Let’s make the very best Homemade Meatballs! Our biggest tip? Instead of pan searing on the stovetop, broil or bake them! Whichever method you choose, one thing is certain: cooking meatballs in an oven is the way to go!
Here’s why we love them so much:
- No standing over a hot stove top, flipping meatballs while grease flies everywhere.
- Oven-baked meatballs remain moist and juicy!
- Easy to scale up or scale down the recipe! Meatballs are the most freezer-friendly food, so we always make a ton.
- You can add other herbs and spices, but these are kid-friendly and focus on the flavor of the beef.
Our favorite way to serve dinner meatballs? With spaghetti, of course! For more meatballs we love, consider trying our Ricotta Cheese Ground Beef Meatballs or these Mozzarella-Stuffed Ground Beef Meatballs next! Or check out all of our favorite quick 30-minute meals. There’s a little something for everyone.
Ingredients For Homemade Meatballs
- Ground beef: When choosing ground beef, it is important to consider the fat content and the cut of beef that is used. The fat content will affect the flavor and texture of the ground beef, while the cut of beef will affect the tenderness and overall quality of the ground beef. The most popular type of ground beef is ground chuck, but ground round and ground sirloin are available as well.
- Traditional or Italian breadcrumbs, not panko breadcrumbs
- Eggs, beaten:
- Dried spices: garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Many other Italian-style meatballs call for the addition of dried herbs, such as Italian seasoning, oregano, even basil. We love those herbs too, but this is a really pared down and simple meatball recipe, allowing the beef flavor to shine. Customize it in any way you like!
What’s the best type of ground beef for meatballs? We recommend using 80/20 ground beef, which is a blend of 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This ratio provides the perfect amount of fat to keep the meatballs moist and flavorful, without being too greasy. You can certainly use another blend if preferred.
How To Make Homemade Meatballs
- Prepare the meatball mixture. Whisk a few large eggs in a mixing bowl, then add the ground beef. Pour in the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine, trying hard not to overwork the meat. As soon as it’s fully combined, stop.
- Portion the meatballs. Use a standard 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out equal size meatballs onto a rimmed baking sheet. Once all formed, use your hands to gently roll them into uniform balls.
- Cook the meatballs. Either bake or broil meatballs until an internal temperature of 155-160 F.
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
Do not mix the breadcrumbs and whisked eggs together or they will clump up and you’ll have a hard time incorporating them into the ground beef. Instead, add the eggs into the bowl first, then ground beef, THEN dry ingredients.
To make the meatballs gluten-free: substitute with gluten-free breadcrumbs.
How Long To Cook Meatballs
Cook time is based on the size of the meatballs. We portion our meatballs with a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop. They end up being 2-2½” in diameter.
- For oven-baked meatballs: Place baking sheet in the middle or top ⅓ of the oven, then cook for 12-14 minutes at 375 F.
- To make broiled meatballs: Place baking sheet on the highest rack, then broil for 10 minutes on high.
For either method, homemade meatballs are fully cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 160F. You can remove them from the oven when they hit 155F, as the meat will continue to cook for a few minutes even after being removed from the oven.
Don’t overcook! No one wants dense, dried out meatballs!
How To Serve
Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic, and for good reason. If you go this route, we recommend Rao’s Marinara, our absolute favorite! If you have time, feel free to make your own!
Some of our favorite side dishes for meatballs include:
- Simple salads: such as our Arugula Salad, Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad, or Ari’s favorite Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad.
- Instead of serving with pasta, you can enjoy meatballs over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.
- Vegetables: An easy veggie side dish of oven roasted broccoli, roasted broccolini, or any vegetable you love would be great.
- Turn leftovers into a meatball sub! We love a cheesy meatball sandwich with lots of melted mozzarella. These are perfect for that!
- Don’t add breadcrumbs directly to whisked eggs. Whisk the eggs first, then add the ground beef to the pan, but wait to add breadcrumbs until after beef is in the bow. Why? If you mix the breadcrumbs and eggs together, it becomes a gloppy mess and won’t evenly mix into the ground beef.
- Portion the meatballs with a cookie scoop. Seriously! It helps ensure they’re the same size. Gently roll into uniform balls, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- No need to line the pan with parchment or silpat first. There’s enough fat in the ground beef mixture to make sure the meatballs can lift away easily.
Leftovers, Freezing, and Reheating
To freeze meatballs: Allow meatballs to cool completely, then transfer to a large freezer-safe Ziplock bag. Make sure all air is removed before sealing. Meatballs will keep in a freezer for up to 6 months if stored properly.
To reheat frozen meatballs: Either allow to defrost overnight in a refrigerator or on a counter until thawed. Place meatballs on a microwave safe plate, then heat on high for 1-2 minutes, until fully defrosted and warm throughout.
To reheat refrigerated meatballs: Hands down, the best way to reheat meatballs is to slice them in half, then griddle cut side down in a skillet.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. When hot, add meatballs cut side down and cook 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy. Flip each halved meatball over and cook another 1 minute. Serve and enjoy!
These are truly our family’s favorite! They’re on regular rotation and make an appearance at least once a week (either fresh or from our freezer stash) because we are all so crazy about them. If you’ve been searching for the perfect baked meatball recipe, this is it!
If you make our classic Ground Beef Meatball recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below.
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25-Minute Baked Ground Beef Meatballs
- 2 lbs ground beef we recommend 80/20
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup breadcrumbs see note (add 1 cup breadrcumbs for a more dense meatball)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Thinly sliced fresh basil optional, for serving
- Make the meatball mixture. If baking meatballs, preheat oven to 375F. Whisk 2 eggs in a mixing bowl, then place 2 lbs ground beef on top. Add ½ cup breadcrumbs, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp Kosher salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine (disposable kitchen gloves help!), trying hard not to overwork the meat. As soon as it's fully combined, stop.
- Portion the meatballs. Use a standard 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out equal size meatballs onto a rimmed baking sheet. Once formed, use your hands to gently roll them into uniform balls.
- Cook the meatballs. To bake: cook meatballs in the center or top ⅓ of the oven for 12-14 minutes. To broil: place meatballs on the highest rack and broil on high for 10 minutes. For either cooking method, meatballs are done when an internal temperature of 155-160F is reached. Serve immediately with your favorite pasta, mashed potatoes, or polenta! Top with basil, if desired.
- These meatballs are tender and juicy. If you prefer a more dense meatball, add the full 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Otherwise, ½ cup is fine.
- Use traditional breadcrumbs (either plain or Italian), not Panko breadcrumbs. Panko will give the meatballs a coarse texture.
- To freeze meatballs: Allow cooked meatballs to cool completely, then transfer to a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Make sure all air is removed before sealing. Meatballs will keep in a freezer for up to 6 months if stored properly.
- To reheat frozen meatballs: Either allow to defrost overnight in a refrigerator or on a counter until thawed, then place on a microwave safe plate and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, until fully defrosted and warm throughout. You can also add thawed meatballs directly to your favorite marinara sauce and warm on a stove top in a sauce pan.
- To reheat refrigerated meatballs: Hands down, the best way to reheat meatballs is to slice them in half, then griddle cut side down in a skillet. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. When hot, add meatballs cut side down and cook 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy. Flip each halved meatball over and cook another 1 minute. Serve and enjoy!
- To make gluten-free, substitute with gluten-free breadcrumbs.