See how to make the best meatballs alfredo! Tender meatballs with alfredo sauce are creamy, flavorful, and perfect for a family dinner that comes together in under one hour and with just one pot. Serve with hot pasta for a satisfying and comforting meal.
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Homemade meatballs alfredo
When I dream of comfort food, I think about a bowl of steaming pasta coated in a garlicky alfredo sauce and piled high with homemade meatballs. This easy recipe is my idea of the best meatballs with alfredo sauce.
The quick meatballs are packed with garlic and parmesan, making them incredibly juicy and aromatic. And for the easy alfredo sauce, we combine heavy cream with even more parmesan cheese and garlic for ultimate flavor and creaminess.
Why you’ll love alfredo meatballs
- Hearty + filling: You will see happy smiles and full bellies around when you serve this fettuccine alfredo with meatballs.
- Weeknight winner: Meatballs with alfredo sauce come together in less than 1 hour, making this an excellent meal for busy weeknights. And since meatball alfredo pasta reheats well, you can prep the meal a few days in advance, too.
- One-pot: You need only one skillet or nonstick frying pan to prepare the whole dish.
Believe it or not, my meatballs with alfredo sauce require only 10 ingredients total. That’s because the meatballs and alfredo sauce share most of the same ingredients.
I always shy away from recipes that call for 20 plus materials and try to find ways to cook with as few groceries as possible. Here’s your shopping list:
- Ground beef: Use 80-85% lean ground beef for these alfredo meatballs. You can also opt for a mix of beef and pork, or the classic trifecta of meatball meats, beef, pork, and veal. Avoid previously frozen meat as it won’t hold together very well.
- Breadcrumbs hold the mixture together and help your meatballs stay moist and juicy. Italian, panko, or white bread breadcrumbs are all suitable options. Alfredo meatballs recipe is also a good opportunity to use up 2- to 3-day old stale bread.
- Heavy cream: I use heavy cream to moisten the breadcrumbs and keep the meatballs moist (because no one wants dry meatballs.)
- Parmesan cheese: I recommend Parmigiano-Reggiano for best flavor (e.g., Murray’s.) Both grated and shredded parmesan are okay.
- Egg: An egg helps to bind the meat mixture together.
- Garlic is another delicious flavor addition. I used freshly minced garlic, but if you don’t have garlic cloves at hand, 1 tsp garlic powder will work in a pinch.
- Salt + pepper: Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper are perfect for bringing out the flavors.
- Unsalted butter to fry the meatballs. You can also use light-tasting cooking oil such as olive oil or canola oil.
- Heavy cream makes the alfredo sauce so creamy and delicious. If you prefer a lighter sauce, use half-and-half or whole milk.
- Parmesan cheese makes this sauce ultra-creamy and delicious. Parmesan is often salty, and you may not need to add any additional salt.
- Unsalted butter adds richness and is needed to sauté the garlic and create the roux.
- All-purpose flour helps to make the roux and thicken the sauce.
- Garlic packs extra flavor to the sauce.
- Black pepper (optional) to season the sauce.
How to make meatballs with alfredo sauce
Let’s go over this meatballs with alfredo sauce recipe step-by-step! I like to cook the meatballs all in one pot on the stovetop (because one-pot recipes mean fewer dishes to clean, right?!) If you prefer to roast meatballs in the oven, use that technique to cook your meatballs.
Fry the meatballs
- Soak breadcrumbs. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and cream. If needed, add more cream, 1 tbsp at a time, to moisten the breadcrumbs.
- Make mixture. Add the ground beef, soaked breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, and minced garlic to a large mixing bowl and season over the top with salt and pepper. Toss everthing together to break up the meat and mix the ingredients.
- Shape into balls. Measure 1-tbsp cookies scoops of mixture and roll with greased hands into evenly sized meatballs.
- Cook meatballs. Heat the butter in a large skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat until melted. Add the meatballs, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook until browned on all sides, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, for about 8 to 10 minutes total.
- Keep warm. Arrange the cooked meatballs on a large plate lined with paper towels and cover with foil to keep warm. Set aside.
Make the alfredo sauce
- Sauté garlic. In the same skillet or pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant for about 1 minute.
- Make roux. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for 3 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the mixture appears smooth.
- Add cream. Stir in the cream and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Melt cheese. Take the sauce off the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted. Optionally, season with a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve. Toss the meatballs in the alfredo sauce until well coated and serve warm. If desired, spoon the meatballs over pasta or rice.
