• Grilled Italian Meatballs (Polpetti)
  • Grilled Italian Meatballs (Polpetti)

Grilled Italian Meatballs (Polpetti)

  • Difficulty2/5
  • Prep time20 mins
  • Cook time30 mins
  • Serves4 - 6
  • HardwoodHickory

It is all about the meatballs. Meatballs are a go-to appetizer or side dish, dish them up at any ole gathering, family and friends will rave. For mad props, tell everyone this is your Sicilian Grandmother's secret Polpetti recipe.


White Bread, crustless1 1/2 cups, cubed
Milk or Water1/4 cup
Olive Oil1 Tbsp.
Bacon2 strips raw, finely chopped
Small Onion1, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Garlic1 clove, mined
Ground Chuck1 1/2 lbs.
Ground Pork1/2 lb.
Parmesan Cheese1 cup, grated
Fresh Parsley, chopped2 Tbsp.
Kosher Salt1 tsp.
Black Pepper, freshly ground1/2 tsp.
Dried Basil1/2 tsp.
Dried Oregano1/4 tsp.
Prepared Marinara or other saucefor serving
Fresh basil leavesfor serving


In a mixing bowl, combine the bread and milk; let sit for 5 minutes. Wring the milk out of the bread. Discard the milk and return the bread to the bowl.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bacon, onion, and garlic. Saut for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the bacon has begun to render its fat. Add to the bread mixture and let cool.

Add the ground chuck, ground pork, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Using a light touch, combine the ingredients with your hands.

Generously oil your hands with olive oil and form the meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls.

In the meantime, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the meatballs on the grill grate. Grill for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of a meatball is 160F. Let the meatballs rest for 5 minutes. Skewer them on toothpicks or short bamboo skewers and serve with warmed marinara or other sauce. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.

  • Difficulty2/5
  • Prep time20 mins
  • Cook time30 mins
  • Serves4 - 6
  • HardwoodHickory