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