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Easy Meatball Recipes

These easy meatball recipes are simple to make, freezer-friendly and family favorites! Serve them in a variety of ways including as appetizers, dinner or even at breakfast.

For more easy recipes, try these easy ground beef recipes or easy dinner ideas!

A photo collage of easy meatball recipes.
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Meatballs to the Rescue

I am just going to say it; I love easy homemade meatballs. They are endlessly customizable and can be used in a variety of ways, including pasta, soups, sandwiches and even casseroles.

They are also not as time consuming as you might think, as it really comes down to three easy steps: stirring ingredients, shaping into balls, and baking. Meatball recipes really are that easy.

Plus, I always keep a batch in the freezer when I need a quick weeknight dinner or impromptu game night appetizers, and they are always a hit. What’s not to love?

How to Make the Best Meatballs

Making meatballs should be simple, so here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure they turn out just the way you want.

  • I prefer using 80% lean ground beef for juicy meatballs.
  • Don’t overmix. Mix just until combined, so your easy meatball recipes stay tender and juicy.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to get even portions.
  • When forming your meatballs, try using a bit of oil on your hands to help form the balls.
  • Flip the meatballs halfway through cooking time so that the bottoms don’t burn and they brown evenly.
  • If serving as an appetizer, add toothpicks on top for easy access.
freezer meatballs

Storage and Reheating Instructions

I learned a long time ago that I could freeze meatballs to use in a variety of quick and simple dishes. Perfect for meal prep! Since then, I always keep a batch in the freezer for those nights when I need something fast, like spaghetti and meatballs. Here is how I do it:

  • Cook homemade meatballs or any easy meatball recipe without sauce.
  • Let cool completely, then transfer to a clean baking sheet.
  • Place sheet in freezer 1 hour to harden the meatballs.
  • Once they’ve hardened, place in a freezer bag or container.
  • Add a freezer label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Use in recipes, such as Hawaiian meatballs, Italian wedding soup, meatball sub, and so much more.


Is it better to bake or pan fry meatballs?

While it’s a matter of preference, there are a few advantages to baking your meatballs. It’s less messy than pan frying and if you are making a large quantity it’s faster and easier than pan frying them in a skillet.

What is the secret to the best meatballs?

There are a few ways to make your meatballs outstanding! First, don’t overmix the meatball mixture. Avoid using the food processor and use your hands to mix it all together as your hands are a lighter touch which will lead to less dense meatballs. Also, wet your hands when rolling the meatballs. It adds a touch of moisture and also helps keep the meatball mixture off your hands. Last, follow the recipe. If the recipe calls for 50 percent meat and 50 percent breadcrumbs, use it. If it calls for day old bread soaked in milk, follow the directions!

What goes good with meatballs?

Just about everything can be served with a meatball and it really comes down the flavor profile of the recipe. Here are a few ideas of what to serve with meatballs! Try mashed potatoes, green beans, rice, buttered noodles, roasted vegetables, salad, pasta or just slather them in BBQ with a side of toothpicks.

Should I put 1 or 2 eggs in meatballs?

Again, default to the recipe ingredients as that has been tested. Most meatball recipes will call for 1 or 2 eggs per pound of meat to help bind the ingredients together. Too many eggs in a meatball recipe often indicates there is many breadcrumbs.

Easy Homemade Meatballs Recipes

These meatball recipes are so easy, and can be used in a variety of ways. They are also super freezer friendly, making it a breeze to whip up dinner or an appetizer in a hurry.


Best Meatballs with a Twist

As I mentioned, easy meatball recipes are endlessly adaptable, and these recipes prove just that. They are jam-packed with flavor and can be eaten as appetizers or a main meal.

Meatballs in a sauce with a serving spoon.
  • Teriyaki Meatballs. Glazed in sweet and savory sauce, these work well as an appetizer or served with rice as a meatball dinner idea.
  • Asian Meatballs. The sticky sauce is highly addictive, made from brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
  • Hawaiian Meatballs. Cooked in a crockpot, these need only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes prep to make.
  • Pepperoni Meatballs. Move over pizza, these meatballs are a new family favorite.
  • Breakfast Meatballs. These are filled with sausage, cheese, apples, and maple syrup and can be made the night before for an easy morning.
  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Meatballs are combined with bell peppers and pineapple and smothered in an irresistible sauce.
  • Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs. I love how gooey and cheesy these meatballs are.
  • Greek Chicken Meatballs. Made with ground chicken, dill, lemon zest, cumin, and oregano, these simple meatballs taste so fresh and light. Perfect for a salad.
  • Easy Porcupine Meatballs. These meatballs are made with rice and beef and cooked in a rich tomato sauce.

