Pork Meatball Recipes

Meatballs are a popular staple in many households. They are budget-friendly and quick to whip up with only a handful of simple ingredients. From the famous Swedish köttbullar meatballs served with lingonberry jam and rich creamy sauce to the popular Italian Polpette simmered in an unctuous marinara sauce or just standard homemade pork meatballs in a rich tomato sauce served with fresh pasta, there are many wonderful variations of this delicious meal.

Join us as we explore the world of pork meatball recipes and we span the globe in search of wonderful versions of this amazing family dinner favourite.

The Basics of Pork Meatballs

Meatballs can be made from a variety of different ground meats, from ground beef, a mixture of ground pork and beef, turkey mince, chicken mince and even vegan variations. Here, we focus on basic homemade meatballs prepared with pork mince.

Key Ingredients for Basic Pork Meatballs:

  • Ground Pork (Pork Mince): The star of the dish, ground pork provides the base for your meatballs. Opt for a mix that isn't too lean to ensure your meatballs remain juicy.
  • Breadcrumbs: These help bind the meatballs and retain moisture, leading to a more tender texture. You can use plain or seasoned breadcrumbs based on your preference. Many traditional recipes prefer using stale bread soaked in milk to give the meatballs that wonderfully springy and juicy meatballs texture.
  • Eggs: Acting as a binder, eggs help to hold the meatball ingredients together during cooking.
  • Seasonings: The world is your oyster when it comes to seasoning your homemade meatballs. If you are following a classic recipe then common choices include salt, pepper, minced garlic, perhaps smoked paprika or sweet paprika and finely chopped onions. You can also add parsley or other herbs for extra flavour.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Preparing Pork Meatballs:

  • Mix Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, and your chosen seasonings. Gently mix the ingredients with your hands, just until combined. Avoid overmixing to prevent the meatballs from becoming tough.
  • Shape the Meatballs: Scoop out a small amount of the meat mixture and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Wet or oil your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking. Aim for a consistent size to ensure even cooking. You can use a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop to ensure uniformity.
  • Cook the Meatballs: Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides. Make sure not to overcrowd your pan, as this will prevent the meat from browning. Once all the meatballs have a lovely crust, place them on a prepared baking sheet and finish cooking them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at around 375°F or 200°C.
  • Save Them for Later: At this stage, once your meatballs are cooked, if you don't want to eat them all at once, you can pop them in a freezer bag or airtight container and pop them in your freezer for up to three months.
  • Simmering in Sauce: Once the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and pop them one by one in your chosen pot of simmering sauce. Let them cook in the sauce for about 20 minutes. This will infuse the meatballs with the sauce's flavour and keep them moist.

Tips for Ensuring Juicy & Flavourful Meatballs:

  • Avoid Overmixing: When combining your ingredients, mix just until they come together. Overmixing can lead to dense, tough meatballs.
  • Moisture is Key: If the mixture seems too dry, add a little milk, egg, soaked bread or water. This helps in keeping the meatballs moist.
  • Rest the Meatballs: After shaping, let the meatballs sit for a few minutes before cooking. This helps them hold their shape better when cooked.
  • Cooking Temperature: Whether you prefer to bake meatballs in the oven or pan-fry them, make sure not to cook them as this can cause them to become tough or burn on the outside before they are cooked on the inside.
From creamy Swedish Meatballs to Italian Polpette and Asian inspired flavours, you can find them all here.

Mastering these basic steps and tips will provide you with a solid foundation for making delicious pork meatballs, setting the stage for experimenting with more complex flavours.

What About a Foolproof Sauce Recipe?

Although meatballs can be enjoyed on their own with a flavoursome dipping sauce made up of soy sauce, oyster sauce, chilli sauce and even a delicious peanut butter dipping sauce, in our humble opinion, no meatball dish is truly complete without the perfect sauce to complement it.

A good sauce not only adds moisture to the meatballs but also infuses them with additional layers of flavour, making it into a wholesome meal. Here is an easy recipe that pairs wonderfully with pork meatballs.

Classic Tomato Sauce for Pork Meatballs:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Sugar, a pinch (optional, to balance acidity)
  • Fresh basil or parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lashings of freshly grated parmesan to sprinkle on top


  • Sauté Aromatics: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  • Add Tomatoes and Seasonings: Pour in the crushed tomatoes along with the dried basil and oregano. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too acidic, a pinch of sugar can be added to balance the flavours.
  • Simmer: Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavours to fuse and the sauce to thicken slightly. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Season: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remember, the sauce will be used to coat and flavour the meatballs, so ensure it's well-seasoned.
  • Combine with Meatballs: Once the sauce is ready and your pork meatballs are cooked, you can combine them.
  • Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or parsley or lashings of freshly grated parmesan cheese for a burst of freshness and colour before serving. Serve alongside pasta or mashed potatoes or just a hunk of crusty bread if you prefer!
Breadcrumbs or milk soaked stale bread make your meatballs super juicy.

This classic tomato sauce, with its rich and comforting flavours, is an excellent match for the savoury notes of pork meatballs. Feel free to experiment with the sauce by adding other herbs, spices, or ingredients like red wine, capers, paprika or olives to suit your taste.

