Why Oven Baked and Broiled Meatballs Are The Best
Whichever method you choose, one thing is certain: cooking meatballs in an oven is the way to go!
- 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.
- Can add other herbs and spices, but these are kid-friendly and focus on the flavor of the beef.
Our favorite way to serve them? With spaghetti, of course! Nothing beats classic comfort food!
Ingredients For Homemade Meatballs
- Ground beef
- Traditional or Italian breadcrumbs, not panko breadcrumbs
- Eggs, beaten
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Many other easy meatball recipes call for the addition of dried herbs, such as Italian seasoning, oregano, even basil. We love those herbs and spices too, but they are not welcome in our classic meatball recipe. I know, I know! But these are our kids’ favorite!
Pared down and simple, allowing the beef flavor to shine.
How To Make Homemade Meatballs
- Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl.
- Add ground beef.
- Add seasonings and breadcrumbs. Pour in the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and 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 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.
Baked meatballs: Place baking sheet in the middle or top ⅓ of the oven, then cook for 12-14 minutes at 375 F.
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 160 F. You can remove them from the oven when they hit 155 F, as 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!
What To Serve With Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic, and for good reason. If you go this route, we recommend Rao’s Marinara, our absolute favorite! You could, of course, make your own spaghetti sauce, but honestly Rao’s is our end-all-be-all!
Our kids also love to eat homemade meatballs with pasta, mascarpone cheese, and parmesan (sans red sauce). It’s their comfort food!
- Alongside grilled or roasted vegetables
- With mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes
- On top of creamy polenta
- In an epic meatball sandwich with lots of melted mozzarella (omg yum!)
Tips For The Best Homemade Meatballs
- 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 to make sure the meatballs can lift away easily.
How To Freeze and Reheat Meatballs
To freeze meatballs: Allow 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. 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!
Can’t even begin to tell you how often we make these homemade meatballs. They are 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 a classic meatball recipe, this is it!
Looking for other meatball recipes? Make sure to check out these Well Seasoned favorites:
- Thai turkey meatballs
- Classic chicken meatballs
- Lamb meatballs with golden raisins
- Sheet pan chicken meatballs stuffed with goat cheese
If you make our classic Homemade Meatballs, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below.
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For more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the following:
- Baked chicken teriyaki
- Chili bourbon glazed salmon
- Skillet chicken parmesan
- Grilled chicken wings
- Spicy crab pasta
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup traditional 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 basil optional, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 F (if baking meatballs). Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add ground beef.
- Add seasonings and breadcrumbs. Pour in the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and 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 155-160 F 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.