An easy meatball recipe is a kitchen staple with easy-to-prep.

Meatballs are quick to make with ground beef, onion, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. These can be baked right away or prepped in batches and frozen for easy weeknight meals.

plated Easy Meatball Recipe with a fork

This Is the Best Meatball Recipe Because…

  • These are so good and they’re loved by kids and adults alike.
  • Making homemade meatballs is easy.
  • They’re perfect for spaghetti or as an appetizer (I’m looking at you, Grape Jelly Meatballs).
  • These meatballs are perfectly seasoned and come out tender and juicy every time.
  • Double or triple this meatball recipe and freeze them for quick weeknight meals.
Homemade Meatballs

Ingredients in Meatballs

  • Meat: I love a combination of beef and pork but this recipe works well with just ground beef too. You can also add veal, lamb, or lean Italian sausage.
  • Egg: This helps bind the meatballs.
  • Breadcrumbs: Seasoned bread crumbs add flavor and keep the meatballs moist with a tender texture.
  • Milk: Milk adds moisture.
  • Onion: Adds flavor, it can be replaced with ½ teaspoon onion powder.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning and  Parmesan cheese add flavor, but feel free to change the seasonings or add fresh herbs to match the other flavors in your meal.
Homemade meatball ingredients in a clear glass bowl

How to Make Meatballs

This easy meatball recipe is quick to prepare.

  1. Mix the ingredients (recipe below) and form 48 meatballs, 1-½ inches in diameter.
  2. Place them ½-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake until tender or freeze per the directions below.
Precooked meatballs on a baking sheet

Holly’s Tips for Perfect Meatballs

  • Do Not Overmix: When combining the ingredients, do not overmix as overmixing can make the meat dense and tough.
  • Size Matters: Ensure the meatballs are the same size so they cook evenly; a cookie scoop makes this job easy.
  • Don’t be Lean: Ensure you choose lean meat (80/20) and not extra lean. A little bit of fat keeps meatballs tender and juicy. If you’re using extra lean meat, add a tablespoon of olive oil or ¼ cup chopped raw bacon.
  • Season and Flavor: This recipe is seasoned with Italian-style flavors. Replace the Italian flavors based on how you’re serving them – try ginger and garlic for a sweet and sour sauce.
Meatballs on a baking sheet

How to Freeze Meatballs

These meatballs can be prepared and frozen, either raw or baked.

To freeze before baking: Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and store up to 4 months.
To bake raw meatballs from frozen, add 6 to 10 minutes to the cooking time or until they reach 160°F with an instant read thermometer.

To freeze after baking: Once cooked and cooled, place them on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag and keep them frozen for up to 4 months. Meatballs can be thawed in the fridge overnight or by simmering in tomato sauce until heated through.

More Easy Meatball Recipes

Think beyond beef – you can make meatballs with ground turkey or chicken!

Did your family love these easy meatballs? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

A plate filled with an easy meatball recipe topped with parsley.
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Easy Meatball Recipe

This easy meatball recipe is my go-to recipe. They're easy to make and come out juicy and tender.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
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Ingredients  

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground pork or additional ground beef
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • cup milk
  • ¼ cup onion diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper more to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, add beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, egg, and seasonings. Gently mix until combined.
  • Shape the meat mixture into 48 meatballs, approximately 1 ½ tablespoons each. 
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the meatballs reach 160°F.
  • Serve with tomato sauce if desired.

Video

Notes

For a milder onion flavor, soften the onion in a skillet with a little bit of butter before adding to the meatballs or replace it with ½ teaspoon of onion powder.
Meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
These meatballs can be prepared and frozen, either raw or baked. To bake raw meatballs from frozen, add 6 to 10 minutes to the cooking time or until they reach 160°F with an instant read thermometer.
4.98 from 571 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 300 | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 423mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2.6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
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Easy Meatball Recipe on a plate with a fork and a title
Easy Meatball Recipe on a sheet pan and plated with a title

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. I have made these several times and they turn out great every time. I use breakfast sausage as the ground pork, have added mozzarella inside the balls occasionally. Love having meatball sandwiches the next day.5 stars

