauce, fry ground red pepper along with onions and green pepper.

2. Swedish meatballs recipe

This recipe came to Florida by way of New England.


2 lbs lean chuck beef, ground 3 times
2 small onions, minced
2 cups fine bread crumbs
3 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
4 teaspoons Worcestershire or more teaspoons horseradish
4 tablespoons green pepper, minced


Mix all ingredients until well blended and smooth. Roll into very small balls and brown lightly in cooking oil, Place balls in a casserole. dish and pour over then a cup of ketchup heated with 1/2 cup water. Bake about 30 minutes in 400 degree oven.

3. Savory meatballs


1 lb ground round steak
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 medium onion, grated
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tbsps cooking oil
2 cups tomato soup, undiluted
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup sour cream


Mix meats with bread crumbs, onion, slightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Shape into little balls the size of a walnut. Heat oil and brown meatballs. Add tomato soup and water. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 1-1/4 hours. Stir in sour cream at last minute and heat. Serves 6. Good served over rice.

meatballs and spaghetti

Ground beef dishes are delicious, inexpensive (1977)

Plano Daily Star-Courier (Texas) – August 10, 1977

Both Creole meatball bake and barbecued meatballs and beans use a few staples and inexpensive ground beef to create two low-cost meals you can be proud of. What’s more, neither requires browning the meatballs, making them especially quick and easy to prepare.

In the Creole meatball bake, the meatballs bake on a bed of rice and a savory sauce easily made with an envelope of spaghetti sauce mix. The barbecued meatballs and beans bake on a “zesty bean mixture made with prepared yellow mustard.

Serve either of these meatball recipes with a green salad, bread sticks, apple dumplings, and milk or coffee.

4. Creole meatball bake


Meatballs (recipe below)
1 can (1-pound) tomatoes
1 envelope (1-1/2 ounces) spaghetti sauce mix
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups packaged precooked rice


Prepare meatballs following directions below.

Combine tomatoes, contents of sauce mix envelope, green pepper, water, and rice in shallow baking dish. Top with uncooked meatballs. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 80 to 40 minutes, until meatballs are cooked. 4 to 6 servings.

To make the meatballs: Combine 1/4 cup water, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, and, if desired, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice. Add 1 pound ground beef; mix lightly. Shape into meatballs using a rounded tablespoonful for each.

5. Barbeque meatballs and beans

Meatballs (recipe below)
1 can (1 pound) tomatoes
1 jar (1 pound, 2 ounces) baked beans
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, if desired


Prepare and shape meatballs following directions below. Combine in shallow 2-quart baking dish remainder of can of tomatoes, beans. mustard, brown sugar, and coffee powder. Top with uncooked meatballs. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Meatballs: Measure 1/4 cup liquid from a can of tomatoes. Combine the 1/4 cup tomato liquid with 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1 pound ground beef; mix lightly. Shape into meatballs using a rounded tablespoonful for each.

Meatballs in sauce

Requested meatball recipes (1972)

From the Los Angeles Times (California) – January 6, 1972

If meatballs are your dish, try these two versions. They’re a little different from the usual.

6. Buffet meatballs recipe


1-1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cups dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons catsup
1-1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. water
2 tsp. dill weed


Combine beef, 1/4 cup sour cream, catsup, 1 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, garlic salt and oregano. Shape into meatballs the size of a walnut. Brown meatballs in hot oil, then pour off any excess fat. Add water, cover and simmer 15 min. Remove meatballs to a chafing dish or casserole over a candle warmer. Combine remaining sour cream, salt and dill in skillet in which meatballs were cooked. Heat through and pour over meatballs; Sprinkle with paprika, Makes 6 dinner-size servings, more as appetizers.

7. Burgundy beef meatballs recipe


1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. seasoned pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 cup water
1 envelope mushroom gravy mix
1/2 cup burgundy

Lightly blend beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, onion, salt, pepper and allspice. Shape mixture into 24 meatballs.

Heat oil in skillet, add meatballs and brown on all sides, removing them as they brown. Drain off fat. Combine water, mushroom gravy mix and wine, in skillet. Stir well, bring to a boil and add meatballs. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

meatballs recipe vintage

Make meatballs go a long way (1975)

From the Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia) – December 8, 1975

Tonight, why not make a dinner-and-a-half? What’s a dinner and a half? It’s tonight’s meal, plus a head start on some other night’s main course.

It’s easy if you like meatball dishes. All you need to do is make twice as many . . . then squirrel away the extras in your freezer. Since the meatballs are low-calorie — browned under the broiler to eliminate fat — both night’s meals will be figure-wise.

Here are two favorites with the figure-wise teenagers in our Slim Gourmet household. Both are hearty dishes, just what big-appetite slimmers are looking for.

The sweet ‘n’ sour cabbage dish is a savory plate-filler, yet inexpensive in cost and calories! Both main courses are extra-easy one-dish meals. In our Italian noodle recipe, the noodles are cooked right along with the sauce. – Barbara Gibbons

8. Oven-browned meatballs recipe


2 whole eggs or 4 egg whites
2 pounds lean beef round, trimmed of fat and ground
1/4 cup water or 1/3 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup finely-minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons MSG (optional)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
3 tablespoons cracker crumbs, matzo meal, or unseasoned bread crumbs

Recipe may be doubled or tripled


Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Shape into 16 meatballs. Broil, turning once, until well- browned on both sides. Allow to cool, then pack in two plastic bags and freeze. Each bag is enough for a four-serving dinner, using one of the following recipes. Each meatball has 92 calories.

9. Italian meatballs and wine noodles recipe


4 cups water
2 cubes or envelopes of beef bouillon
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine (optional)
2-ounce can mushroom stems and pieces, including liquid
l clove garlic, minced
l onion chopped
1 green pepper, seeded or chopped
1 teaspoon oregano or mixed Italian seasoning
1 pound browned meatballs
4 ounces raw wide egg noodles


Heat water to boiling. Add bouillon and stir until dissolved. Stir in tomato paste until smooth. Stir in all remaining ingredients except noodles and cheese. Heat to boiling. Cover and simmer four minutes. Uncover and stir in noodles gradually to retain simmering point. Simmer, stirring frequently. until noodles are very tender and sauce is thick. About 12-13 minutes. Spoon into individual plates. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Serves four, 350 calories each.

10. Sweet ‘n’ sour cabbage and meatballs


2 cups water
2 cubes or envelopes beef bouillon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup crushed unsweetened pineapple, including juice
1 pound browned meatballs
1 medium head cabbage, quartered


Heat water to boiling in a large pot. Add bouillon and stir until dissolved. Stir in wine vinegar, tomato paste, until smooth. Add onion and pineapple; cover and simmer six minutes, until onions are tender.

Add meatballs and quartered cabbage wedges. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender but still crisp and green, and sauce is thick. To serve, arrange cabbage and meatballs on individual plates and spoon on sauce. Serves four, 279 calories each.

Pin this vintage recipe!

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