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Top down shot of a bowl of spaghetti and smoked meatballs with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Smoked Meatballs

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  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 14 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner/Entree
  • Method: Smoker
  • Cuisine: American


This smoked meatball recipe is an easy way to take your spaghetti night to the next level! Flavorful and juicy these are a must-make!


  • 1 pound ground beef (80/20)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 heaping teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, grated
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 24oz marinara sauce
  • for serving: fresh basil, parmesan cheese and cooked spaghetti noodles


  1. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F.
  2. Place ground beef, ground pork, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, grated onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. 
  3. Take approx. 2 tablespoons of the meatball mixture at a time and form into a meatball. Set aside on a plate until all the meatballs are formed. 
  4. Pour marinara sauce in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. 
  5. Place meatballs directly on the wire rack and place the cast iron skillet next to them. Close lid and let cook 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees F (use a meat thermometer). 
  6. Transfer meatballs to the sauce and close smoker lid. Let cook in the sauce until they reach an internal temp of 140 degrees F. (or let them simmer longer if you prefer). Remove from smoker and let cool slightly.
  7. Serve with spaghetti, other noodles of your choice or some creamy parmesan orzo


  • Gluten-Free: to make these gluten-free use a gluten-free breadcrumb and a gluten-free noodle for serving.
  • Dairy-Free: to make these dairy-free use a dairy-free parmesan cheese.
  • Storage: keep leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Nutrition totals do not include pasta for serving, extra parmesan cheese or fresh basil.


  • Serving Size: 6oz
  • Calories: 606
  • Sugar: 20.7 g
  • Sodium: 2174.5 mg
  • Fat: 16.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 81.7 g
  • Protein: 30.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 69.9 mg