Meatball Appetizers

In truth, almost any meatball can be an appetizer by simply adding toothpicks, but these easy meatball recipes, in particular, are some of my favorites to serve on game day.

buffalo chicken meatball on toothpick

Soup Recipes with Meatballs

I love a hearty soup, and it doesn’t get much heartier than meatballs and vegetables in broth. These are a few of my favorite comfort foods on a cold day.

Italian Wedding soup in a white bowl.

Meatball Dinner Ideas

I realize one could argue that any of the easy meatball recipes in this list could be a dinner, but these main dish recipes require more than just the meatballs to make it a full meal.

meatball casserole in white baking dish
  • Meatball Casserole. This 30-minute baked dish is made with by baking meatballs in marinara sauce and melted cheese.
  • Swedish Meatballs. Seasoned with nutmeg, this easy meatball recipe is served in a creamy sauce that’s similar to gravy.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs. The classic pairing that is just too good to pass up when you are making meatballs.
  • Easy Meatball Sub. I love making this for lunch or dinner, depending on how hungry everyone is.

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A photo collage of easy meatball recipes.

Easy Meatball Recipes

5 from 6 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Freezer-friendly, fast, and can be appetizers, dinner, and even breakfast, these easy meatball recipes are about to change the way you cook. One of my favorites is this chicken meatball recipe that works with so many sauces and can be used in salads, soups, sandwiches, or as a small bite.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound 80% lean ground chicken
  • 1 large egg , beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving: Teriyaki or buffalo sauce


    • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. 
    • In a large bowl, combine the meat, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper using your hands or a wooden spoon, being careful not to overmix.
    • Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat onto the baking sheet. Using your hands, form into 1 1/2-inch  balls and return to the baking sheet.
    • Bake uncovered 16 to 20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the cebter. Turn halfway through, if desired, so the bottoms don't brown. 
    • Toss in your favorite sauce or dip in teriyaki or buffalo sauce, if desired.


    Tips and Variations
    • Lean meat. When buying your ground chicken, look for lean meat (I use 80%).
    • Ground turkey. Sub ground turkey for chicken to make turkey meatballs.
    • Non-stick. When forming your meatballs, try using a bit of oil on your hands to help form the balls.
    • Garlic substitute. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute with 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.
    • Fried version. If you want to fry the meatballs instead, cook them in a pan with 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat until cooked through.
    • Darker meatballs. For extra browning after baking, toss them in a sauté pan.
    • Keep them moist. Mix the meatballs thoroughly to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed but not enough to toughen the meatballs in the end. Also, don’t overbake!
    • Air fryer: Follow these directions to make meatballs in air fryer.
    Storage: These meatballs can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
    Freeze: Store in a freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. To avoid having them freeze in a clump, flash freeze them on the baking tray first before transferring them to the bag.


    Serving: 5meatballs | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 405mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    The Full List of Easy Meatball Recipes

    Click on the links below to find the recipes for all of the delicious easy meatball recipes mentioned above.

