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Braised Italian Meatballs

Braised Italian Meatballs

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Smoky, fork-tender and full of wood-fired flavor, these Italian braised meatballs show off the legendary versatility of a Traeger. They're roasted, then dropped into a pan with crushed tomatoes for a long, flavorful braise.

Prep Time

30 Min

Cook Time

2 Hr




This recipe serves:


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Units of Measurement:
1 Pound ground beef
1 Pound ground pork
4 Ounce Prosciutto, Finely Diced
1 Cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Teaspoon kosher salt
2 Teaspoon fennel seed
1 Teaspoon oregano
1 Cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 Cup milk
3 egg, whisked
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, in their juices
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup basil leaves, for garnish


  • 1

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 375℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    375 ˚F / 191 ˚C

  • 2

    In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, pork, prosciutto, bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons of salt, fennel seed, and oregano.

  • 3

    In a separate mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, milk, and eggs, and whisk to combine.

  • 4

    Using clean hands, combine the ground beef and pork, with the bread crumbs, salt, and herbs until the mixture is evenly combined and the herbs are evenly incorporated.

  • 5

    Slowly pour the liquid mixture over the meat and continue to use your hands to combine. The mixture will be tacky even when well mixed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

  • 6

    Pro Tip: To check the seasoning of your mixture before cooking off the entire batch, form 1-2-inch patty and cook in a small sauté pan until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the meat mixture as needed.

  • 7

    Line a large baking sheet with parchment or Traeger butcher paper. Alternately, lightly grease the baking sheet.

  • 8

    Using clean hands or an ice cream scoop, form meatballs into the size of golf balls. Arrange them on the baking sheet with a little space between each so they are not touching. The mixture should yield about 48 meatballs.

  • 9

    Place the baking sheet directly on the grill grates, close the lid and cook, turning the meatballs once until cooked through when cut in half, about 20 minutes.

    375 ˚F / 191 ˚C


  • 10

    Remove from the grill, add the second batch if necessary, and repeat.

  • 11

    Reduce the grill temperature to 300℉.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C

  • 12

    When the meatballs are cool enough to handle, place all of them in a large roasting pan. Pour the crushed tomatoes over the top. Sprinkle with an additional teaspoon of salt and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

  • 13

    Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place the pan directly on the grill grates, close the lid and cook, covered, for 60-90 minutes or until the tomatoes have absorbed some of the flavors from the meatballs and the meatballs are fork-tender.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C


  • 14

    Remove the meatballs from the grill and sprinkle with basil. If preferred, the meatballs can be roasted, cooled, and refrigerated a day in advance, then brought to room temperature and braised in the tomato sauce before serving. Enjoy!

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