Delicious Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce Recipe

Listen up, my fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I bring you a recipe that will blow your taste buds away: Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce. If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then I assure you this dish is one you don’t want to miss.

I stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago and it has quickly become a beloved favorite in my household. The slow-cooked sauce and perfectly seasoned meats create a flavor explosion that’s simply irresistible.

Now, I know there are countless pasta recipes out there, but trust me when I say that this one stands out from the crowd. It’s authentic, hearty, and full of depth thanks to the addition of dry red wine and balsamic vinegar. This will be a showstopper at any dinner party or gathering.

So, gather your ingredients and get ready to indulge in some seriously delicious Italian flavors. Your taste buds will thank you for it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce
Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce

Friends, let me tell you why you’re absolutely going to fall in love with this meatballs and sausage with chianti sauce recipe. Imagine having juicy, savory meatballs made of ground pork, eggs and herbs nestled next to mouthwatering sausages, cooked to perfection in a slow cooker – this meal is the stuff dreams are made of.

But wait, there’s more: the chianti sauce. This full-bodied sauce is made from tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, onions, garlic and red wine, balsamic vinegar and a generous helping of Italian seasoning – marjoram, thyme, rosemary and oregano.

The sauce is slow-cooked for hours to bring out its depth of flavors, coating every bite of the meat in a rich and tangy tomato essence that will make your taste buds dance with excitement.

And that’s not all! You can customize this recipe to your liking by adding pork chops or braciole meatballs for an even heartier dish. Or perhaps some hot or spicy Italian sausage if you want to give it a little kick.

You can serve it with pasta such as spaghetti or meme spaghetti or go for something unique like ricotta meatballs or meatball mushroom pasta. Trust me, it’s worth it!

So what are you waiting for? Make this authentic Italian recipe and savor every bite of it!

Ingredient List

 Juicy Meatballs and Spicy Sausage sizzling in Chianti Sauce
Juicy Meatballs and Spicy Sausage sizzling in Chianti Sauce

Take a look at the ingredients for this Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce recipe that can be enjoyed on any day of the week. Here is what you need:

  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (remove from casings)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle of onion powder
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

  • Sausage:

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage
  • Chianti Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Cloves garlic, minced
  • One (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • Two (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, with their juice
  • One (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • One bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Marjoram, thyme, rosemary, and oregano

Note: For a slow cooker Italian sausage meatballs in chianti sauce recipe, check the recipe slow cooker section.

The Recipe How-To

 Mamma Mia! This Italian classic is a feast for the senses
Mamma Mia! This Italian classic is a feast for the senses

Step 1: Make the Meatballs
1. Combine in a large bowl 1/2 pound ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound Italian sausage. Mix thoroughly.
2. To the same bowl, add 1 cup breadcrumbs, 3 cloves garlic minced, 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon each of onion powder, salt, black pepper, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary. Mix everything until well combined.
3. Form into mini meatballs by rolling tablespoon-sized portions between your palms.

Step 2: Prep the Sauce
1. In a separate large pot or Dutch oven, heat up 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté one chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic for about five minutes until they’re softened.
2. Stir in one carefully measured tablespoon of tomato paste until combined.
3. Pour in two (28-ounce) cans of whole peeled tomatoes and use your hands to crush them right in the pot with juices, one at a time so you don’t have a mess all over the place.
4. Raise the heat to medium-high , then stir in one (15-ounce) can tomato sauce, two cups water or chicken broth, enough to submerge all ingredients quite a bit of Italian seasoning…
5. Add two chicken bouillon cubes and one bay leaf to enhance flavor.

Step 3: Marry Meatballs and Sauce Together
1. Using a frying pan set over medium-high heat, sauté your tiny meatballs until browned outside but still pink inside.
2. Slowly drop meatballs into simmering sauce…
3. Top with some more fresh parsley or grated Parmesan cheese as desired.
4. Serve hot on bed of al dente spaghetti.

Now you are armed with an authentic Italian meatball recipe that even momma Tucci would approve of!

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfectly seasoned, tender meat in a rich, savory sauce
Perfectly seasoned, tender meat in a rich, savory sauce

I believe that cooking is all about trying new things and discovering flavors that work well together. Although this recipe for Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce is already perfect, there are still some small changes you can make here and there to suit your taste buds. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Meat: Although we’ve used a combination of ground pork and hot Italian sausage, you can always experiment with different types of meat. Ground beef or veal meatballs could be a delicious addition, but make sure to choose a type of sausage that complements it.

