Oven baked meatballs are mess free…much better than pan-frying them. And you can do a large batch at one time.
Who doesn’t like tender and juicy meatballs? They’re great in spaghetti sauce. Also, as one-bite appetizers. Meatballs and barbecue sauce are a great combination.
The secret to making meatballs that come out juicy and tender is using panko crumbs and letting the mixture sit for 30 minutes before forming the meatballs. This allows the panko to absorb moisture from the other ingredients and hold onto the meat juices while the meatballs bake.
I used a combination of ground beef and pork to make these meatballs, but any ground meat could be used. Chicken, turkey, or Italian sausage would be excellent. Just vary the spices used in the mix for the flavor profile you are looking for.
Either ground chicken or ground turkey would be great with some sage mixed in. Give them an Asian spin with minced green onion, grated ginger, and some soy sauce. Ground beef could be mixed with chili powder and a little cumin for a Tex-Mex style. Of course, there are always Italian seasonings for meatballs in spaghetti and a red sauce. And don’t forget some finely minced garlic…MaryJo always says you can never have too much garlic.
The best part of baked meatballs is that there are no greasy splatters like in pan-frying. And you can do a large batch all at one time.
How to Make Oven Baked Meatballs
Preheat your oven to 400°F or 350°F if using a convection oven. If your oven has convection heating this is what I recommend. The air moving around the convection baked meatballs will make them brown really nicely.
Spray a large sheet pan and rack with cooking spray to prevent sticking. When using a rack, the meatballs cook evenly and there’s no need to turn them.
Arrange the meatballs on the rack and give them a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. This will make them brown up better. Bake for 15 to 22 minutes depending on the size you make them. You can check if the meatballs are done with an instant-read thermometer or, just grab one off the rack and cut it open. The meat should be cooked through and moist.
If they’re not browning as much as you’d like, you can place them under the broiler for a minute or two right at the end. If you place them under the broiler, remember that they are still cooking so start when they are slightly undercooked if possible. That way you’ll ensure that they stay moist and tender.
This oven baked meatball technique is the only way to make meatballs. No pan-frying and greasy splatters. MaryJo hates it when I do that.
Here are some more tasty recipes to try:
- Honey Balsamic Italian Chicken Meatball Kabobs
- Homemade Italian Sausage
- Tex-Mex Ground Beef Casserole
- Golden Crispy Oven Fries
- Cheesy Beef Noodle Bake
Tasty Oven Baked Meatballs
- 8 oz ground beef 85% lean
- 8 oz ground pork
- 1/2 medium size yellow onion, diced fine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesn cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- non-stick cooking spray (PAM)
- Mix all ingredients together, then cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 400°F (350°F if convection baking) with the rack at the middle position.
- Spray a large sheet pan and a rack with cooking spray. Form the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter and place on the rack. Lightly spray all the meatballs with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until done.
- To brown the meatballs, if desired, place the pan of meatballs approximately 4" from the broiler element and set the oven controls on "Broil". Watch closely for your desired amount of browning (1 to 2 minutes), and remove from oven.
- Serve as desired.