Baked Meatballs made with tender ground beef and seasonings, and smothered in savory gravy. Pair it with mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, or vegetables for a tasty, family-friendly meal.
Although I feel as though I don’t cook with it often enough, ground beef is one of the easiest meats to work with and to shape into whatever kinda meat shape you’re feeling. Hamburgers, meatloaf, tacos, pasta dishes, lettuce wraps, you name it, ground beef can do it. However, when I cook with ground beef, I like to spice it up a little. It’s kinda like chicken in that you can give it lots of different flavorings and the beef will be able to handle it.
One of my favorite ways to use up ground beef is to make Italian meatballs. Mix together the ground beef with some spices, breadcrumbs, and some egg as a binder and a few minutes in the oven later, you have yourself a baked meatball your Italian grandmother would be proud of. Or any grandmother, really!
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN BAKED MEATBALLS?
HOW DO YOU MAKE BAKED MEATBALLS?
Baked meatballs in sauce, I love you so. And you can love to dine on them too, even sooner than you think in just 5 easy steps.
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a large baking sheet or casserole dish with cooking spray.
Second, combine the beef, panko, eggs, and spices in a large bowl. Stir together with a large spatula, then follow up with a good mix with clean hands until all the beef and spices are incorporated.
Third, use a ¼ cup cookie scoop or measuring cup to portion out the meatballs themselves. Roll each into a tight ball and place on your baking sheet or casserole dish about 2 inches apart.
Fourth, put those puppies in the oven for 25 minutes.
Fifth, and finally, take them out and serve over mashed potatoes or pasta with your favorite marinara sauce or easy beef brown gravy.
HOW DO I KEEP MEATBALLS FROM STICKING TO MY HANDS?
If you, like me, end up more often than not with loads of the meatball mixture sticking to your hands rather than the balls you’re trying to roll, try greasing your hands with a little olive oil before digging in, scooping, and shaping the meatballs together.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BROWN MEATBALLS IN THE OVEN?
Cooking meatballs in the oven should only take about 25 minutes at about 400 degrees. You could also cook them at 450 for 20 minutes if you are in a hurry.
If you like them a little brown and crispy on the outsides before baking them, you can pan-sear them first before popping them in the oven, or turn them 1-2 times while they are baking.
CAN YOU USE PARCHMENT PAPER TO BAKE MEATBALLS?
If you want less mess, you can line your baking sheet or casserole dish with parchment paper first. The meatballs won’t stick to the baking sheet and you’ll be able to pull it right off when they’re done baking, making clean up a cinch.
There’s no need to grease the parchment paper too unless you just really want to make sure nothing sticks!
CAN YOU FREEZE MEATBALLS?
Yes, you can freeze meatballs. In fact, in one of my notes below the instructions, I let you all know that this recipe makes a lot. Because of that, I like to freeze some of the leftovers. You can freeze the balls cooked or uncooked, I just recommend you do them in a single layer if you’re going to freeze uncooked balls, otherwise, they will freeze together into a big ball of mush.
Baked Meatballs hit ya right in the nostalgia zone, whether you actually had an Italian parent or grandparent or just wish you did. About as simple and pure a meatball recipe as you’ll find, ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, spices, and sauce all come together in one delightful, round shape.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 25oz jar of marinara sauce OR 1 batch of gravy optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a large baking sheet or a casserole dish.
In a large bowl combine ground beef, panko, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes (if using). Stir with a large spoon or spatula, then use clean hands to mix the ground beef until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop (or a 1/4 cup measuring cup) to portion out the beef mixture. Roll each into a tight ball and place on prepared baking pan 2 inches apart.
Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta with your favorite marinara sauce or my easy beef broth brown gravy (see note).