Delicious Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce Recipe

Hey there foodies! Today, I’ll be sharing with you my favorite recipe for delicious meatballs in red wine sauce. If you’re a fan of juicy, tender meatballs smothered in rich tomato and red wine sauce, then this recipe is perfect for you.

Whether you’re a skilled home cook or just starting out, this recipe is easy to follow and will definitely impress your guests. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be served as an appetizer, main course or even used in other recipes like spaghetti and meatballs.

I love making this dish on a lazy Sunday afternoon – whether I’m serving it over creamy mashed potatoes, rice or pasta- it always satisfies my cravings for comfort food. Better yet, these meatballs freeze well so you can make them ahead of time and have them whenever you need a quick, hearty meal.

So grab a glass of red wine (you’ll need it for the recipe anyway!), put on some good music, and let’s get cooking these delicious meatballs in red wine sauce!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Freeze or Eat Meatballs In Wine Sauce
Freeze or Eat Meatballs In Wine Sauce

Are you looking for a mouth-watering, flavorful meatball recipe that will leave everyone begging for more? Look no further! This meatball in red wine sauce recipe is sure to become your new go-to, and here’s why:

First and foremost, the hearty meatballs are packed with exceptional flavor, thanks to the combination of herbs and ingredients such as garlic, parmesan cheese, and dried basil. The soft and juicy meatballs combined with the rich tomato-based red wine sauce are a match made in heaven. The sauce has just enough tanginess from the red wine to balance out the sweetness from the tomato paste.

Moreover, the recipe couldn’t be simpler to prepare! With just a few ingredients that you likely already have on hand, you’ll have a fantastic meal ready to go in no time. Whether you decide to make them in a crockpot, an instant pot or cook them in a skillet straight away, it is undoubtedly one of the easiest recipes around!

Finally, this recipe is exceptionally versatile! If you want an appetizer for your next gathering, shape these into small cocktail meatballs. On top of that, this recipe has plenty of substitutions options like ground turkey or veal can be used instead of beef for variation. To elevate the creaminess of the sauce without sour cream alternatively yogurt or heavy cream can do wonders too. You can also use frozen meatballs but always ensure they are defrosted before cooking it with sauce.

In conclusion, this recipe ticks all the right boxes—the perfect combination of ease and flavorsome ingredients while offering numerous ways to serve it up. You won’t regret trying out these succulent meatballs in a vibrant red-wine tomato sauce- it promises both satisfaction and incomparable delights!

Ingredient List

 These meatballs in wine sauce will take your taste buds on a tantalizing trip.
These meatballs in wine sauce will take your taste buds on a tantalizing trip.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make these delicious meatballs in red wine sauce:

  • Frozen meatballs
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot work well)
  • Tomato paste
  • Dried basil
  • Salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Walnuts, finely chopped

That’s it! All of these ingredients should be readily available at your local grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

 Stick a fork in it, these meatballs in wine sauce are done and delicious.
Stick a fork in it, these meatballs in wine sauce are done and delicious.

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking! Let me guide you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Make the Meatballs

  • In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef with minced garlic, one egg, dried basil, and some salt. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

  • Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1 ½ inches in diameter.

  • In a pan over medium-high heat, cook meatballs until they’re browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Wine Sauce

  • In a different pan, melt butter over medium heat until it starts to foam.

  • Add finely chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until onions turn translucent.

  • Add minced garlic, cook for an additional minute.

  • Pour in one cup of red wine while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom. Let the wine reduce slightly for a couple of minutes.

  • Add one can of tomato paste, salt, and mix into a thick paste.

Step 3: Combine Meatballs and Sauce

  • Add browned meatballs to the red wine sauce.

  • Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked all the way through.

  • Remove lid, take off from heat, let cool down slightly, then stir in some sour cream and grated Parmesan cheese.

Congratulations! Your juicy and flavorful meatballs in red wine sauce are ready to be served.

Substitutions and Variations

 Have your guests begging for more with these meatballs in a rich, savory wine sauce.
Have your guests begging for more with these meatballs in a rich, savory wine sauce.

