Incredible Baked Meatballs

These tender, flavorful baked meatballs have been a family and reader favorite for many years.  Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite sauce, as an appetizer, in a meatball sandwich–or all by themselves.  Perfect meal prep recipe that freezes well, too!

Perhaps you are like me in this way:  I have recipes everywhere…a shelfful of cookbooks, a box with recipe cards, and various pages torn from magazines, newspapers…and so many slips of scrap paper with my own hand-written notes that I scratch out as I create in the kitchen.

Amidst all the recipes, I return often to the gems given to me by my friend, Jen. Like me, Jen  likes to experiment with new recipes and acquired many of her favorites from her grandmother.

This meatball recipe reduces mess–and fat–by baking the meatballs instead of pan-frying. Parmesan and panko add great flavor and texture. Make them ahead and simmer all day with Basic Marinara sauce (your favorite store bought works, too) in a crock pot set on low. Or heat on the stove as you are boiling water for pasta.

A single recipe yields two dozen golfball-size meatballs.  The recipe can easily be doubled and the baked meatballs freeze well.  I made the batch pictured below with a friend.  Meal prep is inherently rewarding–and so much more fun when chatting the whole time!

And for a sauce option using vine-ripened plum tomatoes, I love this recipe for Balsamic Pesto Marinara Sauce.

Shortcut Blender Tomato Sauce (above) pairs beautifully with these meatballs and is perfect when vine-ripened tomatoes are in season.  When canned tomatoes are the best option, Basic Marinara (below) is a great option.

Incredible Baked Meatballs
Tip #1: Double the batch and freeze half to serve later as mini meatloaves. Or reheat with sauce, top with cheese and make into a mean meatball sandwich. Tip #2: If you have a leftover piece of rind from the Parmesan, let it simmer in the crock pot with the marinara sauce or save for another soup recipe. This will add a great flavor boost to most any sauce or soup. 

Yield: approximately 24 meatballs


1 pound hamburger, grass-fed if desired
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs (see notes)
1 small onion, minced or grated (1/2 a large onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil

For instruction, please read here

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