Baked Meatballs – guilt-free meatballs seasoned with herbs and spices and fresh grated cheese baked until beautifully browned on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Goes well with some pasta and tomato sauce or a family weeknight meal on its own!
There’s always something with meatballs. I don’t know what, but perhaps it comes together easily and quickly and the fact that you can pretty much experiment what goes into your meatball mixture. ( You can check my African-style meatballs HERE and this Pineapple Glazed Meatballs.)
As a food blogger, developing a recipe doesn’t come too easily. There are times that I have to test a recipe for weeks or sometimes a month before I upload it on the blog. It also means that my family got to eat the same dish 3 or 4 days in a row (errr..sometimes a week…) before I put it to rest and tweak again for some other time.
But never did I hear any complaints from my picky eater when I test meatballs recipe. He simply loves every version of it, especially when topped on spaghetti (he’s a huge fan).
You could only imagine the lit in his face when I perfected this version here. It’s meaty with a beautiful brown crust and juicy on the inside. This is perhaps the *MOST* flavorful meatballs you’ll ever have.
You can eat it on its own, without any dips or sides, or pair it with some pasta and tomato sauce. It doesn’t get any better than that!
What makes this meatball a cut above the rest is that I used a pound of ground beef and half a pound of ground pork for a meatier and juicier combination. To hold the meatballs perfectly and keep it tender and moist, I also threw in 2 sliced bread softened with milk and 1/3 cup of cheese for that nutty and a bit of cheesy taste.
And I don’t hold back either when it comes to herbs and spices. The ingredient list might scare you off, but I tell you, you’ll never regret getting all those ingredients for this convenient and new family-favorite baked meatballs recipe.
Forget about oil splattering fried meatballs. These baked meatballs need no hovering over the stove.
While the meatballs are in the oven, you can simply prepare the tomato sauce, if you want some sauce to go along with it, OR if you feel lazy (you’re totally excused!) you can serve it right away after baking and throw in some crusty bread on the side.
“Can I make this ahead?”, you ask. Oh YES! You sure can. This is one of the best freezer-friendly meals. Make a few batches of meatballs ahead, store in freezer bags and freeze them for easy dinners. If you think rolling those into balls eats up much of your time, you can just make this easy meatloaf – moist, tender, flavorful and SUPER easy dish. 😉
How To Bake Meatballs
In a medium bowl mix together milk and bread to soften it. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, pork , grated onions, garlic , parsley, basil, cheese, salt, white and black pepper, pepper flakes and egg.
Lightly mix the meatballs with your hands and shape into balls about 12 balls – do not over mix. Store covered in refrigerator until needed.
Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper ; top with a wire rack. Arrange meatballs out in a single layer and spray with oil. Bake meatballs at 375 Degrees until cooked through or browned, about 12-15 minutes .
In a large saucepan, add about 1/4 cup oil, bring to medium heat. Add chopped onion, and garlic to perfume the oil, stir for about 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Next add tomato sauce, dried Italian herbs, white pepper, paprika and curry powder. Continue for a few minutes cooking, stirring to prevent any burns. Pour in about 1 cup or more broth . You may add more , if desired while cooking Bring to a boil then simmer to blend all the flavors- about 30 minutes or more –stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings, sauce consistency with water/stock and salt. Serve warm over spaghetti and or crusty bread.
Watch How To Make It
- ½ cup milk
- 2 sliced white bread
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ cup minced or grated onion (drained) See notes
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- ⅓ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan) , freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- Olive oil spray (or other oil spray)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2-3 teaspoons garlic
- 2 14- ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon curry (optional)
- 1-2 cups broth , beef or chicken
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley (for garnish)
- In a medium bowl mix together milk and bread to soften it. Set aside
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, pork , grated onions, garlic , parsley, basil, cheese, salt, white and black pepper, pepper flakes , egg and soften bread.
- Lightly mix the meatballs with your hands and shape into balls about 12 balls – do not over mix. Store covered in refrigerator until needed.
- Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper ; if desire top with a wire rack, optional. Arrange meatballs out in a single layer and spray with oil.
- Bake meatballs at 375 Degrees until cooked through or browned, about 12-15 minutes
- In a large saucepan, add about 1/4 cup oil, bring to medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, thyme and garlic to perfume the oil, stir for about 2-3 minutes until translucent.
- Next add tomato sauce, dried italian herbs, white pepper, paprika and curry powder. Continue for a few minutes cooking stirring to prevent any burns
- Pour in about 1 cup or more broth . You may add more , if desired while cooking Bring to a boil then simmer to blend all the flavors- about 30 minutes or more –stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings, sauce consistency with water/stock and salt.
- Serve warm over spaghetti and or crusty bread.
Tips & Notes:
- I drained about 1/4 cup liquid from the grated onions. You can equally chop the onions - finely .
- If you want summer cocktail style meatballs, yo can use my Pineapple Glazed Meatballs which are perfect for parties, potlucks and summer barbecue gathering. Get the RECIPE HERE.
- Fattier meats like beef and pork yields a more tender meatballs. If you want to use leaner meats like chicken and turkey, make sure not to overcook them or they become tough.
- Don't skip the milk, egg and bread. They are binders which helps the meatballs tender and moist.
- Do not overmix the mixture or else it'll create tough meatballs.
- You may lightly coat your hands with olive oil before rolling the meatballs so it forms perfectly with lesser cracks. Gently and quickly form the meatballs. Or use a small ice cream scoop for uniform sizes.
- To check if the meatball suits your taste, form a little patty and cook it with some oil in the frying pan. Then adjust your seasonings after your taste test.
- If you prefer firmer meatballs, you can freeze them on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before baking.
- To freeze meatballs, make a few batches of them and place in a freezer bag.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
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