The beauty of making meatballs in red wine sauce is the endless possibilities for variations and substitutions. Here are some creative ideas to spice up your meals and make them more interesting:

– Meat: Although ground beef is commonly used, you can also substitute it with ground turkey, veal, or even a combination of meats for a more complex flavor. If you prefer plant-based options, try using vegan meatballs made with vegetables or beans.

– Wine: While red wine is the classic choice for the sauce, you can experiment with different types of wines to achieve varying tastes. For instance, a fruity Merlot or Zinfandel can add sweetness to the dish, while a dry Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz can provide richness.

– Sauce: If you don’t have tomato paste on hand, you can replace it with tomato sauce or puree. To thicken the sauce and make it creamier, add some sour cream or heavy cream to the mixture. You can also try adding grape jelly for a hint of sweetness.

– Spices: Add your favorite herbs and spices to the meat mixture to enhance its flavor. Dried basil and oregano work well with Italian-style meatballs, while cumin and coriander are great for Middle Eastern flavors. You can also add some chopped garlic or onion for extra aroma and texture.

– Cooking methods: While this recipe focuses on making meatballs in a skillet with wine sauce, there are other cooking methods you can explore. Braising meatballs in a Dutch oven or slow cooker produces tender and juicy results, while cooking them in an Instant Pot is fast and convenient. You can also freeze the meatballs before cooking them to save time later.

With these substitutions and variations, you can customize your meatball recipe according to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover new flavor combinations!

Serving and Pairing

 Wine not add some pizzazz to your next dinner with these succulent meatballs?
Wine not add some pizzazz to your next dinner with these succulent meatballs?


Once your meatballs in red wine sauce are ready, it’s time to think about how to serve them. You may opt to enjoy them on their own as an appetizer or serve them as a main course. They would be perfect with crispy roasted potatoes, buttered noodles or even crusty bread to soak up all that rich and savory sauce.

To take your meal to the next level, think about pairing them with a delicious red wine that complements the flavors of the dish. The meatballs in red wine sauce would be perfectly paired with a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir, which will bring out the bold flavors of the dish.

If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay might accompany your meatballs recipe. If you’d like something light and refreshing to balance out the richness of the dish, consider trying a rosé or even a sparkling wine.

Not a wine drinker? No problem! A nice glass of beer could also pair well with this meal. Try pairing it with a darker beer such as an American Brown Ale or Porter, which has rich malty and nutty flavors.

In conclusion, these meatballs in red wine sauce are extremely versatile when it comes to serving options and pairing beverages. The key to finding the perfect match is to experiment with different wines and beers until you find one that complements the dish just right.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Dive into these juicy meatballs dripping in a flavorful, bold wine sauce.
Dive into these juicy meatballs dripping in a flavorful, bold wine sauce.

This recipe for Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce is a great make-ahead option for those who want a delicious and easy meal. The meatballs can be frozen and stored until needed or they can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, it’s just a matter of heating the meatballs in their red wine sauce.

If you decide to freeze the meatballs, make sure to store them in an airtight container or plastic bag to prevent freezer burn. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply remove them from the freezer and place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Microwave them on high for 2-3 minutes or until they are heated through.

If you prefer to prepare the dish ahead and keep it in the fridge, let the cooked meatballs cool completely and then transfer them to an airtight container or covered dish. The red wine sauce can also be stored separately in another container. Both components will keep well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Simply reheat the meatballs and sauce in separate pans on low heat until heated through before combining them.

One thing to note is that the sauce may thicken when it’s stored overnight, but don’t worry! Simply add some water or chicken broth when reheating and adjust seasoning as needed.

Overall, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, parties, holidays, or any other occasion when you need a tasty and hearty dish that can easily be made ahead of time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't just wine about boring meals, try these exquisite meatballs in a luxurious wine sauce!
Don’t just wine about boring meals, try these exquisite meatballs in a luxurious wine sauce!