Pork Meatball Variations from Around the World

Once you've mastered the basics of a good pork meatball recipe, there's no stopping you from experimenting and giving your recipes a creative twist to delight your family and friends.

Popular Pork Meatball Recipes:

  • Italian Pork Meatballs in Marinara Sauce: A staple in Italian cuisine, these meatballs or Polpette are seasoned with herbs such as parsley and basil, and served in a rich tomato sauce.
  • Swedish Pork Meatballs: Known for their creamy gravy, these meatballs are flavoured with allspice and nutmeg, offering a distinctive taste.
  • Asian Pork Meatballs: Infused with flavours like ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, these meatballs are often served with a sweet and tangy glaze or dipping sauce.
  • Mexican Albondigas: These are traditional Mexican meatballs simmered in a flavourful broth, often with vegetables and rice, spiced with cumin and chilli.
  • Greek Keftedes: Greek-style pork meatballs mixed with onions, mint, and oregano, typically served with tzatziki sauce.

Creative Twists on Pork Meatballs:

  • Pork and Apple Meatballs: Adding grated apple to the pork mixture creates a sweet contrast to the savoury meat, perfect for a cosy dinner dish.
  • Spicy Thai Pork Meatballs: Infused with Thai herbs and spices like lemongrass, coriander, and chilli, these meatballs are vibrant and zesty.
  • Pork Meatballs with Feta and Olives: Incorporating crumbled feta cheese and chopped olives gives these meatballs a Mediterranean flair.
  • BBQ Pork Meatballs: Smothered in barbecue sauce, these meatballs can be a great addition to a casual get-together or served as appetizers with a fragrant dipping sauce.
  • Curried Pork Meatballs: Adding curry spices and simmering the meatballs in a coconut milk sauce can give a flavourful Southern Indian touch to your dish.
  • Pineapple Teriyaki Pork Meatballs: Combine pork meatballs with a pineapple teriyaki sauce for a sweet and tangy flavour, perfect as a party appetizer or main dish.
  • Cheese-Stuffed Pork Meatballs: Insert a small cube of mozzarella or cheddar cheese inside each meatball for a gooey, cheesy centre that is sure to impress.
  • Pork Meatballs with Chimichurri: Serve your pork meatballs with a vibrant, herby chimichurri sauce for a fresh and flavourful Argentinean-inspired dish.
Cook a meal that your family loves with one of our delicious and simple recipes!

These classic and creative pork meatball recipes offer a variety of flavours and styles, catering to different tastes and occasions. Whether sticking to traditional recipes or experimenting with new ingredients and sauces, pork meatballs provide a versatile and delicious option for any meal.

Why Cooking With Quality Meat Matters

Choosing quality meat such as Specially Selected Pork, for your recipes offers several benefits that can significantly enhance the quality and flavour of your dishes.

Here's why you should consider using Specially Selected Pork from Scotland:

  1. Enhanced Flavour and Quality: Specially Selected Pork comes from pigs that have been raised under specific conditions, ensuring consistent and high-quality meat. These conditions include a carefully controlled diet, humane living conditions, and minimal stress for the animals. Such factors contribute to the meat's superior taste and texture.
  2. Traceability and Assurance: When you choose Specially Selected Pork, you are provided with traceability back to the farm of origin. This transparency gives you confidence in the meat's quality and the assurance that the pigs were raised following high welfare standards.
  3. Support for Local Farmers: Purchasing Scottish Specially Selected Pork supports local farmers who are committed to maintaining high standards of animal welfare and sustainable farming practices. This not only helps boost the local economy but also encourages responsible farming practices.
  4. Healthier Option: Pigs raised under better living conditions and with a controlled diet undoubtedly produce healthier meat. This meat has better fat quality, which can be beneficial for your health when consumed in moderation.
  5. Cooking Experience: High-quality ingredients are the foundation of great cooking. Using Specially Selected Pork will always elevate your dishes, providing a richer flavour and more tender meat.
  6. Ethical Considerations: Choosing Specially Selected Pork aligns with ethical eating practices, as it ensures that the animals are treated humanely and raised in a stress-free environment.
  7. Environmental Impact: Specially Selected Pork comes from farms that adhere to sustainable farming practices, minimising their environmental footprint, which is an important consideration for many consumers today.
Quality meat such as Specially Selected Pork produces healthier and more nutritious saturated fat.

Cooking with good quality meat provides a superior taste, supports ethical and sustainable farming, enhances your eating experience, and contributes to a healthier diet, making it a worthwhile choice for your recipes every time!

Where Can I Buy Specially Selected Pork Near Me?

If you have been inspired to get cooking and you are wondering where you can find Specially Selected Pork, look no further!

With the help of our user-friendly map, you can now track down quality pork in seconds and get cooking in no time at all.

Simply enter your postcode, and the map will guide you to the nearest Scotch meat supplier in your area. It is as simple as that!

Bon Appetit!

What's The Scotch Difference?

Let us take you on a journey into what makes Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork so special, and how we produce such high-quality meat renowned and enjoyed worldwide.