These are the best oven baked meatballs! So easy to make, juicy and flavorful. They’re perfect for appetizers, meatballs subs or on top of spaghetti.
If you’re a fan of Italian food, you’re going to love this spaghetti and meatballs recipe! It’s such a classic and is so simple to whip up. You’ll also love my homemade bolognese, crockpot lasagna, creamy alfredo and cheesy baked beef ravioli.
Italian meatball recipe
These baked meatballs are always on our monthly rotation. Spaghetti and meatballs are one of my kid’s favorite dinners…they request them almost every week. And because these meatballs are so easy to make and super flavorful, I have no problem with that! They are even perfect for meatball subs or appetizers like meatball sliders.
I love that these Italian meatballs bake in the oven…it makes them so simple to whip up and keeps the meatballs juicy. Once they cook in the oven, all you have to do is simmer them for a couple of minutes with marinara sauce while you boil your spaghetti noodles. In just 30 minutes or so, you’ll have a delicious, homemade dinner in no time!
This spaghetti and meatballs recipe tastes amazing when served with garlic rolls or garlic bread. Sometimes I’ll even make my own homemade tomato sauce if I have some fresh tomatoes on hand. Such a class dish that never gets old!
What are the ingredients to make meatballs?
To make these Italian meatballs, you’ll need the simple ingredients below. The parsley is optional, however I highly recommend adding it in if you’re making the classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe. It adds tons of extra flavor. If you’re serving these meatballs with a sweet and sour sauce or making my crockpot meatballs, I recommend leaving it out.
- Ground beef
- Parmesan cheese
- Parsley (optional)
How do you make Italian meatballs?
Scroll down for the printable meatball recipe.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. If needed, add a Tablespoon of water to keep mixture wet.
- Scoop the meat from the bowl and form into 1 1/2″ balls. Then place meatballs on baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs uncovered for 17-20 minutes, or until middle is no longer pink. Flip halfway through.
- If desired, simmer meatballs with marinara sauce for 10 minutes and serve over noodles.
Tips for making baked meatball recipe
- Don’t over mix! Over-mixing can make the meat tough.
- Use a cookie scoop (an ice cream scoop works too) to make the meatballs equal in size. This will ensure they all cook the same.
- If your meatball mixture is too dry when combining, add a Tablespoon of water to keep it wet.
- Make sure to flip the meatballs halfway through so that the bottoms don’t burn!
- If you don’t have fresh garlic or onion on hand, sub with garlic and onion powder.
Can you freeze leftover meatballs?
Yes, you can freeze these homemade meatballs! All you need to do is allow them to cool. Then transfer the meatballs to a clean baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Once they harden in the freezer, transfer to a ziptop bag. Label and place them back in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw the meatballs, place the bag in the refrigerator overnight. I like to take them out of the freezer and add the meatballs to the slow cooker with marinara sauce. I just cook them on low for 2-3 hours for an easy dinner later on!
Frequently asked questions for meatball recipe
How do you make moist meatballs? One of my favorite tips for making moist meatballs is to use half ground beef and half pork. Since pork is a bit fattier, it makes the meatballs super tender.
Do you cover meatballs when baking? No. This meatball recipe requires no covering when baking in the oven. So easy!
How long do you bake meatballs in the oven? I like to bake my meatballs about 10 minutes on each side, so around 20 minutes total. You may need to adjust the baking time a little more or less depending on your oven.
What kind of meat is used for meatballs? If I’m making a classic Italian meatball recipe, I like to use lean ground beef. Sometimes I’ll even add in ground pork to make them a little juicier. If you’d rather use ground turkey, check out this healthy turkey meatball recipe.
What can you substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs? I like to use breadcrumbs in this baked meatball recipe because they absorb the natural juices and help the meatballs to keep their shape. If you don’t have breadcrumbs in your pantry, almond flour will work too.
Easy Meatball Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef (could sub with half ground pork)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped fresh Italian Flat leaf parsley (optional)
For serving: Marinara and cooked noodles , optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
- Combine the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, garlic, onion, black pepper and parsley in a bowl. Stir just until combined, do not over mix. Add a Tablespoon or two of water as needed to keep a wet mixture.
- Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2" balls and place on the pan.
- Bake uncovered for 17-20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Turn halfway through, so the bottoms don't brown.
- Simmer meatballs with marinara sauce for 10 minutes and serve over noodles if desired.