Tips for success
Here are my favorite helpful tips for making juice meatballs and creamy alfredo sauce. You’ll love how scrumptious and easy meatballs with alfredo sauce are!
- Use freshly ground beef. Frozen meat doesn’t bind as well and won’t taste as fresh.
- Skip low-fat meat. For tender meatballs, go with 80% or 85% lean.
- Moisten the breadcrumbs. Don’t skip this step! Soaking the breadcrumbs in cream or milk helps to achieve super moist and fluffy meatballs that everyone will love.
- Don’t overwork the meatball mixture. Overworking the meat paste will result in a dense, dry texture. To ensure your meatballs turn out light and fluffy, work the mixture gently with your fingertips until everything is just combined.
- Use a cookie scoop to form evenly sized meatballs, so they cook evenly. I like to use a greased 1-tbsp cookie scoop to make 1-in / 2.5 cm meatballs.
- Shape meatballs with greased hands, so the paste doesn’t stick. I always wear nitrile gloves, which I like to moisten with a few drops of olive oil or softened butter.
- Frozen meatballs: In a hurry? Meatballs with alfredo sauce are a great way to turn frozen meatballs into a quick weeknight dinner. All you do is prepare the meatballs according to the package instructions, toss them in the alfredo sauce, and spoon over hot pasta.
- Pre-made alfredo sauce: For a shortcut, use one 24-oz jar of a high-quality white pasta sauce. We like Rao’s alfredo sauce, and their roasted garlic alfredo sauce would also be great.
- Fresh pasta: Using fresh, refrigerated pasta instead of dry noodles is another way to cut down the cooking time and bring dinner to the table faster. You can buy fresh Italian noodles in the deli area or the fridge aisles.
How many servings does this alfredo meatball recipe make?
My alfredo with meatballs yields approximately 20 meatballs, which is 4 to 6 servings. The alfredo parmesan sauce is more filling than tomato sauce, so you’ll probably eat less than you may think.
What to serve with alfredo meatballs?
The options are endless because meatballs with alfredo sauce are so versatile. Pasta, cooked rice, and mashed potatoes are great companions for meatballs with white sauce. You can try classic pasta like fettuccine, spaghetti, rigatoni, macaroni, or elbow noodles.
As mentioned, homemade alfredo meatballs are great to make meatball subs. We also eat these beef meatballs with garlic bread and a salad on the side.
Is it the same as Swedish meatballs?
Although alfredo meatballs and Swedish meatballs seem similar, they are actually quite different. Both dishes include a creamy white sauce, but alfredo sauce contains cheese, whereas the Swedish meatballs sauce is made with mustard.
How to store meatballs with alfredo sauce
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge and consume within 2 to 3 days.
Can I make meatballs alfredo ahead of time?
Sure, this meatballs with alfredo sauce recipe tastes delicious reheated. Store the meatballs and sauce in an airtight container and store refrigerated for up 3 days.
How to reheat meatballs in alfredo sauce
Rewarm your meatball alfredo pasta on the stovetop in a nonstick pan over low heat, occasionally tossing, until heated through. If reheating in the microwave, warm at 50% power since ground beef reheats better with low wattages.
Can I freeze meatballs alfredo?
Of course! First, let the meatballs and sauce come to room temperature. Then transfer into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat as indicated above.
Meatball alfredo bake
To make a scrumptious meatball alfredo bake, transfer the meatballs and white sauce into an oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a preheated 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
You can also mix cooked short pasta (e.g., penne, elbow noodles) into the dish before baking for a simple alfredo meatball pasta casserole.
Chicken alfredo meatballs
For a lighter version, replace the beef with ground chicken, a cost-friendly alternative to classic red meats such as beef, pork, and veal in traditional meatball recipes. Ground chicken thighs that have both dark and white meat are best.
Prepare the chicken meatballs as described in the recipe. Then fry and be sure to turn them every minute or so, until browned.
Turkey meatballs alfredo
Another idea is turkey meatballs alfredo. Substituting beef with ground turkey will result in slightly chewier meatballs. Ideally, look for an 85% dark ground turkey, which has more fat than the leaner white ground turkey.
Alfredo meatball sub
If you need a super quick and super tasty dinner, make alfredo meatball subs. Follow these quick steps:
- Preheat your oven to broil. Then toast hoagies or hot dog buns in the hot oven for a couple of minutes or until golden brown.
- Toss the meatballs in the cheese sauce and arrange them in the prepared buns. You’ll need 3 to 4 meatballs per bun.