You can have amazing homemade Italian meatballs with just 10 minutes of prep! These beef meatballs have lots of bold flavor from herbs, garlic and of course Parmesan cheese! We love them with pasta, on sub sandwiches or even as a simple party appetizer.
A few years ago I thought only beloved Italian grandmas made wonderful meatballs from scratch. My husband loves meatballs so I thought it would be nice to make some as a special treat. In the process of trying some recipes I discovered that meatballs are SUPER easy to make and a fast way to put simple protein on the table with our pasta! Now I make them frequently to my family’s delight. This is a great way to stretch your hamburger!
The best Italian meatballs
The very best Italian meatball recipe should be tender and loaded with herbs and cheese!
I also think starting with good quality fresh ground hamburger means great beef flavor comes through in your meatballs – this is the true trick to satisfying your meat lovers!
Finally make sure you don’t overcook!!!! Spent a few dollars on a good quality digital thermometer for your kitchen – this investment will keep you in perfectly cooked food for years!
Tips for making homemade meatballs easy!
You don’t need a bunch of unusual equipment or mad Italian grandma skills to pull of a solid meatball. But these simple tricks will help keep it easy even if you are new to cooking!
- Use a 2 Tablespoon sized scoop to portion out the meat. It will take you seconds to do and the meatballs will all be perfectly uniform which helps them cook up evenly.
- Before you start scooping out the meatballs spray your hands and scoop with non stick cooking spray. This helps everything release simply!
- Resist the urge to over-mix!!!!! With meatballs, meatloaf – anything like this you should stop as soon as everything is incorporated. Over-mixing will make your meatballs tough instead of tender, pillowy and delicious…
- Have a sauce ready to go by the time the meatballs are out of the oven. Leaving cooked meatballs sitting while you make a sauce lets them dry out (which they do quickly). If you are not in the mood for marinara try this easy 15 minute from scratch Alfredo sauce!
How long to cook meatballs in the oven
How long you need to cook meatballs depends on how big they are! I make mine about 2″ (about 2 Tablespoons of the ground beef mixture) and they take about 20 minutes. If you are making baseball sized meatballs be prepared for them to take longer!
This Italian meatball recipe uses the oven instead of the stovetop. It is much easier just to toss the meatballs in the oven and they still brown up nicely.
Freezing Meatballs for Later
Having frozen meatballs on hand makes life lots easier! You can prepare the meatballs and freeze them raw or cooked.
To Freeze Uncooked Meatballs: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place the meatballs on the tray so they are not touch. Freeze until solid and then put the meatballs in a Ziploc bag of freezer container and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw the meatballs in the fridge completely and then bake as directed.
To Freeze Cooked Meatballs: Cover cooked meatballs with a light coating of marinara sauce just after cooking. Let the meatballs cool completely. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place the meatballs on the tray so they are not touch. Freeze until solid and then put the meatballs in a Ziploc bag of freezer container and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw the meatballs in the fridge completely and then reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Love Meatballs? Try These!
Easy Homemade Italian Meatballs
- 1 pound hamburger 12% fat is ideal
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/3 cup sweet onion grated
- ¼ cup marinara sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Italian Herb Blend freeze dried is preferable
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a rack over the paper.
- Crumble the beef into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well until just combined with hands or spoon but do not over mix. (Too much mixing makes tough meatballs.)
- Spray your hands and scoop (2Tbsp. size) with non-stick cooking spray. Use the scoop to create even portions of meat, then roll gently into uniform balls.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until the meatballs have reached an internal temperature of 160 F.
- Remove from the tray and serve immediately. If you plan to use a sauce on the meatballs pour it over them as soon as they are done cooking.
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