How to make meatballs with mince

One of the main dilemmas with making meatballs is how to make meatballs stick together. Next time you're looking for a meatballs recipe and want to know how to make meatballs that don't fall apart, follow these tips.

In partnership and featuring recipes from Perfect Italiano

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How to make meatballs with mince

One of the dilemmas of learning how to make meatballs is how do you make meatballs stick together? You know the drill. You've lovingly mushed up the mince meat with all the flavourings. Rolled the mince meat mixture into delightful little morsels. Popped said balls into the pan to cook. They fall apart. Insert sad face emoji. Here's a few recipes and tips on how to make meatballs that don't fall apart!

How to bind meatballs

There are a few tricks and tips that can help you bind your meatballs to keep your meatballs from falling apart.

  • Egg: A lot of meatball recipes add egg to the mince mixture because it helps to bind the balls together.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs also help to bind your meatballs. If the mince mixture is quite wet, breadcrumbs will help soak up excess moisture so that the balls don't fall apart.
  • Cheese: Adding cheese helps to bind the meatballs while cooking. Ricotta is good, especially with chicken mince as it also helps keep the meatballs moist during cooking, so they don't dry out. 
  • Chill: Once you have rolled your meatballs, pop them in the fridge for a quick half hour if you can spare the time before cooking them. This gives the breadcrumbs and other ingredients time to bind properly, resulting in a more robust meatball while cooking.

How long can you keep meatballs in the fridge?

Uncooked, fresh mince meat can usually be kept in the fridge for up to two days, so if you are using freshly bought mince you can keep your uncooked meatballs in the coldest part of your fridge for up to two days. Meatballs made with thawed mince should be used and cooked as soon as possible. Cooked meatballs can be kept in the fridge for up to four days.

How to freeze meatballs

Once you have a batch of frozen meatballs ready to go, it will make your weeknight meals so much easier. Making a double batch of meatballs doesn't take much more effort, so you'll save time in the long run. To freeze uncooked meatballs, follow these steps. The fastest way to freeze them is to: 

  1. Place meatballs in a single layer on a tray lined with baking paper and put in the freezer.
  2. Once meatballs are hard and frozen, place in an airtight container layered between baking paper or place in large ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
  3. Defrost meatballs in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. Cook as per recipe.

Meatball recipes using mince meat

GET THE RECIPE: Chicken Meatballs in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

These super juicy meatballs are made with ricotta and chicken mince. The ricotta helps to keep them moist and helps to bind them while cooking. There's also a hit of parmesan in there for extra flavour. Once tried, this recipe will be on high rotation in your household.

GET THE RECIPE: One-pan Meatball Parmigiana

These Italian-style meatballs are full of flavourful parmesan, and cooking them in sauce with extra cheese on top makes them even tastier.

GET THE RECIPE: Italian Meatball Pasta Bake

Meatball pasta bake full of melty, stretchy cheese and cooked until golden. So comforting in the cooler months!

*DISCLAIMER: Perfect Italiano is a contributing recipe Partner at This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Perfect Italiano and our own opinions. You can find out more about the full range of Perfect Italiano Cheese, here.

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