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.
4.98 from 571 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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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make ahead Easy Meatball Recipe on a sheet pan with a title
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 is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. My grandson was craving spaghetti and meatballs. I made them exactly as the recipe. I have never seen meatballs disappear as fast as these did. I made a big pot of spaghetti and sauce and left the warm meatballs on the side in case someone didn’t want one. Ha! So easy to make and delicious. I wouldn’t change a thing in the recipe. I will make this recipe again and freeze the meatballs so I can have them handy for appetizers or another spaghetti dinner.5 stars

  2. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    but can they be made larger?
    I still remember some that were so tender but they were larger.
    Thanks so much for this recipe and all the rest you post
    Most are bookmarked!!! ;-)5 stars

    1. Hi Rosalee, you can make them larger. You will need to adjust the cooking time to accommodate the larger size though. Cook them until they reach a safe internal temperature of 160°F.

  3. Maybe this has been asked, but how about using all ground pork? I have some I need to use up! Thanks.

  4. This is going to be my first time making meatballs from scratch, but I only have 93% lean 7% fat ground beef, I noticed that it says you can add olive oil but I’m not sure how much to add?

  5. I can’t count how many times I’ve made these now. They are easy delicious and no need to substitute anything! Great recipe!

  6. I caramelized the onions, used about 5 cloves of fresh garlic (added to the onions at the end of cooking), and also used about 2.25 lb beef and .75 lb pork sausage since it was all I had and I forgot ground pork at the store. It was still amazing, if not better than it was supposed to be. I also made the meatballs extra large and used them for meatball subs and then spaghetti and meatballs. 10/10 will make again!5 stars

  7. This is the best meet all recipe ever! I have made it many times for my family and they always love it!5 stars

  8. this recipe is almost exactly like the one that we have been making for years! My family loves them and we have to do a double batch, as they are eaten when they come out of the oven! The fresh grated Parmesan is essential to the flavor. we have used fresh herbs out of the garden and it was so good! try the fresh herbs if you get a chance! It is time for us to make some meatballs!5 stars

  9. meatballs are better when using beef pork and veal.
    It’s easier just to grate raw onion into the meat.
    Love most of your recipes…keep them coming

  10. This is a question: how long do you think they would take to cook in homemade spaghetti sauce? I don’t know whether to add them near the beginning or after it has simmered awhile.5 stars

    1. Since the meatballs are already baked, they won’t need long to heat up in spaghetti sauce. I would say 10 minutes to heat through or 15-20 if they’re frozen!

  11. I haven’t made this recipe yet. I am wondering if I can roll all the meatballs and freeze half of them for another day. Will they freeze ok?

    1. These can definitely be frozen for another day, Liz! I would freeze the other half in an airtight container and let them thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Enjoy!

  12. Thank you for another great recipe. I used ground bison and pork sausage (didn’t have just ground pork). The pork sausage helped with the tendency for bison to get dry as it’s so lean. I added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Also, I used a melon ball scoop to form the meatballs. It is the perfect size for us. Plus, we think they are easier to eat in a meatball sub sandwich. The recipe yielded 54 meatballs and were fully cooked at 16 minutes.5 stars