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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! They’re ready in 30 minutes and taste amazing!

You’ll find lots of different meatball variations here on this site, but this is my tried and true, go-to basic meatball recipe that can be used in a bunch of different meals. Keep a batch on hand in the freezer to grab for quick weeknight dinners or fast appetizers.

A white bowl filled with homemade meatballs
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Why This Recipe Works

This is the best meatball recipe you will ever make! It works because it’s got just the right ratio or egg, breadcrumbs and milk to hold the meatballs together perfectly – no falling apart on in your spaghetti!

Plus, homemade meatballs are so moist, juicy and tender, and so easy to customize in size and flavor. I always make an extra batch to freeze for later.

We also love it because:

  • Homemade Tastes Better – These meatballs are so flavorful and delicious, and taste super fresh and have a tender texture, 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 on hand to toss into your favorite meatball recipes, like Meatball Sliders or Meatballs and Gravy. You can also prep a variety of sizes and add mini meatballs on top of my Pizza Lasagna!

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 cooked 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. Feel free to use a different meat or combination of meats, like a 50/50 combination of ground beef and ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken.
  • Eggs – This helps to bind the meat together and keep the meatballs moist.
  • Milk – Whatever you have on hand.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Freshly and finely grated or pre-grated; either will work.
  • Plain Breadcrumbs – If you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand you can use Panko bread crumbs or even crushed crackers. For Italian meatballs, use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Or make your own by toasting a few slices of bread and then pulsing them in a food processor.
  • Seasonings – Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Fresh Parsley

How To Make the Best Meatballs

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Prep. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and set aside.

ground beef, eggs, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, seasoning in a bowl
mixed meatball mixture in a bowl

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 incorporate all of the ingredients without crushing the meat.

uncooked meatballs on a tray

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.

cooked meatballs on a tray

Bake. Bake in the 400℉ 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.


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 use different meat?

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

How To Use Meatballs

You can use homemade meatballs in a variety of ways:

A big pot of spaghetti with meatballs and sauce


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.

Freezing Leftover Meatballs

Meatballs 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.
  • Flash Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then store in an airtight container like a freezer bag for up to 6 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. Make sure that the internal tempearture reaches 165°F.

Expert Tips

  • Rimmed Baking Sheets. Use rimmed sheets because the meatballs will release juices as they bake and you want to keep it all on the pan and not on the bottom of your oven. If you don’t have rimmed baking sheets you can bake the meatballs in a baking dish.
  • Use Aluminum Foil. Make sure to line your pan with foil for easier clean up. Parchment paper can work but will likely get soggy, and silicone mats won’t cover the whole sheet pan. With foil you can wrap it over the edges and just roll it up when you’re done, keeping the mess contained.
  • Perfect Portions. Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to portion out the meatballs so they are even in size.
  • Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Don’t over-mix or you risk the meatballs becoming tough. Using your hands for gentle mixing will help keep the meatballs tender.
  • Add Moisture if Needed. If your meat mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
a hand sprinkling parmesan cheese over a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, a dish of parmesan, a pan of spaghetti, a fork, parsley

More Ground Beef Recipes


Easy Homemade Meatballs

4.79 from 19 votes
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 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 48 meatballs


  • 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


  • 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.


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


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


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.

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  1. These were outstanding! I stopped making meatballs years ago because mine were always hard and tasteless. So I’ve been buying frozen meatballs for over 25 years. I was visiting my daughter in Brooklyn and making meatball subs for dinner, and frozen wasn’t available in her grocery store, only pre-made ones from the deli department at $7.99/lb! So I bought ground beef and decided to try again. I found this recipe and made a few changes: increased the Parmesan to 1/2 C, also increased the breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned) to 1 C. I like that they’re baked vs. fried. My daughter and son-in-law loved them, we did too. Will be making these from now on!

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