– Heat: If you can’t handle the heat, you may want to switch the hot Italian sausage with a mild version. You can always use just ground pork as well. This might tone down the spiciness level for those who prefer milder flavors.

– Wine: I recommend using a full-bodied dry red wine like Chianti for the sauce, but don’t forget that some great Italian wines can be pricey. You can always substitute it with other red wines when preparing this dish. And don’t forget my secret ingredient – balsamic vinegar – which gives a depth of flavor to the dish.

– Pasta: If you’re not much of a spaghetti person, feel free to substitute it with angel hair pasta or pappardelle. These types of pasta tend to pair better with sauce dishes as they allow more clinginess to the sauce.

By all means, feel free to experiment with different combinations until you find your favorite variation. Don’t forget to share your newfound recipe ideas so that others can also experience them too.

Serving and Pairing

 When life hands you meat, make meatballs!
When life hands you meat, make meatballs!

When it comes to serving this delicious meatballs and sausage with Chianti sauce recipe, I recommend going for a traditional approach. Cook up some spaghetti or your preferred pasta, then smother it in the savory sauce and top it off with the juicy meatballs and sausage.

What’s great about this dish is that it pairs exceptionally well with a full-bodied dry red wine like Chianti. This wine brings out the richness of the tomato sauce and complements the flavors of the meat perfectly. If you’re more inclined toward white wine, try pairing it with a crisp Pinot Grigio.

If you want to elevate your meal even further, serve it alongside some crusty garlic bread and a fresh salad full of greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a simple dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Overall, this meatballs and sausage with Chianti sauce recipe is versatile enough to work as a comforting family dinner on a weeknight or as a crowd-pleasing party dish that can be served for any special occasion.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You can't buy happiness, but you can make these meatballs and sausage in Chianti sauce, and that's pretty close
You can’t buy happiness, but you can make these meatballs and sausage in Chianti sauce, and that’s pretty close

Making this Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce dish ahead of time is a great option for those who want to save time on a busy day. Assembling everything in advance will cut cooking time significantly, ensuring the savory flavors have time to marry and deepen overnight. To do so, prepare the meatballs and sausage up to two days before you intend to cook them.

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This recipe also freezes well; it’s always a good idea to have some extra sauce and meatballs at hand since they can be used with other dishes. When properly stored in an airtight bag or container, it can last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

When reheating your Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce, make sure that you do it slowly over low heat. It is important because the sauce is thick and has the tendency to stick to the pan. If you are using a slow cooker, just flip it on low (or medium-low depending on how hot your cooker runs) and let it reheat slowly for three hours or until piping hot again.

This dish reheats wonderfully over pasta, but if you don’t feel like pasta, crusty bread pairs well with it too. The bread serves as a perfect vessel for sopping up all of that delicious tomato sauce — just make sure it’s toasted so that it remains crispy until the last bite. Enjoy your Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Tastes like a slice of Tuscany
Tastes like a slice of Tuscany

When it comes to making meatballs and sausage with Chianti sauce, there are a few tricks that can help you achieve the perfect results. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years:

Tip 1: Use a mix of ground pork and Italian sausage

To add depth of flavor and texture to your meatballs, use a mix of ground pork and Italian sausage. This combination will give you a juicy and flavorful result that pairs beautifully with the rich tastes of the Chianti sauce.

Tip 2: Season the meat mixture properly

Seasoning the meat mixture is key to achieving perfect meatballs. Make sure to add onion powder, garlic, parsley, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, oregano, pepper, and salt to the mixture for maximum flavor. Also, don’t forget to crack a couple of eggs into the mix to bind everything together.

Tip 3: Slow cook the sauce for optimal results

If you want a rich and full-flavored sauce, I suggest slow cooking the Chianti sauce. The longer you let it simmer on low heat, the richer it gets in taste. Plus, slow cooking allows all of the ingredients in the sauce to meld together perfectly.

Tip 4: Strain canned tomatoes before using them

To avoid any excess liquid in your sauce or meatballs when using canned tomatoes, I recommend straining the tomatoes out before adding them to your recipe. This way, you’ll have a thicker consistency throughout.

