Easy Oven-Baked Meatballs

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These oven-baked meatballs are moist, tender, and never dry. They are flavorful, extremely versatile, and so simple to make!

Meatballs served with spaghetti, garlic bread, and bell peppers.

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic meal that most kids love. These oven-baked meatballs are freezer-friendly and can be customized to serve with marinara sauce, a sweet and spicy sauce, or in a meatball sub! This meatball recipe has become a staple in our home, and I hope that your little ones love it too!

If you love these meatballs, make sure to also try out these chicken and broccoli meatballs and cheesy manicotti pasta as well!

Butcher Box Beef

For this recipe, I used ground beef from my Butcher Box shipment this month. If you haven’t heard of Butcher Box, they are a service that ships high-quality meats right to your doorstep. They are committed to providing premium quality meats and their beef is 100% grass-fed. 100% grass-fed beef can be hard to find in supermarkets and can get super expensive, but Butcher Box provides it at a great price.

Butcher box ground beef in package

Their meat arrives frozen for freshness and prepackaged into portions for easy storage. The ground beef is 85% lean, and I found this to be the perfect ratio of lean to fat to make perfectly moist and juicy meatballs. Butcher Box is a great service with no required commitment, so you can cancel anytime. I love the convenience it offers and what they stand behind. I also love using it for this tender beef and broccoli stir fry!

If you would like to try out Butcher Box, you can click here for a special offer. This is an affiliate link and I appreciate you purchasing through my link if you would like to try it out! Now, let’s get to this meatball recipe!

What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need to make these oven-baked meatballs:

Ingredients to make oven baked meatballs.
  • Ground Beef: I used Butcher Box ground beef which is 85% lean and 15% fat. I found this ratio to be perfect for making tender, moist meatballs.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Absorb the juices from the meat as it cooks so that the meatballs are not dry.
  • Parmesan Cheese: For added flavor to the meatballs.
  • Egg: Used as a binder to help hold all of the ingredients together.
  • Onions: For added flavor and texture to the meatballs.
  • Italian Seasoning: For added flavor to the meatballs.
  • Garlic Powder/Black Pepper: For added flavor and an extra kick to the meatballs.
  • Salt: Optional ingredient for a little added saltiness. 
  • Marinara Sauce: To simmer the meatballs. I love using the Rao’s brand marinara sauce, but many times, I love eating these meatballs as is!

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Recipe Substitutions & Additions

  • Beef: You may substitute the ground beef with ground pork, ground turkey, or a combination of ground meats. Ground turkey meatballs would be a little more dry compared to other types of meat, but would have a similar taste.
  • Breadcrumbs: Almond flour usually serves as a good alternative to breadcrumbs in many recipes.
  • Egg: The egg may be replaced with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. A flax egg may also be a good alternative, but I have not tried this myself.
  • Onions: The chopped onions may be replaced with ½ teaspoon of onion powder.

Step By Step Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk the egg. 
  2. To the same bowl, add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, onions, and dry spices. Mix until they are well combined.
  3. Add in the ground beef and mix until it is combined. Be sure not to overmix as overmixing can cause the meat to be tough when baked.
  4. Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions and roll them into small balls. Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined pan.
  5. Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, flipping the meatballs at the 10-minute mark. 
  6. If you choose to add them to a sauce, simmer the marinara sauce in a pan on low heat. Add in the meatballs and simmer for a few minutes.
Steps to make oven baked meatballs. Specifics provided in recipe card.

Storage instructions

Store the meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, arrange meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the meatballs to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

Meatballs served with spaghetti, garlic bread, and bell peppers.

Tips For Success

  • Do not overmix the meat mixture. I mix together the other ingredients first before adding the beef to make sure that everything is well combined beforehand so that I do not have to do much mixing once I add in the meat. If you overwork the meat mixture, your meatballs may come out tough, so try not to overmix.
  • Keep your hands moist with a little water as you form and roll the balls so that your hands don’t get too sticky.
  • This recipe makes around 26 small meatballs. If you would like to make larger meatballs, add a few minutes to the total bake time.
  • I like to add in an extra ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mixture for an extra kick, but you can leave this out if your little ones are not a fan of spicy foods.
Meatballs served with spaghetti and garlic bread.

Other Dinner Recipes You’ll Love

If you tried these Oven Baked Meatballs please leave a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

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Meatballs served with spaghetti, garlic bread, and bell peppers.
5 from 7 votes

Oven-Baked Meatballs

These oven-baked meatballs are moist, tender, and never dry. They are flavorful, extremely versatile, and so simple to make!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 17 minutes
Total: 28 minutes
Servings: 26 meatballs

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped, (about 1/4 cup when chopped)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt, (optional)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg. 
  • To the same bowl, add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, onions, and dry spices. Mix until they are well combined.
  • Add in the ground beef and mix until it is combined. Be sure not to overmix as overmixing can cause the meat to be tough when baked.
  • Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions and roll them into small balls. Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined pan.
  • Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes, flipping the meatballs at the 10-minute mark. 
  • If you choose to add them to a sauce, simmer the marinara sauce in a pan on low heat. Add in the meatballs and simmer for a few minutes.

Notes

  • Do not overmix the meat mixture. I mix together the other ingredients first before adding the beef to make sure that everything is well combined beforehand so that I do not have to do much mixing once I add in the meat. If you overwork the meat mixture, your meatballs may come out tough, so try not to overmix.
  • Keep your hands moist with a little water as you form and roll the balls so that your hands don’t get too sticky.
  • This recipe makes around 26 small meatballs. If you would like to make larger meatballs, add a few minutes to the total bake time.
  • I like to add in an extra ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mixture for an extra kick, but you can leave this out if your little ones are not a fan of spicy foods.

Nutrition

Calories: 54.07kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.76g, Protein: 3.67g, Fat: 3.94g, Saturated Fat: 1.56g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.14g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1.67g, Trans Fat: 0.22g, Cholesterol: 19.34mg, Sodium: 78.58mg, Potassium: 56.47mg, Fiber: 0.11g, Sugar: 0.14g, Vitamin A: 18.1IU, Vitamin C: 0.16mg, Calcium: 18.4mg, Iron: 0.44mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
Until next time, Lily!

About Lily Payen

Hi, I’m Lily! The mama behind Feeding Tiny Bellies. I’m here to help you take some of the stress out of meal times for your little ones. My goal is to create simple recipes with baby in mind that can easily be adapted for the entire family.

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6 Comments

  1. What’s the best way to make them after they’re frozen? Just thaw in the fridge overnight I assume and then bake as usual? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Steph! From frozen, you can thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven, or thaw in the fridge and simmer them in a sauce (ex: marinara sauce) if you are serving them with a sauce. I hope that helps!😊

    1. Hi! I haven’t tested these meatballs without parmesan, so I can’t say for sure how they’d turn out but the parmesan does provide a main part of the flavor so you’d probably want to make up for it with some other seasonings and spices. I’d love to know how it turns out if you try them!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy, these meatballs are a WIN for a busy family! Thank you for the substitution suggestions.