These Baked Beef Meatballs are juicy and flavorful! They're a breeze to make and taste fantastic with marinara sauce, spaghetti, pizza, or even in a sub. It's the ultimate comfort food that'll have you coming back for seconds.
When it comes to comfort food, there's something special about indulging in a plate of perfectly cooked meatballs.
They are versatile, satisfying, and never fail to bring a smile to your face.
If you're on the hunt for a meatball recipe that is not only simple to make but also delivers incredible flavor, then look no further than these Italian Baked Beef Meatballs.
Bursting with juicy goodness and seasoned to perfection with Italian flavors, these meatballs are the ultimate comfort food for any occasion.
Whether you savor them with spaghetti or on a hearty meatball sub, the juicy, flavorful goodness will keep you coming back for more.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This recipe is straightforward and beginner-friendly. It requires simple ingredients that are likely already in your pantry, and the process is quick and hassle-free.
- The combination of ground beef, breadcrumbs, and grated Parmesan cheese creates a tender and juicy texture, while the herbs and spices add an explosion of flavors.
- These baked beef meatballs can be enjoyed in various ways. Serve them with marinara sauce and pasta for a classic Italian feast, or use them in sandwiches, wraps, or even as a pizza topping.
- Whether you're hosting a family gathering or having a cozy dinner for two, these meatballs are sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.
- You can prepare the meatballs in advance and refrigerate or freeze them until ready to bake. It's an excellent time-saving option for busy days.
You only need simple pantry ingredients for this recipe!
- Ground Beef (preferably 85% lean): The star of the show, ground beef provides the meaty base for the meatballs. You can opt for leaner or fattier beef, but 85% lean strikes the perfect balance between flavor and tenderness.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs act as a binder, helping to hold the meatballs together and create their signature texture. If you don't have breadcrumbs on hand, you can use crushed crackers or panko as a substitute. Try plain or Italian breadcrumbs.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: The addition of grated Parmesan cheese adds a delightful cheesy flavor.
- Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley brings a burst of freshness and a mild herbaceous taste to the meatballs.
- Egg: The lightly beaten egg acts as a binder and helps in binding all the ingredients together. It ensures the meatballs maintain their shape during baking.
- Yellow Onion: Finely diced yellow onion adds a subtle sweetness and flavor to the meatballs. Red onion can also be used as a substitution if needed.
- Garlic: Minced garlic infuses the meatballs with that classic savory and aromatic essence.
- Dried Oregano and Basil: This herb adds a touch of earthy, Mediterranean flavor to the meatballs.
See the recipe card for quantities and method.
How to make Baked Beef Meatballs
Follow these step-by-step instructions, then scroll down for the full ingredients list and method.
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients, except the marinara sauce: ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, beaten egg, minced garlic, dried oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Gently mix everything until well combined. Avoid overmixing to keep the meatballs tender.
Shape the meat mixture into meatballs. You can make them around 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, but you can adjust the size according to your preference.
Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to space them out slightly so they don't touch each other.
Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.
When the meatballs are nearly finished, pour the marinara sauce into a skillet and heat gently over a medium/low heat.
Once the meatballs are done baking, carefully transfer them to the tomato sauce and gently coat them with the warm sauce.
Scroll down for the full ingredients list and method.
- Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs: Serve the baked beef meatballs with spaghetti and your favorite marinara sauce for a timeless and satisfying Italian meal.
- Meatball Subs: Load the meatballs into toasted sub rolls, add some melted mozzarella cheese, and drizzle with marinara sauce for a hearty and delicious sandwich.
- Meatball Pizza: Use the meatballs as pizza toppings with a generous spread of marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite veggies.
- Meatball Appetizers: Turn these meatballs into an appetizer by threading them onto cocktail sticks, and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.
- Cheesy Surprise: For an extra burst of gooey goodness, insert a small cube of mozzarella cheese into the center of each meatball before shaping them.
- Asian Twist: Infuse the meatballs with Asian flavors by adding soy sauce, ginger, and a splash of sesame oil to the mix. Serve with a sweet chili dipping sauce.
- Mediterranean Delight: Create Mediterranean-inspired meatballs by adding feta cheese, black olives, and sun-dried tomatoes to the mixture. Serve with tzatziki sauce for a delightful combination.
- Spicy Kick: If you crave heat, incorporate finely chopped jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes into the meat mixture.
More Dinner Recipes
- Don't Overmix: When combining the ingredients for the meatballs, be gentle and avoid overmixing. Overmixing can result in tough and dense meatballs.
- Keep Hands Moist: To prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands while shaping the meatballs, lightly wet your hands with water or oil.
- Use an Ice Cream Scoop: For evenly sized meatballs, use an ice cream scoop to portion out the meat mixture before shaping them by hand.
- Test for Doneness: To ensure the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the center of one meatball. The internal temperature should read 160°F (71°C).
Storage and Freezing
If you happen to have leftovers (which is rare in my house!), store the cooled meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To freeze the meatballs, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months. When reheating, simply pop them in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
Baked Beef Meatballs
- Mixing Bowl
- Baking Sheet
For the beef meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef (preferably 85% lean)
- ½ cup breadcrumbs plain or Italian
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ yellow onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper or to taste
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients, except the marinara sauce: ground beef, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, beaten egg, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Gently mix everything until well combined. Avoid overmixing to keep the meatballs tender.
- Shape the meat mixture into meatballs. You can make them around 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, but you can adjust the size according to your preference.
- Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to space them out slightly so they don't touch each other.
- Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.
- When the meatballs are nearly finished, pour the marinara sauce into a skillet and heat gently over a medium/low heat.
- Once the meatballs are done baking, carefully transfer them to the tomato sauce and gently coat them with the warm sauce.
- Serve the baked beef meatballs with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan on spaghetti, or in a sub bun, or with cocktail sticks as an appetizer.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.