Oven Baked Meatballs

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Oven Baked Meatballs are a classic recipe that's been in my family for years. Baking these meatballs makes the process easier, less messy and healthier. If you're looking for a great Italian baked meatball recipe, you'll want to try these!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 32 minutes

These Oven Baked Meatballs are a classic recipe that’s been in my family for years. Baking these meatballs makes the process easier, less messy and healthier. If you’re looking for a great Italian baked meatball recipe, you’ll want to try these!

Oven baked meatballs in a white bowl with parsley flakes.

I learned to make these Oven Baked Meatballs at a young age. I can remember being in my grandma’s kitchen as she rolled dozens of them. Of course, hers were fried (in cast iron) and served with sauce. Over the years, I’ve updated the recipe to be Italian Baked Meatballs. It’s easier, faster and a LOT less messy. If you want to learn more about the history of meatballs, check out this article.


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What We Love About This Recipe

This is a great classic recipe that everyone should have in their recipe box. This recipe is easy to make and has great homemade flavor you just can’t get from store-bought meatballs.

  • 30 Minute Recipe: Quick and easy – even for weeknights.
  • Easy Ingredients: Common ingredients you probably already have on hand.
  • Freezer Friendly: Make a double batch and freeze them.
A single Italian baked meatball on a fork.

Ingredient Notes

  • Meat: I like to use a mixture of beef, pork and veal for a super tender meatball.
  • Bread Crumbs: I use seasoned breadcrumbs. If you can buy them fresh from the bakery – that’s the best.
  • Seasoning: This recipe has a mix of fresh and dried herbs for a full flavor.
ingredients for cooking meatballs in the oven

Equipment Needed

How to Make Italian Baked Meatballs

These are the basic steps for making Italian Baked Meatballs. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

step by step instructions for oven baked meatballs

STEP 1: HYDRATE THE BREAD CRUMBS

Add the milk to the bread crumbs and set aside. This helps to hydrate the bread crumbs so they incorporate easily.

STEP 2: GRATE THE ONION

Grate the onion into the meat using a microplane. Grating gives you the onion flavor without big pieces of onion.

STEP 3: MAKE THE MEAT MIXTURE

Add the remaining ingredients to the meat.

step by step instructions for oven baked meatballs

STEP 4: CAREFULLY MIX THE MEAT

Mix all of the ingredients together until they are just combined. You don’t want to over mix the meat or your meatballs will be tough.

STEP 5: ROLL THE MEATBALLS

Use a medium cookie scoop to form the meatballs and carefully roll them into round balls.

STEP 6: BAKE

Bake the meatballs until they care cooked through.

Prep and Storage Tips

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

You can easily make these easy meatballs ahead of time. Roll the meatballs and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Or bake them off and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE

Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container or zipper bag for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

FREEZING MEATBALLS

Freezing meatballs is easy. You can do it either before or after you bake them. If Arrange the meatballs on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and place in the freezer. Freeze for 30 minutes until the meatballs are solid. Then transfer to zipper bags, label and freeze for up to 6 months.

HOW TO REHEAT FROZEN MEATBALLS

Thaw the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator until fully thawed then, (if raw) cook according to the recipe or reheat in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

Frequently Asked Questions

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE LIGHTER

You can easily substitute ground chicken or turkey for the other meats. Keep in mind the final texture might be slightly softer.

DO I HAVE TO USE VEAL?

The mixture with ground veal is really the best but if you can’t find ground veal, you can substitute an additional 1/4 pound of ground beef and 1/4 pound of ground pork.

WHAT TYPE OF BEEF SHOULD I USE?

I recommend using 80/20 Ground Chuck for this recipe. The chuck will help the meat hold its shape and the 80/20 blend will keep the meatballs moist and keep them from drying out.

HOW LONG TO BAKE MEATBALLS AT 400 DEGREES F?

About 20-24 minutes for medium sized meatballs.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK MEATBALLS AT 350 DEGREES F?

About 25-30 minutes for medium sized meatballs.

A bowl of Italian Baked Meatballs

Expert Tips for Cooking Meatballs in the Oven

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  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: This is a great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately. Freeze extras for a later date.
  • Finely Grate or Press Garlic: You want to avoid any big pieces of garlic so use a garlic press or zester to finely mince the garlic.
  • Don’t Skip the Pepper: The crushed red pepper in this recipe gives just a hint of heat without being spicy. If you’re not a fan of spice, simply cut back a little but don’t omit it all together.
  • Use Your Air Fryer: You can also make these meatballs in the air fryer. Here’s a great tutorial.

What to Serve with Oven Baked Meatballs

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Oven Baked Meatballs

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Oven Baked Meatballs are a classic recipe that's been in my family for years. Baking these meatballs makes the process easier, less messy and healthier. If you're looking for a great Italian baked meatball recipe, you'll want to try these!
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 24 meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons House Seasoning Blend
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk; Stir to combine and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the beef, pork and veal, grated onion, minced garlic, eggs, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, House Seasoning Blend, Italian Seasoning Blend and red pepper flakes.
  • Add soaked bread crumbs to the meat mixture.
  • Using your hands, carefully mix the meat until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix the meat.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
  • Use a cookie scoop to form the meat into 24-30 medium meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the meatballs for 10-12 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.

Expert Tips

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: This is a great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately. Freeze extras for a later date.
  • Finely Grate or Press Garlic: You want to avoid any big pieces of garlic so use a garlic press or zester to finely mince the garlic.
  • Don’t Skip the Pepper: The crushed red pepper in this recipe gives just a hint of heat without being spicy. If you’re not a fan of spice, simply cut back a little but don’t omit it all together.
  • Use Your Air Fryer: You can also make these meatballs in the air fryer. Here’s a great tutorial.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/

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This recipe is my personal adaption of an ethnic inspired recipe. It is not intended to be an authentic recipe.  I’ve recreated this recipe because I enjoy the flavors and I want to encourage my readers to expand their tastes and try new flavor combinations. The recipe, ingredients and processes may have been adapted to make the recipe accessible for the average American. I have provided links to authentic versions of the recipe in the post above. I encourage you to visit these pages and learn more about the traditional version(s) of this recipe.

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