  2. The best meatball recipe ever! The meatballs were soft, tender and flavorful. Goes well with store-bought marinara or any sauce. Makes a great sandwich with toasted baguette.5 stars

  3. I followed the directions exactly up until forming the number of meatballs and instead made half – 24, so they were twice as large. I baked them at 400 degrees and instead of checking them at 18 minutes, realizing that they should cook longer, I checked them with my thermapen at 16 minutes, and was surprised to find they were already 168-172 degrees! My oven temp was at 400 and confirmed with an in-over thermometer, so I would strongly recommend that anyone reading this, and makes 48 meatballs, check the internal temp of the meatballs at 13 minutes, cuz if you don’t want overcooked meatballs, don’t wait to check them at 18 minutes.

  4. I have not made these meatballs yet, but I was wondering if you should use 85%or 90% ground beef. And where do you find ground pork in the grocery store? And can you use Italian sausage instead of ground pork?

    1. Hi Judith, we use an 80/20 ground beef mixture but that should work well in this recipe. You can often find ground pork in the meat section near the ground beef, but you can replace it with Italian sausage if you prefer.

    2. 80 % works well. But 85% could work too…Not 90% in my opinion. If you cannot find ground pork in the beef section, try looking in the section that has pork. Pesonally, I like to use ITALIAN Sweet turkey sausage. 2 fat links, casings off. To peel off casings easier, I place the links in the freezer 1st for 20 min OR just semi defrost my frozen ones. Then run a THIN SHARP knife down the center of the links in a SHALLOW cut, and peel off the casing5 stars

  5. the best homemade Meatballs I ever made!! this one is a keeper!! I made them a little bigger so I got about 30 that fit perfectly in my casserole dish. I kept them in a little longer because of their size, but they were perfect!5 stars

  6. Outstanding!! I subbed ground turkey for the sausage and it was delicious! Easy, fast – a homerun recipe. We will be repeating this dish!5 stars

  7. I made these today and they’re def easy and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly. I added 3/4 tsp salt less would be better, about 1/2 tsp I think. Will make again.

  8. Love this recipe, the prep time always takes me longer but well worth it. I usually make extra and freeze some5 stars

  9. So delicious, easy to make, and surprisingly quick to get from recipe to table! I didn’t have any ground pork of any kind in the fridge, so these were 80/20 beef meatballs which worked great and saved my “OMG! I don’t know what to make for dinner!” panic. Baked up quickly and served in a beef-based gravy over mashed potatoes. Nice change from just making meatloaf again. PERFECT! Next time I make these will be with ground pork and will make plenty to freeze. Thank you for the awesome recipes and saving dinner …. for the umpteenth time! :)5 stars

  10. My husband and I made these last night. They were incredible! I’ve never been much of a meatball fan but these have changed my mind. The only thing we changed was sautéing the onions beforehand. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  11. Thank you for this recipe. I do make some adjustments due to food allergies and personal taste. I used turkey instead of beef and also used gluten free bread crumbs, swapped the milk with chicken broth, sautéed to onions, added 2 strips of raw bacon and omitted the cheese. The meatballs still yielded about 48. They were moist and delicious!

  12. I have made the meatballs twice, with only minor changes: fresh pressed garlic, i prefer a larger meatball (I got 23) +/- 1.4 oz
    requiring an additional 5 or 6 minutes.
    These are very moist and sweet, my new go to Italian. Thanks

  13. Could this recipe be made into a meatloaf? If so, would you add another egg to the mixture? The meatballs are delish!5 stars

  14. Great recipe. Meatballs came out flavorful and moist. I made a few adjustments just based on my practices. I sauteed onions which bring out their sweetness (also, my husband is not a fan of onions). I also prepared a nice tomato sauce similar to vodka sauce. It is a repeat performance in my house.5 stars

  15. Great recipe! This is my second time making them and I have tripled the recipe both times. I bake them, let them cool and then freeze. I use a 2 tbsp ice cream scoop and a tripled recipe makes about 102 meatballs. I usually have to bake for about 22-24 mins.

    Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars