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plated portion of smoked meatballs marinara on sauce on spaghetti (asparagus and roll in background)

Smoked Meatballs Marinara

Smoked Meatballs Marinara has meatballs smoked over pasta sauce to catch the drippings for the BEST smoked Italian meatballs of your life.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian-inspired
Servings 6 people
Calories 425 kcal


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 batch Marinara assembled but not cooked (*see Notes)


  • In a bowl using your hands, loosely combine the pork, parmesan, panko, eggs, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Form into 2-inch balls (yields ~22 meatballs).
  • Place the meatballs on a small grill grate or rack that fit/sits atop the Dutch oven with the marinara sauce.
  • Prepare electric smoker or Big Green Egg to smoke at 250°F-275°F. In a Big Green Egg, this is with the grill grate on top of the platesetter inserted with the legs up.
  • Add the dry hickory wood to the smoker. (*see Notes)
  • Place the Dutch oven with the marinara on the grill grate. Place the rack with the meatballs on the Dutch oven.
  • Smoke 30-40 minutes until the internal meatball temperature reaches 145°F-150°F.
  • Use tongs to transfer the meatballs into the marinara. Cook an hour (still at 250°F-275°F) to combine flavors and thicken the sauce.
  • Serve smoked meatballs marinara over pasta or in a sub roll. Top with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.


For the Marinara, prepare my marinara recipe in an enameled Dutch oven up through and including Step 4: "Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine" and then stop. At that point, remove from the heat. Do not simmer on the stovetop because we are going to cook it in the smoker instead.
A little hickory wood goes a long way, so not much is needed. In a Big Green Egg, 3-4 small chunks (bark removed) is sufficient. In an electric smoker, 2 rounds of chips is sufficient.


Calories: 425kcal (21%) | Carbohydrates: 25g (8%) | Protein: 20g (40%) | Fat: 28g (43%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (56%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 126mg (42%) | Sodium: 968mg (42%) | Potassium: 1047mg (30%) | Fiber: 6g (25%) | Sugar: 12g (13%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword smoked marinara sauce, smoked meatballs marinara
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