Easy Homemade Meatballs

This easy homemade meatballs recipe is so simple, you’ll never eat store-bought frozen again. Toss them in your favorite sauce, serve as an appetizer or serve them for dinner!

A bowl of meatballs sprinkled with parsley

Homemade meatballs are the most juicy and tender meatballs, and so easy to customize in size and flavor. I always make an extra batch to freeze for later for Meatball Sliders, Meatballs and Gravy, or to toss with pasta and my easy Homemade Marinara Sauce.

And for more classic Italian favorites try my Pizza Lasagna, One Pot Chicken Alfredo, and Baked Italian Subs.

Table of Contents
  1. Why Make Meatballs from Scratch?
  2. Ingredients for Homemade Meatballs
  3. How To Make the Best Meatballs
  4. FAQs
  5. Storing Leftovers
  6. Can I Freeze Baked Meatballs?
  7. Variations
  8. Serving Suggestions
  9. Expert Tips
  10. More Ground Beef Recipes
  11. Easy Homemade Meatballs Recipe

Why Make Meatballs from Scratch?

  • Homemade Tastes Better – They are so flavorful and delicious, and taste super fresh, unlike frozen from a bag.
  • Kid Friendly – Meatballs are fun to make and a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen. They love eating them too!
  • Make Ahead and Freezer Friendly – They freeze beautifully so you can always have some homemade meatballs on hand!

Ingredients for Homemade Meatballs

To make this simple homemade meatball recipe, you’ll need the ingredients listed below. The parmesan cheese is optional but goes great when you’re adding the meatballs to Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. If you using them in my Crockpot Meatballs or Sweet and Sour Meatballs, leave out the cheese.

  • Lean Ground Beef – I like to use an 85/15. It’s got a great flavor but isn’t overly greasy.
  • Eggs – This helps to bind the meat together and keep the meatballs moist.
  • Milk – Whatever you have on hand.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated or pre-grated; either will work.
  • Plain Breadcrumbs – If you don’t have regular breadcrumbs, Panko works, or even crushed crackers. For Italian meatballs, you could use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Seasonings – Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
ground beef, eggs, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, seasoning in a bowl

How To Make the Best Meatballs

Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and set aside.
  2. Hand-Mix. Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and gently mix together with your hands, careful not to over-mix. Just squish it all together a few times to combine. Your hands have a lighter touch than a spoon or spatula, and incorporates all of the ingredients without crushing the meat.
  3. Form the meatballs. Divide the meatball mixture into your desired size. As long as they are uniform, they can be as large or small as you like. PRO TIP: To ensure that they cook evenly, I use a medium cookie scoop to divide the meat into uniform sized 2-inch balls, roll them, then place them fairly close together on a foil lined cookie sheet. They can be even closer together than this, as long as they’re not touching; you just need air flow around them to ensure even cooking.
  4. Bake. Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size. Be sure to check for doneness. Use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature reads at least 165 degrees F. Serve hot with your favorite sauce.
mixed meatball mixture in a bowl
uncooked meatballs on a tray
cooked meatballs on a tray

FAQs

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

Cooking them in a pan on the stovetop requires additional olive oil for frying, and baking doesn’t. Baking them is a healthier alternative since you aren’t adding any extra oil. If you want a crispier exterior, you can place them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end. You’ll still get that golden brown and crispy outside without any extra fat.

How do you keep homemade meatballs from falling apart?

When meatballs fall apart, it’s usually the binder that’s the culprit. The ingredients you use can make a difference. The binder helps to hold the meat together; and in this recipe, that’s an egg and breadcrumbs. Over-mixing can actually make your meatballs fall apart! Use your hands to lightly mix and form them.

Do you need an egg to make meatballs?

The egg used in most formed ground beef recipes like meatballs or meatloaf, is part of what holds the meat together. You can substitute the eggs with plain yogurt or ricotta cheese if you need to.

Can I make this easy meatball recipe with ground turkey instead?

You can! Just replace the ground beef with the same amount of lean ground turkey and bake as directed. You could also use my Homemade Turkey Meatballs Recipe which is similar to this one.

A white bowl filled with homemade meatballs

Storing Leftovers

Storage: Any leftover meatballs can be stored on their own or with a sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating: To reheat frozen or thawed meatballs, simmer with your favorite pasta sauce on the stove top over medium heat. Or you can reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds on high.

Can I Freeze Baked Meatballs?

Absolutely! This meatball recipe will freeze beautifully if you follow these steps, so I always make a double batch.

To freeze baked meatballs:

  • Cool just enough so they are easy to handle, then scrape any fat clinging to the bottom of the meatball.
  • Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then store in an airtight container or freezer bag or freezer container for up to 3 months.

