Easy Meatball Recipe (perfect for any dish!)

5 from 4 votes

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Add this basic, easy meatball recipe to your arsenal tonight! Moist and tender meatballs, baked to perfection in the oven that can be adapted and added to nearly any recipe. Whether you’re making spaghetti and meatballs, swedish meatballs or just a simple sweet and sour meatball appetizer, this is the recipe for you.

I love this versatile and delicious meatball recipe! It is the bare bones, best meatball recipe there is. Pair it with any sauce or jazz it up to your liking. Scroll for several variations and recipe ideas below.

A plate of meatballs

How to make Meatballs

Forming and baking these meatballs gets a little messy, but man oh man is it worth the wait. Baking meatballs in the oven seems to be the easiest way to cook every single meatball thoroughly while keeping its round shape.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Easy clean up!
  2. Make meat mixture: in a large bowl, stir together the ground beef with cooked onion, egg, breadcrumbs, cream, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings.
  3. Form into meatballs using a cookie scoop. Roll in between hands to smooth and add to prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 15-17 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked and brown.
  5. Use as desired or east as is!

Basic Meatball Ingredients

Because this is a base, super basic meatball recipe, this list isn’t huge. All ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store.

  • Ground Beef: obviously this is the first listed ingredient! I use a 90/10 mix.
  • Onion: I cook this in a little olive oil for a delicious oniony flavor. This also helps keeps the meatballs moist.
  • Egg: the binder that holds everything together.
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs: I love the flavor and ease that come from a good seasoned bread crumb.
  • Heavy cream/milk: this is the secret ingredient for extra moist and tender meatballs!
  • Worcestershire Sauce: for an extra hint of umami!

easy meatball recipe

Can I make meatballs without breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs, particularly seasoned bread crumbs, add a delicious flavor and substance to the meatball that help absorb moisture, keeping meatballs tender and juicy. If you omit, then your meatballs won’t be quite as tender.

Try substituting a slice of bread, ground oats or cracker crumbs. For a low carb option, try almond meal or parmesan cheese. (My favorite substitute is a slice of white or whole wheat bread.)

Tough meatballs? Here’s the secret:

The cream or milk paired with the breadcrumbs (or breadcrumb substitute) is what works wonders in this recipe, keeping things tender and moist.

If you still have trouble, simply soak one slice of sandwich bread in the milk or cream first to break it down and then stir in the remaining meatball ingredients.

best meatball recipe

Meatball Variations:

So many different ways to jazz up or customize this meatball recipe. It’s all preference! Here are a few of my favorite ways:

  • For an Italian Meatball, add in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
  • For a Mexican Meatball, add in taco seasoning or 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder.
  • For a Greek Meatball, add in 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons chopped olives.

How to use Meatballs

If you are wondering “what can I even make with meatballs?” look no further! Here are a few options:

5 from 4 votes

Easy Meatball Recipe

Add this basic, easy meatball recipe to your arsenal tonight! Moist and tender meatballs, baked to perfection in the oven that can be adapted and added to nearly any recipe.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 32 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a small, nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion until browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add cooked onions to a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Stir until evenly combined. Divide mixture into even 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon portions and roll to smooth. (A cookie scoop works great for this!)
  • Place meatballs on prepared pan and bake 15-17 minutes or until browned and completely cooked. Remove meatballs (and any extra run off from the cooking process from the bottom of each meatball) and use as desired.

Notes

For an Italian Meatball, add in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
For a Mexican Meatball, add in taco seasoning or 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder.
For a Greek Meatball, add in 1/4 cup crumbled gets, 1 clove of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons chopped olives.

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 409mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.9mg
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Meatball
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Recipe Rating




27 Responses
  1. Katie

    Hi Lauren,

    Recipe sounds delish !!!

    Miss you & family living in Boise, Idaho area !!!

    Thank you for creating simple recipes!!!

    love Skillet Shepard’s Pie, cheesy stuffed garlic cresent rolls,

    love Super Mom Stir- Fry, lasagna cups, Granola Bars, lemon icebox cake, homemade brownies,

    love sour cream chocolate buttercream frosting, lemon bars, lemon icebox cake, & others.

    Lauren, Your hard work on your Blog does not go unnoticed!!! I. Pray for you, Lauren & your family

    alot. I hope this note will help you, Lauren have an extra Special Weekend!!!

    Much love.

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  3. Kathy Noel

    A great basic recipe Lauren… Thank you. I agree adding the milk adds to the moisture. I have also learned to not overbake the meatballs in the oven as I cook mine in the sauce all day for flavor. I have also learned at a cooking class to grate my onion into the mixture. The juice adds moisture plus eliminates a harsh strong onion taste in your meatballs.. often I use sweet onions in my meatballs.

  4. Carole Overlie

    I have used many of Your recipes and loved them all. My current favorite is your easy meatball recipe. I look forward to your posts cuz you write in such simple easy terms.

  5. Natalie Taylor

    I can’t wait to try these!!! My ward is having a Relief Society activity where we have to take an appetizer. I think this will be perfect!

  6. Laura

    5 stars
    My favorite meatball recipe of all time! I tried other recipes and they came out dry, but not these! We’ve made meatballs subs, Swedish meatballs and even served them with pita bread, feta and tzatiki sauce. Sooooo yummy! Thank you!