Tip 5: Pair with pasta or bread

Meatballs with sausage Chianti sauce are best served over spaghetti or with a loaf of crusty bread on the side. Both options allow you to mop up every bit of that delectable sauce; my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

By following these tips, you’ll end up with delicious and hearty meatballs and sausage drowned in a rich and flavorsome Chianti sauce. Each bite will leave you yearning for more, so make plenty and freeze for later!


Now that you have learned how to prepare meatballs and sausage with Chianti sauce, you may have some questions about the recipe. In this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions to help you create the perfect sauce every time.

Is Chianti good in pasta sauce?

When it comes to preparing a flavorful spaghetti sauce, Chianti stands out as the ideal dry red wine. Its taste profile, featuring hints of cherry and smokiness alongside dried herbs, can range from medium-bodied to full-bodied, providing versatility in its use in cooking. Its unique flavor qualities make it a superb choice for various robust sauce preparations.

Do you have to cook meatballs before putting in sauce?

To cook meatballs in tomato sauce, there are two approaches: one is to add the raw meatballs into the sauce and let them cook through, while the other is to brown the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil to get a crispy exterior and then let them finish cooking in the sauce. Personally, I prefer the latter method as it gives the dish a better texture and flavor profile.

Should you simmer meatballs in sauce?

One of my favorite methods to make flavorful meatballs is to let them cook in a simmering sauce. This helps the meatballs to absorb the tomato sauce, resulting in tender meatballs that are bursting with flavor.

Should Italian sausage be cooked before adding to sauce?

It is possible to add raw ground meatballs, Italian sausage, pork, or ox tail directly to the sauce, as long as the sauce is cooked thoroughly until the meat is fully cooked.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this recipe for meatballs and sausage with chianti sauce is a must-try for anyone who is a fan of authentic Italian cuisine. It’s tantalizingly sweet and savory flavors with a depth of dry red wine balsamic vinegar makes it one of the best ever pasta sauces that I have ever tasted. The meatballs are juicy and tender, and the sausage adds a perfect mix of spiciness to the dish.

Plus, this recipe is versatile and packed with substitutions and variations that can help you customize your steak to your preference whether you prefer ground pork or pork chops or even veal. You could also enjoy it on its own as a main or pair it with some creamy Ricotta meatballs that will never disappoint.

The slow-cooker method enhances the flavors making the sauce more robust in every bite. The trick here is taking your time with quality ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil, onions, garlic, fresh parsley– all simmering in the tomato sauce.

This meatballs and sausage with chianti sauce recipe is so comforting that once you try it, you’ll want to make it again and again. So why not roll up your sleeves this Sunday and give it a try? Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce

Meatballs and Sausage with Chianti Sauce Recipe

This is my recipe that I've been making all my cooking life years!!!! I'm pretty proud of it too. Give it a try, you'll love it.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 955.3 kcal


For the Sauce

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pepper
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chianti wine

For the Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chianti wine
  • 2 lbs hot sausage links or 2 lbs mild sausage links
  • olive oil (for frying)
  • pasta, of your choice


  • Sauce: Heat olive oil in dutch oven or lge fry pan with lid; add garlic& onion and saute until transparent; add tomato paste and smoosh it around until it's blended; add tomato sauce.
  • Before I add the whole tomatoes, I take the hard stem off.
  • Just grab it and rip it off each tomato, then hand crush each tomato before adding to the sauce mixture.
  • Add all your spices, bouillon cubes and wine.
  • Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.
  • Mama Mia!
  • Now that's my Irish way!
  • Meatballs: In lge bowl mix beef& pork with all the ingredients.
  • It'll be a bit mushy, but keep mixing, if it's still mushy add alittle more breadcrumbs.
  • Shape into meatballs.
  • In lge fry pan, add your sausage links, then to same pan add meatballs.
  • Flip sausage& meatballs as they brown, don't burn them.
  • When they look cooked, drain on paper towel.
  • Then add to your pot of sauce.
  • I hope I covered everything!
  • Good Luck I hope you enjoy.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 572gCalories: 955.3kcalCarbohydrates: 34.9gProtein: 60.4gFat: 61.4gSaturated Fat: 20.9gCholesterol: 280.7mgSodium: 2610mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 15.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat, Pork
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