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Pepperoni Meatballs

These pepperoni meatballs have all your favorite pizza flavors in meatball form! They’re tender, moist and taste amazing. 

Pepperoni meatballs with pasta, marinara sauce, and fresh basil.
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Easy Pepperoni Meatballs

We love Italian food at our house…especially spaghetti and meatballs. I usually make Instant Pot spaghetti during the week, but love to make homemade meatballs on the weekends when I have more time. These pepperoni meatballs are a fun variation that taste amazing!

This pepperoni meatballs recipe was born out of desperation. I was having a meatball craving and didn’t have any ground pork in my freezer…only ground beef. I love to make my homemade meatballs with half ground beef/half ground pork, so I decided to branch out (mostly because pepperoni was the only other meat on hand.)

The good news is that the pepperoni meatballs turned out awesome! It’s like eating pizza meatballs. What’s not to love?! They taste amazing with cooked pasta and marinara sauce, but would also taste delicious on a meatball slider or meatball sub. These pepperoni meatballs are the best of both worlds!

Recipe Ingredients

These pepperoni meatballs are a fun twist on a classic pizza with many of the ingredients already in the pantry.

Pepperoni meatballs served over pasta and marinara.
  • Pepperoni: The key ingredient that makes these pepperoni meatballs taste just like a pizza.
  • Mushrooms: I love the earthiness mushrooms add, as well as giving the pepperoni meatballs a bit more texture.
  • Onion: The onion adds a nice bite against the meat.
  • Ground beef. You still need a little bit to bring it all together.
  • Eggs. The binder that keeps the meatballs from falling apart.
  • Milk. I like to use milk to make sure the pepperoni meatballs stay super juicy and tender.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. I like the texture of panko, but you can also use oats, if you prefer.
  • Garlic. A necessary ingredient that adds so much flavor. You can use garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Seasoning: I use a mix of Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper to bring all the flavors of these pepperoni meatballs together.

How to Make Pepperoni Meatballs

The food processor makes these pepperoni meatballs super simple to make. If you don’t have one available, you can finely chop everything by hand.

  • Blend. Pulse the pepperoni in a food processor until it is ground completely. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Next add the mushrooms, onion and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until ground, then add the mixture to the bowl.
  • Shape. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the pepperoni and use your hands to combine. Form the mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake. Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and browned on the bottoms. Serve with pasta, marinara and parmesan cheese!

Important reminder: Make sure to remove the little silica gel package from the pepperoni bag before adding the slices to the food processor. I learned the hard way and accidentally blended it in with the pepperoni!

Pasta with marinara, pepperoni meatballs, fresh basil and parmesan.

Cooking Tips

  • I prefer using 80% lean ground beef for juicy pepperoni meatballs, but you can also make turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs.
  • Don’t overmix. Mix just until combined, so the meat stays tender and juicy.
  • When forming your meatballs, try using a bit of oil on your hands to help form the balls.
  • If you want a little kick, feel free to add some red pepper flakes into the meat mixture.
  • Flip halfway through so that the bottoms don’t burn and all sides get brown.
  • Scoop the meatballs with a medium cookie scoop so they are all the same size.

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to a tender meatball?

My secret is the ratio of breadcrumbs to milk, and making sure that I don’t overwork the meat when mixing and shaping. All of these things can lead to a tougher meatball.

What holds meatballs together?

I use egg as the binder in this pepperoni meatball recipe. It keeps all the ingredients from falling apart during baking.

Why do you put milk in meatballs?

Milk is a great way to add moisture and make sure your meatballs stay tender and don’t dry out.

Storing + Freezing

Storage: These meatballs can be kept in the fridge up to 1 week in an airtight container.

Freeze: Store in a freezer-friendly bag 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.

More Delicious Meatball Recipes

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A close up of a pepperoni meatball with marinara

Pepperoni Meatball Recipe

5 from 7 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
These pepperoni meatballs have all your favorite pizza flavors in meatball form! They're tender, moist and taste amazing. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 25


  • 1 (6-ounce) package pepperoni slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) container mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs or quick oats
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving: Cooked pasta and Marinara


    • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
    • In a food processor, pulse pepperoni until it completely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
    • In the bowl with the pepperoni, add the mushroom mixture, ground beef, eggs, milk, panko, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix together until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
    • Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, portion the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using your hands, shape each portion into 1 1/2-inch balls. Return to the baking sheet.
    • Bake uncovered, turning halfway through, 17 to 20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. 
    • Serve with pasta and marinara!


    Important Reminder: Make sure to remove the fresh silica gel packet from the bag before adding pepperoni to food processor. 
    Quantity: Makes 24 to 30 medium-sized meatballs.
    Storage: These meatballs can be kept in the fridge up to 1 week in an airtight container.
    Freeze: Store in a freezer-friendly bag 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.


    Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Italian

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

    Photography and recipe contributed by Karen of The Food Charlatan for I Heart Naptime.

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