Quick and Easy Homemade Italian Meatballs Recipe
Easy Homemade Meatball Recipe
I have a few recipes for meatballs that I really love, but this one is my favorite. These meatballs are seriously packed full of flavor. They come out moist on the inside and have just the right amount of crunch on the outside. They also don't require any fancy ingredients or steps. If you have a basic spice collection, you can definitely make these. If this is your first time ever making meatballs, this is a great recipe to try! Your kitchen and house are going to smell amazing when these babies are baking.
What Are Meatballs?
What are meatballs made of? This is a fairly common question! I've met people who love to eat meatballs but have absolutely no idea what they're made of. Meatballs are made with ground beef, seasonings, bread crumbs, and sometimes egg and or milk. Meatballs can also be made from ground pork or turkey. I've even made them using half ground beef and half ground turkey—they came out fantastic!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, garlic-seasoned
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon onion, dried and minced
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
There's no shame in using dried minced onion from a bottle or Parmesan cheese from the shake can. Nothing beats fresh ingredients, but the aforementioned items are cheaper and keep longer. I always have Parmesan shake cheese and a bottle of minced onion on hand. I have a fresh onion MOST of the time. I can't remember the last time I had fresh Parmesan cheese. Use what you have. It's going to be delicious!
Quick Homemade Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix until thoroughly blended.
- Form into meatballs and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake in 400° oven for 20 minutes.
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Tips for Making Meatballs at Home
- I like to mix all of my ingredients except the raw meat at first. It should look like a crumbly paste. Then add raw ground beef.
- I'm very old-fashioned and hands-on when I cook, so I always use my hands to combine my meat and other ingredients. I just feel like it's the only way that I know for certain that all of the ingredients and spices are blended thoroughly and evenly. I rub a tiny bit of olive oil on my hands and rub it in like lotion ALL OVER before I start mixing with my hands. This keeps all of my ingredients in the mix and not stuck to my hands.
- I love it when my meatballs are practically all the same size. To keep them uniform, use a melon baller. If you don't have one, just use a measuring spoon. I like to use my tablespoon-sized plastic measuring spoon. I scoop raw meatball mix into it, level it off, and then roll the meat into a ball in my hands. (See photo above) I like to coat the spoon with a little olive oil. This keeps the spoon relatively clean and makes it easy to get the raw meatball out every time.
- Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil. This makes clean up a breeze, and I also feel like it cooks the meatballs better. The meatballs have deliciously crispy bottoms that are easy to separate from the foil.
- When your meatballs have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and let them rest for about 5 minutes. This allows juices to get locked in. It also makes it easy to remove them from the aluminum foil. If you're moving the meatballs from the pan to a serving dish and notice the bottoms are sticking and destroying your picture-perfect meatballs, it's probably because they need to rest.
- Not sure if your meatballs are cooked all the way through? Use a knife to cut your biggest meatball in half. As long as you don't see any pink, you should be good. If he's cooked, then the smaller ones have to be. If you still see raw pinkness, return to oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes but keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
- Meatballs are a great meal that can be made ahead and frozen for future dinners.
- You can also prepare these meatballs as appetizers. Stick a toothpick in each meatball for easy serving, and you're ready to host!
Easy Dinner Ideas
This meal is a favorite in my house! It might look complicated or time-consuming, but it isn't at all. My husband and I love freshly shredded carrots in our pasta dishes. We started doing this about a year ago. It tastes great, and it's an easy way to add more veggies to your meals and diet.
- 1 (12-ounce) box of Barilla rotini (zucchini and spinach flavor)
- 1 (24-ounce) jar of Ragu pasta sauce (traditional, old-world style)
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- See above for Italian meatball recipe
Tips for the Perfect Meal
- Barilla veggie blend pastas come in different flavors. My favorite is the zucchini and spinach blend, which is green in color. It's pictured above, but with the sauce, it may not look very green. They also make a carrot and squash blend that is an orange-colored farfalle and a reddish penne that is a tomato and carrot blend.
- The pasta takes about 8 minutes to boil, so I boil it while I'm rolling my meatballs.
- When the pasta is finished, I drain it, return it to the pot and add my sauce and shredded carrot. I mix well and spoon it into a Pyrex baking dish.
- When I'm done rolling my meatballs, I place my cookie sheet of meatballs and my dish of pasta in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. You can cover your pasta with foil if you don't want it to dry out, but I personally like it when the top layer gets a little over-baked.
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Heather Rode