Meatballs in Broth, My Mothers Recipe

Meatballs in Broth, My Mothers Recipe

We make my mothers meatballs in broth every holiday season. We make these meatballs Christmas Eve, and have them for breakfast Christmas Morning. We end up eating them for lunch through out the rest of the week.

I was so lucky to grow up in a home where delicious, made from scratch meals were an everyday occurrence. My mother grew up in Western Kansas, during the depression and the Dust Bowl. Ida was the last girl of 12 children. Ida knew how to cook with simple ingredients and stretch a dime for a meal for a family.

I am the last of 7 children. I helped my mother make these meatballs in broth every year for Christmas. When Bruce first tried them, when we started dating, she left out the salt. The secret of these is to add just the right amount of salt to the meat, and then allow the meatballs to be seasoned perfectly. The broth that is formed from the garlic, pepper, salt and meat is heavenly.

We make fresh rolls just like mom used to to dip into this broth. Feel free to just pick up some from the store, and warm up. We hope you enjoy this as much was we do.

What you are going to need for these meatballs in broth:

  • Ground Beef: We us 80/20 ground beef. This gives it enough fat for flavor, and keeps these meatballs moist.
  • Breakfast Sausage: You can use mild or spicy. Buy a premium brand to ensure a rich sausage flavor. We use Tennessee Pride brand.
  • Salt & Pepper: We use this for seasoning the meat, along with seasoning the broth. It seems like a lot of salt, but trust me, it is the right ration.
  • Garlic granules: You can use garlic granules or garlic powder. Just don’t use garlic salt, as these will be too salty!

What is the difference between Garlic Powder and Garlic Granules?

If your recipe calls for granulated garlic but you only have garlic powder or vice versa, you can use the two interchangeably. It is important to note that if the original recipe calls for granulated garlic, you may want to use half the amount of garlic powder as the finer grind will pack a stronger punch per teaspoon.

How long can I store these meatballs in the fridge or freezer?

 If you store them properly in the fridge, they will be good for 3-4 days. If we know we are going to re-heat them for lunch the next few days, we just store them in glass jars with a tight lid. If you freeze them, they will last 2-3 months. You can place the broth and meatballs in quart size storage bags, and place in freezer. This allows for you to easily heat them up for a single serving.

3 meatballs in broth with a plate of rolls

My Mothers Meatballs in Broth

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatballs
Servings: 60 meatballs
Calories: 127kcal
Author: theperksofbeingus


Ingredients for meatballs

  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 3 lbs. breakfast sausage mild or hot
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic or garlic powder

Ingredients for broth


  • Fill a large stock pot (8 quart)  half way with cold water. Sit aside on the counter.
  • In a large bowl, place ground beef, and breakfast sausage. Add 1 1/2  tablespoon pepper, 3 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon  granulated garlic. (garlic powder)
  • You can do this with gloves if you wish. Using your hands, mix the mixture together. You do not want to over mix, so use turning motions to bring the meat up and over the spices. You are looking for both meats to combine.
  • At this point, and grab a large ice cream scoop. If you do not have an ice cream scoop, you can just eye-ball the size of the meatballs you are forming. You will want to make a larger meatball, as they will shrink down. Make them a little large than a golf ball, and roll them up.
  • As you roll the balls, place them in the water. The water keeps them from sticking together!
  • Once all the meatballs are in the water, add 1/2 tablespoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons salt to the water. Top off with more water, leaving at least 3  inches at the top, so you avoid them boiling over as you cook them.
  • Bring water to boil over a medium high heat. Once they start to boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least 1 hour. Meatballs may cook longer if you want to develop flavor.
  • Remove from stove, and cool. If it is in the winter months, take outside and allow to chill with lid on before you put them in the refrigerator. This is how we did it growing up, and now!
  • Next morning, skim off the fat. This is the hard white part. The broth will still be a bit like jelly, and that is okay. Warm up meatballs over a low to medium heat. While meatballs are heating up, warm up or bake fresh rolls.
  • Serve meatballs in broth with a spoon, and pass rolls separately to dunk into the broth.


If you want to make a smaller batch, using 2 pounds each of the ground beef and sausage, adjust the seasoning to this:
  • 10 teaspoons salt, reserve 2 teaspoons for the water
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper, reserving 1 for the water


Serving: 3meatballs | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 973mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 0.003g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More breakfasts to make:

How to Store

Storing these is simple:

  • Be sure to allow to completely cool before storing.
  • We do not frost all of the cinnamon rolls, so we store the frosting in a seperate air tight container.
  • Store rolls in an air tight container, or wrapped in foil.
  • Both may be kept for up to one week, in the fridge.
Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


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