Classic Meatballs with Smoked Tomato Marinara

Classic Meatballs with a Smoked Tomato Marinara

This Classic Meatballs with a Smoked Tomato Marinara is a bold take on a classic. That is why we paired this recipe up with country music artist Emily Daniels. We mixed her favorite cold and bold personality with our southern roots. We love the smoking process and gave it a try on tomatoes. This takes your mama’s marinara sauce to a whole new level. This process created a sauce with a depth of flavor like no other. Try this recipe for Classic Meatballs and Smoked Tomato with a Marinara and check out our full interview with Ryan Emily Daniels by clicking here.

Classic Meatballs with Smoked Tomato Marinara

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian, marinara, Smoked
Servings: 10
Author: Patrick L.
Cost: 32


  • smoker
  • baking sheet
  • large pot
  • large bowl
  • food processor


Classic Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3/4 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup bread chopped very fine
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • tsp salt
  • tsp fresh ground pepper

Smoked Tomato Marinara

  • 2 lbs vine ripe tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic choped
  • 38 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • olive oil, salt, pepper extra for tomatoes


Classic Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • In a large bowl using clean hands combine all ingredients. Don not over mix. Just work the mixture until the ingredients at distributed evenly.
  • line a large pan with foil.
  • Next form the mixture into balls slightly larger than a golf ball. Place them on the sheet pan evenly and not touching.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

Smoked Tomato Marinara

  • Set up your smoker and get it to 250°
  • Remove the stems and split the tomatoes in half.
  • Coat the tomatoes with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • place a piece of foil on your smoker rack that is be enough for the tomatoes, but small enough so that the smoke can surround it.
  • Let the tomatoes smoke for around an hour and a half. The skin should be easy to remove.
  • Crush the smoked tomatoes using your hands or a food processor.
  • In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil. Once on add the garlic and bay leaves. Once fragrant add the remainder of the ingredients.
  • Reduce heat to low and add the meatballs. Let simmer for an hour and then serve over your favorite pasta.

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