Thanksgiving Throwdown: Chef Ryan's Spaghetti and Meatballs

Chef Ryan shares his favorite holiday recipe to make with family

HOUSTON - Houston Life is proud to announce the first-ever Houston Life Thanksgiving Throwdown, presented by Hardie’s Fresh Foods and Craftex.

Four local chefs will battle it out this week for the title of Thanksgiving Throwdown champion and earn their charity of choice a feature on Houston Life. 

Chef Ryan Hildebrand from FM Kitchen and Bar is playing for Candlelighters.

He prepared spaghetti and meatballs.

“Everything fits together really well. I would say this one right here is on the money for me with the meatball, the sauce, it’s really, really good. It’s not your ordinary meatball,” said Isaac Garcia, Hardie’s Fresh Foods.

See below for Chef Ryan's recipe.

Meatball Recipe

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup olive oil


  1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, shallots, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. Shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
  4. Finish in oven or braise in sauce.

Sponsored by Hardie’s Fresh Foods and Craftex


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