To freeze raw meatballs: Mix your ingredients together then place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze, then store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. To cook meatballs from frozen, place on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes.

A big pot of spaghetti with meatballs and sauce

Variations

Meat – Try using a 50/50 combination of ground beef and ground pork or ground turkey.

Seasonings – For Italian meatballs, add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning or a teaspoon of parsley, basil, and oregano to the meat mixture. Fresh herbs are great, too.

Breadcrumbs – If you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand you can use crushed crackers. Or make your own by toasting a few slices of bread and then pulsing them in your food processor.

Serving Suggestions

This meatball recipe is great to use in a variety of ways. Serve them drenched in marinara sauce over pasta and topped with plenty of Parmesan cheese, in a sub roll topped with melty cheese, or even in soup! Sometimes we just like to enjoy plain meatballs with a copycat Olive Garden Salad and some Garlic Bread to just keep it simple.

a hand sprinkling parmesan cheese over a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, a dish of parmesan, a pan of spaghetti, a fork, parsley

Expert Tips

  • Use rimmed sheets because the meatballs will release juices as they bake and you want to keep it all on the pan. If you don’t have rimmed baking sheets you can bake the meatballs in a baking dish.
  • Make sure to line your pan with foil or parchment paper for easier clean up.
  • Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to portion out the meatballs so they are even in size.
  • Don’t over-mix or you risk the meatballs becoming tough.
  • If your meat mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.

More Ground Beef Recipes

icon
If you’ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star rating or a comment below. Or, tag us on social media @yellowblissroad or #yellowblissroad for a chance to be featured.

Easy Homemade Meatballs

Homemade meatballs are tender and juicy, easy to make, and freezer friendly. Toss them in your favorite sauce, as an appetizer or for dinner!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 48 meatballs
Calories 58kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground beef I use 85/15
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets (baking pans will work if you don’t have rimmed cookie sheets) with foil and set aside.
  • Place all ingredients into a large bowl and gently mix together with your hands, careful not to over-mix. Just squish it all together a few times to combine.
  • Using a cookie scoop or your hands, divide meat mixture into desired size balls. As long as they are uniform, they can be as large or small as you like.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size. Be sure to check for doneness. Serve hot with your favorite sauce.
  • TO FREEZE: Allow meatballs to cool completely on the baking sheets. Once cool, scrape the fat away from each ball and seal tightly in a freezer safe bag or air tight container and place in the freezer.

Notes

*Nutrition count is per meatball when you get 48 meatballs from the recipe using the medium cookie scoop as described in the post.

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 65mgVitamin A: 25IUCalcium: 15mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword homemade meatballs, meatball recipe

 

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

Free Email Series
5 Secrets to Dinnertime Sanity
Free email series with tested, tasted & terrific dinner recipes!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I made these for dinner tonight, my first time making meatballs! I used turkey instead of beef, almond milk instead of cows milk, and I forgot to add both eggs (I only put one in). I baked for a total of 18 mins. They were soft texture-wise but fully cooked. We all enjoyed them! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. This is very useful and informative too! meatballs is very tasty food and we always love to have this kind of recipe in our homemade party. I will try to make this in the home.

  3. Enjoyed this as a quick and easy meatball recipe. Was easy to adjust for hubby’s salt-less diet and my normal salt diet.

  4. Made this last night. Came out fantastic. More importantly, taste was rich and every bit as good as frying, so saving fat calories. Win-win! Thank you.

  5. Such a lovely recipe! I absolutely love how they taste, and so does my family. I swear, it’s like a race to see how many you get before they’re gone, especially with my mom. She prefers the ones I made with this recipe over my sister’s. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe.

    1. You’re so welcome Erin! thank you so much for stopping by! (a little competition never hurt a recipe! lol)

  6. This was my first ever time making meatballs, and these were awesome. Thank you so much for this recipe!! My wife, so much, and I absolutely loved them.

    1. I’m sure that would work. Just keep in mind that depending what brand you use it could significantly alter the flavor.

  7. I raise goats for meat and used that instead of beef. I did broil them for an additional 3 minutes after baking, but they were absolutely delicious!!!

    1. If you are making spaghetti sauce, just toss the frozen meatballs into the sauce and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Otherwise you can either reheat in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

  8. These are amazing. I added some Italian Seasoning since I was making spaghetti and meatballs. My family devoured them.

  9. I used this recipe, the first time I make home made meat balls. It was a Hit! My husband absolutely loved them, and so did I.

      1. Yes they may get a little brown on the bottom. It could be beneficial to turn the heat down a little when cooking them if you don’t want them to turn brown at all, jiust make sure they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F. When you bake your meatballs, they are going to turn brown.