These easy Baked Italian Meatballs are the whole comfort food package. They’re juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. Serve these homemade meatballs over your favorite pasta, in a marinara sauce, or eat them right out of the pan!
Homemade Baked Italian Meatballs
This classic baked meatballs recipe is full of authentic Italian flavors like garlic, herbs, and onion. Ground beef meatballs are quick and easy to make and can be used in versatile ways.
You can eat them straight out of the oven or smother them in marinara sauce and serve them over pasta. Whatever your preference, these tender homemade meatballs make a filling, delicious meal.
Swedish Meatballs: For all my big meatball lovers, make sure to also check out my recipe for homemade Swedish Meatballs in a creamy sauce!
What You’ll Need
Here’s what we’ll need to make the best homemade Italian meatballs of your life:
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Along with the egg, these will form the “binder” that will help your meatballs hold their shape.
- Whole Milk: You can also use a lower fat milk (like 2% milk). Whole milk will just add a little more fat to the meatballs, making them juicer.
- Ground Beef: I used lean ground beef, but you could use any type of ground meat you like! Chicken and turkey also work great, even ground pork.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic will give you the most flavor.
- Egg: These will help hold your meatballs together in that classic shape.
- Italian Herbs: dried basil, oregano, etc.
- Fresh Parsley
- Yellow Onion: You can also use a white onion, but a yellow onion has a little more sweetness to it.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Salt & Black Pepper
This recipe uses 1 pound of ground beef to make 15 meatballs. If needed, this recipe can also be doubled to make twice as many meatballs. Or even triple the recipe to make more meatballs to freeze for another easy dinner later!
How to Make Italian Meatballs
They are much easier than you would guess! The hardest part, which really isn’t hard, is forming the meatballs. I like to use a cookie scoop to make it go much faster.
- Preparation: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix: In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
- Form Meatballs: Roll the meat mixture into balls. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to create balls that are about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Add the balls to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake: Bake the meatballs for 16 – 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and the meatballs are cooked through. You can also sauté these meatballs in a pan on the stovetop until they are cooked through.
- Serve: You can serve these meatballs plain, add them to your favorite sauce (marinara sauce, BBQ sauce, etc.) or serve them with noodles (like spaghetti).
How Do I Get My Meatballs to Stick Together?
The combination of bread crumbs and egg are the “binder” that holds your meatballs together. If the mixture gets too moist it can become soggy, which makes it hard to form the meatballs.
If you run into this problem, start by adding panko bread crumbs 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture allows you to form nice, rounded meatballs.
Be careful not to wind up adding too much extra bread crumbs, or you’ll end up with a meatball mixture that is too loose that will not hold it’s shape.
Tips for Success
Looking for some tips before you start? Try some of these:
- For Even Meatballs: If you have a cookie scoop on hand, use it to scoop your meat mixture and create evenly-sized meatballs.
- If the Mixture Gets Sticky: If you are rolling your meatballs and the meat mixture is sticking to your hands, add a little olive oil to your hands.
- How to Know When the Meatballs are Done: The meatballs should be cooked through after baking at 16 – 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Their internal temperature should be 160 degrees and the outside of the meatballs will be browned.
Meatballs can be served with everything! Well, not everything, but they can definitely be served in a lot of different ways. These are some of my favorites:
- A Meatball Sub: Meatball sandwiches are the best! Toasted bread, gooey mozzarella cheese, juicy meatballs… you get the picture. Or better yet, how about a Meatball Sub Casserole!
- Pizza: Who doesn’t love a good meat-lover’s pizza? Meatballs make a great pizza topping.
- A Plate of Pasta: Duh, right? But spaghetti and meatballs in Marinara Sauce is a classic for a reason.
- Grape Jelly Meatballs: A classic American appetizer, Grape Jelly Meatballs are delicious and you can use these homemade meatballs!
If meatballs are your main course, serve them with this Greek Salad and homemade Greek Salad Dressing! Sure we are mixing Italian and Greek dishes, but it’s still delicious! Or go more traditional Italian with this Copycat Maggiano’s Chopped Salad!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
These meatballs can be stored in an airtight container on their own, or you can store them in some sauce, too. It is best to eat them within 2-3 days.
Reheat these meatballs by letting them simmer in some sauce on the stove for about 15 minutes. You can also throw them in the slow cooker, along with some sauce, and let them heat up on low until they reach the desired temperature.
Can These Meatballs Be Frozen?
These homemade Italian Meatballs are a favorite around our house. I almost always make them on a Sunday afternoon — when the kids are around to help roll them! — and make a huge batch to freeze. I love being able to reach into the freezer for an already made batch of these homemade meatballs…and my family loves eating them!
To Freeze Cooked Meatballs: Place the cooked meatballs in an airtight container and they’ll keep for about 3 months.
To Freeze Raw Meatballs: If you want, you can freeze the meatballs before you cook them. Line a container or tray with parchment paper and store the meatballs in a single layer for 2-3 months.
Looking for more easy Italian recipes?
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Best Baked Chicken Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
- Pasta Primavera
- Creamy Pasta With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- Creamy Chicken Florentine
Easy Baked Italian Meatballs
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon Italian herbs
- 3 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
- Roll the meat mixture into balls. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to create balls that are about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Add the balls to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 16 – 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and the meatballs are cooked through. You can serve these meatballs plain, add them to your favorite sauce (marinara sauce, BBQ sauce, etc.) or serve them with noodles (like spaghetti).
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