    Easy Meatball Recipe
    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.
    Total Time: 30 minutes
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    Chicken Meatballs
    The best baked chicken meatballs are perfectly seasoned with garlic and seasonings! This is my go-to recipe that is simple to make, easily customized and meal-prep friendly.
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Air Fryer Meatballs
    Tender and juicy air fryer meatballs are easy to make in just minutes. Enjoy a batch of these delicious homemade meatballs for a simple weeknight meal!
    Total Time: 27 minutes
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    Instant Pot Meatballs
    Juicy and tender Instant Pot meatballs are made quickly and easily with no searing and no long simmering time. Toss them uncooked in the pressure cooker, and they're ready in just over 30 minutes! 
    Total Time: 37 minutes
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    Turkey Meatball Recipe
    Easy, healthy and full of flavor. Low in carbs and fat and high in protein. This turkey meatball recipe makes the perfect weeknight dinner!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
    These buffalo chicken meatballs are coated in tangy buffalo sauce then baked until tender and juicy! Drizzle with ranch or blue cheese dressing for a low carb game day appetizer.
    Total Time: 31 minutes
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    Asian Meatballs Recipe
    This Asian meatballs recipe will be a new family favorite! Meatballs are baked until tender then coated in a sweet and savory sticky sauce and ready in just over 30 minutes.
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Hawaiian meatballs in a bowl with rice.
    Hawaiian Meatballs
    These Hawaiian meatballs are easy, tasty and always a crowd pleaser. Meatballs are cooked in BBQ sauce with pineapple and ginger for the perfect appetizer or main dish.
    Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
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    A close up of a pepperoni meatball with marinara
    Pepperoni Meatball Recipe
    These pepperoni meatballs have all your favorite pizza flavors in meatball form! They're tender, moist and taste amazing. 
    Total Time: 37 minutes
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    Breakfast Meatballs
    These delicious breakfast meatballs can be rolled the night before and then baked in the oven in the morning. Loaded with sausage, cheese, apples, and maple syrup, this easy breakfast dish sets you up for the day ahead!
    Total Time: 40 minutes
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    Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
    Tender and flavorful homemade meatballs stuffed with gooey mozzarella cheese. These mozzarella stuffed meatballs are what dreams are made of!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Teriyaki meatballs in a bowl with white rice.
    Teriyaki Meatballs
    Juicy and tender teriyaki meatballs are easy to make then coated in a sweet and sticky homemade teriyaki sauce that is melt-in-your mouth flavorful!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Greek meatballs on top of a salad in a bowl.
    Greek Chicken Meatballs
    Baked to golden perfection and packed with flavor these Greek chicken meatballs are amazing alongside a zesty Greek salad and a dollop of tzatziki sauce. Using fresh ingredients like lean ground chicken, dill, lemon zest, cumin, and oregano, makes it impossible to stop eating them!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Cheeseburger Meatballs
    Get game-day ready with a new easy appetizer idea that everyone will love! Cheeseburger meatballs are bite-sized morsels of juicy meat and melty cheese that are topped with your favorite burger toppings and served with a side of dipping sauce!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Cranberry Meatballs
    These 3 ingredient cranberry meatballs with a cranberry chili sauce are so easy to make in the crockpot. They make the perfect appetizer for any holiday party.
    Total Time: 3 hours
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    Crockpot Bbq Meatballs
    Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs are easy to make in the crock pot with only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep! Doesn't get better than that.
    Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
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    Meatball Sliders
    These Meatball Sliders are the perfect EASY appetizer to make for your next party! Made with Hawaiian rolls, meatballs, marinara, mozzarella and topped with a delicious butter and Parmesan seasoning.
    Total Time: 32 minutes
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    Spoonful of grape jelly chili sauce meatballs.
    Grape Jelly Chili Sauce Meatballs
    Grape jelly chili sauce meatballs are a delicious and easy dump-and-set crock pot recipe perfect for potlucks and parties. Made with just 3 ingredients including frozen meatballs, this juicy, saucy, sweet, and tangy meatball dish is always a crowd pleaser!
    Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
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    Italian Wedding soup in a white bowl.
    Italian Wedding Soup
    Learn to make this classic Italian-Inspired soup in under 1 hour! A restaurant-style Italian wedding soup is filled with juicy meatballs, orzo pasta, tender veggies, and spinach, cooked in a flavorful broth that is so easy to make from scratch!
    Total Time: 45 minutes
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    Albondigas Soup Recipe
    This albondigas soup is hearty and flavorful made with beef and rice meatballs, vegetables and potatoes in a tomato based broth full of delicious seasonings and spices!
    Total Time: 40 minutes
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    Meatball Soup
    This meatball soup recipe is easy to make with with juicy meatballs, tender vegetables and pasta simmered in a rich, tomato-savory broth full of Italian flavor.
    Total Time: 40 minutes
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    Porcupine meatballs simmering in marinara sauce.
    Porcupine Meatballs
    These easy porcupine meatballs are made with a delicious mixture of ground beef and rice cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. Tender, moist and super flavorful!
    Total Time: 55 minutes
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    Meatball Casserole
    Meatball casserole is a 30-minute baked dish made with seasoned juicy meatballs covered in marinara sauce and melted cheese making this the perfect weeknight comfort meal!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
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    Swedish Meatball Recipe
    Moist and tender Swedish meatballs covered in a creamy gravy sauce. These flavorful meatballs make a delicious weeknight dinner that the whole family will love.  
    Total Time: 50 minutes
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    Spaghetti and Meatballs
    Juicy, tender meatballs simmered with marinara and then tossed with spaghetti noodles. These homemade spaghetti and meatballs taste like they came straight from an Italian restaurant! 
    Total Time: 35 minutes
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    Meatball Subs
    These homemade meatball subs are toasty, cheesy and downright delicious. One of the best easy dinner ideas that comes together in just 20 minutes!
    Total Time: 20 minutes
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    Sweet and sour meatballs and pineapple and rice in a bowl.
    Sweet and Sour Meatballs
    These sweet and sour meatballs are combined with bell peppers and pineapple smothered in an irresistible sauce. Whether served over rice as a meal, or on their own as a party appetizer, they are always a hit!
    Total Time: 25 minutes
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