For the best outcome of your Meatballs In Wine Sauce Recipe, you have to pay attention to the details, from the selection of ingredients to the cooking process. Here are some tips to help you prepare perfect meatballs in wine sauce that your guests and family will love:

1. Use fresh ingredients: Fresh ingredients make a huge difference in taste and flavor. Always use fresh garlic, onion, basil, and parmesan cheese for the best results.

2. Don’t overmix the meat: When making meatballs, don’t overwork the meat mixture as it will turn out dense and tough. Mix it gently until just combined.

3. Use grated onion instead of chopped: Using grated onion instead of chopped enhances the texture of your meatball and will result in a softer meatball.

4. Chill the meatball mixture before shaping: For a more comfortable shaping process of your meatballs, chill the mixture before rolling into balls.

5. Use wine as stock: Instead of using water or broth for your sauce, consider using red wine to add depth to enhance flavour.

6.Withstand using pan drippings as a base for the sauce: Pan drippings (sauce generated by cooking meats )can be used to anchor homemade wine tomato sauce while helping you improve flavors.

7.Cook low and slow: Do not rush when braising your meatballs; let them cook slow enough, so they soak up all the flavors of the sauce without getting overcooked.

8. Experiment with Various wines: Be free with trying out different wines depending on what flavor profile you like best.

Following these tips can make a vast difference in achieving ultimate results for your Meatballs In Wine Sauce Recipe, always remember being creative and experimenting are key factors in creating new masterpieces in the kitchen.


Now that we’re almost done with this recipe, we can answer some questions. With the help of the keywords provided, we’ll tackle some of the commonly asked queries regarding meatballs in wine sauce.

Should you freeze meatballs in sauce?

Ensuring that your meatball sauce doesn’t get ruined in the freezing process is essential. Once your dish has been cooked, make sure it cools down efficiently and is refrigerated within 2 hours of preparation. After that, simply place it in airtight containers, and feel free to freeze for the next 3 months.

Can you cook raw meatballs in sauce?

For maximum flavor and texture, it is advisable to sear the meatballs in a skillet with some olive oil before adding them to the tomato sauce. This method gives the meat an excellent crust while keeping the inside moist and flavorful as it cooks to perfection in the sauce. While it is possible to add uncooked meatballs directly to the sauce, searing them first improves the overall taste and mouthfeel of the final dish.

Can you freeze cooked rissoles?

Rissoles are capable of being frozen either prior to or following the cooking process.

Bottom Line

Whether you choose to serve them as an appetizer, main dish, or freeze them for later use, Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce are the perfect addition to any meal. The combination of garlic, red wine, and parmesan cheese creates a rich and flavorful sauce that pairs well with any type of protein.

Furthermore, this recipe is versatile and can easily be adapted to fit your preferences. Whether you decide to use beef, turkey, veal, or even meatless options, the sauce can be tweaked to match your protein of choice.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I’m confident that once you’ve tasted these delicious Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce, they will become a staple in your home cooking repertoire. With its ease of preparation and versatility, it’s no wonder this recipe has been passed down through generations.

Freeze or Eat Meatballs In Wine Sauce

Freeze or Eat Meatballs In Wine Sauce Recipe

A gourmet treat from your freezer. You can easilly double this recipe. Your guests will love the flavors and you will love the ease!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 80 meatballs
Calories 31.6 kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup red wine


  • Combine all but the last 3 ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Shape into 1 1/2" balls.
  • Heat butter in a frying pan, cook garlic 1 min, add meatballs to pan and brown on all sides.
  • Remove to a dish or freezer container.
  • Add wine to pan and scrape up all browned bits.
  • To serve without freezing, return meatballs to the pan and simmer 20 mins (add more wine if additional liquid is needed).
  • To freeze, pour liquid over meat balls, cool and freeze.
  • To serve, defrost and reheat adding more wine if needed.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1132gCalories: 31.6kcalCarbohydrates: 0.5gProtein: 1.9gFat: 2.3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10.3mgSodium: 48.5mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Freezer, Fruit, Meat, Stove Top
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